Grub 2 theme for Fedora 17

Fedora 17’s grub2 screen won’t be the ugly black and white thing you saw in Fedora 16. The reason for the ugliness in Fedora 16’s grub splash is that it was the first release we used grub2 and there were some missing files that prevented the theme from working at all. We punted on it because grub’s splash is not shown by default and we had higher-priority issues to work on for Fedora 16.
Spot and Peter Jones figured out how to get grub2 theming to work properly for Fedora 17 so we have this design now, put together as we hashed it out on the Fedora design team list. It’s using the background from Alexander Smirnov’s excellent fireworks design; the menu box is slightly modified from the grub2 default shipped theme (called ‘starfield.’)
I made a video showing it as well, but it’s shaky and nothing amazing. One thing visible in the video though – there’s a quick flicker before the graphical boot menu comes up, and after rebooting multiple times to try to read it Spot figured out it says something about a missing locale file. If you have any ideas on how we can fix this issue, please let me know 🙂
Anyway, when Fedora 17 comes out, if you opt-in to displaying grub you’ll have something nicer to look at.


  1. That looks awesome. I hope they add it to the Fedora 17 beta version that I’m using.
    And that it’s just a glitch that my GDM login screen earlier was boxy and gray and ugly. >.>

    1. mairin says:

      Eeep! You mean grub not GDM right? 🙂

  2. the theme makes grub be slooooooww (1920×1200)

    1. mairin says:

      Really? Did you try it yet and notice a lag?

      1. Yeah, a bit slow in 1920×1200

      2. starfield theme is also a bit slow, so it must be a grub2 bug.

        1. mairin says:

          What hardware are you on? It seems to work fine on my hardware (see youtube video.)

          1. Intel Core i3-2120 3.30GHz (Sandy Bridge) + 8GB RAM + SSD OCZ-AGILITY3 + Dell U2410 24″ 1920×1200

        2. mairin says:

          Is it the 64 bit version of fedora or the 32 bit version?

  3. It’s this bug:
    The solution is pretty straightforward, and as a bonus it solves the localization problem with grub2.

  4. mairin says:

    Note to self: kiilerix pointed out dejavu.pf2 is broken in this theme, he suggests leaving it out from the theme source and generating it in the spec, font generation is broken in grub2 beta4 but fixed for fedora in beta 5… grub2-mkfont -o dejavu.pf2 /usr/share/fonts/(path to dejavu) will generate a valid one but not sure how to link to theme

  5. Ian Stoffberg says:

    Looks awesome. Regarding slowness comments. The Windows 8 bootloader takes ages to appear whereas Fedora’s is blazing.
    That said the Win8 version supports touch input and looks professional. I guess its not designed to show more than 2 or 3 options though so each entry is about 2-3 centimeters tall.
    On a 1920×1200 monitor, would like theme to be customisable to have larger font and a highlight bar for the active option.

    1. Xiao-Long Chen says:

      Windows 8’s “bootloader” isn’t actually a bootloader. It loads the Windows 8 kernel and then allows booting another Windows OS by chainloading that OS’s kernel, which means that it won’t work for any other OS 🙁
      At the technical level, Windows 8 still uses the ntldr bootloader. If you add GRUB to the Windows bootloader, you will still see the same menu as Win7/Vista.

  6. Will this be backported to Fedora 16 at all? Since you’ve got the issues fixed (to make it work on F17), I’d hope to see it available in F16 also.
    Have a great day:)

  7. Tomasz says:

    Unfortunately on my Thinkpad T400 with native 1440×900 I see only garbled screen. Fedora package seem to suffer from

    1. mairin says:

      Hey, did you install the 64 bit version of fedora or the 32 bit version?

      1. Tomasz says:

        64 everywhere. Should I open a bug on fedora.

        1. mairin says:

          The bug being used to track the grub issues right now is
          If you see your issue in that bug (I see photos of garbled screens, does yours match?) feel free to pile on. If not, it would be very helpful if you wouldn’t mind filing a separate bug. Thank you so much for helping and for the quick reply!

          1. Matias says:

            Any way to activate ir now?

  8. Lee says:

    one could also compile and install “grub-customizer” using this HowTo:
    we run this under kubuntu (a lot easier over there… just install following directions from their website to install… no compile necessary). under this package one can modify the entries, change the default boot, colors, timeout, and even add your own splash screen (we use a pic of our Granddaughter).

  9. Hi All
    I really like some Grub colours, but be aware if you are using the rpmfusion nvidia driver’s it breaks Gnome. I don’t know why yet, but I have an idea that it is due to the:
    # grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
    Anyway I’ll try to get pass it some how… I really don’t like the idea of doing a # yum erase *\grub\* to get rid of the to beta RPM’s I installed from here…
    Best Regards
    FAS: AppelonD

  10. […] According to Elad, this is because the kernel package doesn’t use grub2-config – it uses grubby – and the kernel team cites issues using grub2-config as the reason. This seems like a valid problem since the grub2 menu is not functioning as it was designed for Fedora. […]

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