Jun 26, 2009

Shiny and flicker-free boot experience in 9.10 after all

Although Plymouth won't make it into Ubuntu Karmic, Mat Tomaszewski recently posted information about the boot experience, and it sounds like there's something to look forward to after all. The DX and Design teams are looking for help in the form of fresh, innovative concepts in particular regarding the graphical boot splash (spinners, animations, artwork, etc.). Mat posted this message to the artwork mailinglist today:

Hi Everyone,

As some of you may already know, Ubuntu Karmic will get a whole new, shiny and flicker-free boot experience. Another words, the sequence of events between switching on your computer and your desktop session will be largely redeveloped and redesigned.

New stuff includes:
- grub 2, which will be silent, only accessible on-demand (by holding down Shift during Bootloader initialization),
- KMS-powered experiences for the initial boot splash, password encrypted filesystem and disk-check,
- Graphical boot splash that will be running on top of X-server, not Usplash,
- Graphical OS Switcher available by pressing ESC during the startup sequence, also running on top of X,
- GDM 2.

What's most important is: the boot will be *a lot* faster than in Jaunty (sorry, no precise figures yet!). In fact, the Platform Team (Scott James Remnant leading the efforts) aims at making the X-server start in *no more than 3 seconds* on a reference machine (Dell Mini 9/Mini 10v). What it means is that the standard boot sequence will not include Usplash any longer, instead, the X-session will be started right away.
Therefore, the graphical boot splash screen will have the whole X-stack available, including hardware acceleration...

The important news is that the look&feel of the new boot experience has not been defined yet. Otto Greenslade (CC'd) is leading the work there, but I'm sure he would appreciate any help. Fresh, innovative concepts is what we're looking for (in-line with Ubuntu branding of course!), in particular regarding the graphical boot splash (spinners, animations, artwork, etc.).

The design guidelines can be found here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DesktopExperienceTeam/KarmicBootExperienceDesignSpec

Please poke kwwii or chaotic (that's Otto) on irc if you need any further info!



Sounds fantastic to me!

Kenneth Wimer has created https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Artwork/Incoming/Karmic/Boot as a place
for people to share ideas and information.


  1. I'm very excited about this as well. I can't wait to see what they come up with. Thanks for posting!

  2. David Moraes -> Not 3 seconds boot, but start X in 3 seconds - huge difference!

    I guess Karmic will boot in less than 20 seconds, but the 10 seconds target is for Karmic+1 aka Ubuntu 10.04