Add image to GRUB2


Well, after the recent upgrade on the Arch boot ISO, you should probably notice that the good and oldie GRUB 0.99 has been replaced by GRUB2, hated by some for their “complexity” – true is it takes some time to learn how to edit or add new entries – but with a lot of new features that makes your boot menu more fancy and useful.

Speaking about fanciness, today we’ll gonna change (or add one) our boot splash image. I want to show you to do this on the Arch way but for the lazies out there, I will introduce you two interestings GUI that can accomplish this and another GRUB2 related tasks.

First of all, lets download a PNG background image to use in our GRUB.

The Arch Way
Then, we will need to edit /etc/default/grub and add the path to the image we have just downloaded


Note that I have a word with an accent, it works. It will also work a blank space in the path because the double quotes.

You will need to change accordingly the color of the font and the highlighted item in GRUB, so if you want to have a white background image, choose a dark color to contrast and not blind yourself 😛

On /etc/default/grub, modify the entries

export GRUB_COLOR_NORMAL="white/black"
export GRUB_COLOR_HIGHLIGHT="white/blue"

As your wish, first color is foreground color and the second one, the background color.

To generate the changes, remember why some people hates GRUB2: it needs to “compile” the changes, not anymore will work by only modifying config files, so do:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

If adding the splash image was successful, you will see "Found background image..." in the terminal as the command is executed.

If this phrase is not seen, the image information was probably not incorporated into the grub.cfg file. Please, take a look to the documentation

GTK way: grub-customizer
On AUR we can found a gtk application called Grub Customizer. So let’s install it:
$ yaourt -S grub-customizer
It obviously needs root password to run, so the easiest way to execute it is with the gksudo utility, like this:
$ gksudo grub-customizer
Then a gtk dialog appears asking us the root password (not sudo password). We can introduce it and the interface will appear.

You will see a windows with several grub entries, and several buttons as well, but to change/add the background image, you will need to click on the “Preferences” icon. This will pop up another window with three tabs. The second tab, “Appearance” will let us set background image and fonts.

Once set, we will close this window, save the changes and then, click on “File” menu –> “Install in the MBR”


Just say that this application can be used under KDE as well, but if you are a GTK hater, you probably want to use the next method instead. For all the rest, instead of gksudo, you will need to use kdesu to invoke grub-customizer.

KDE way: GRUB2 Editor
KDE4 has a KDE Control Module for configuring the GRUB2 bootloader. Its name is GRUB2 Editor and you will find it also in AUR. So to install it let’s run:
$ yaourt -S grub2-editor

Once installed, we will find it on System Settings --> System Administration --> Startup and Shutdown --> GRUB2 Bootloader

The usage will be like Grub Customizer.

Well, hope you enjoy your useless but cool GRUB2 splash image!


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