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SubjectRe: Boot messages (Was: Re: Ideas for v2.1) (fwd)
Date
Forwarding a message from Albert Cahalan <albert@ccs.neu.edu>:
> Yes, you missed the point. The point is that some people do not want
> to see the boot messages. By the time init is spawned the kernel has
> already spewed out several pages of cryptic stuff and you might as
> well start X.

Most of the talk I have read on linux-kernel recently about boot
graphics is really disturbing. I don't want to see a penguin when
I boot my boxes - not even a recently fed or post-coital one. I
want to see boot messages - ugly, precise and informative.

However, not everybody thinks the same way. Fine. There are some
suggestions - everything from modifying the MBR to lilo, to
second-stage boot loaders, to running it from init.

I'd like to offer a suggestion. I don't want the kernel and underlying
tools bloated with special purpose graphic code, so let's stick
the penguin image in user space, where it belongs.

The next question becomes, how do we prevent the kernel from
displaying the startup messages?

Since the kernel has an architected way to route kernel messages around
the place (to klogd, etc.), I suggest an optional setting (which might
be provided in the boot args) to the kernel to buffer all startup
messages without display.

Once syslogd and friends are running they can read those messages and
take appropriate action - perhaps logging to a file or a non-displayed
virtual console.

Basically, preventing the messages from displaying before we are
under control of init means the problem is effectively reduced to
"how can we display a fullscreen image" (which I expect is solved
already, but since I don't mess with non-X graphics, I wouldn't know
offhand what utility to run to achieve it). We can then control
this boot image with a shell script - a different image for each
day of the week, or a generated image for the kernel's totem
(is that Zen penguin on milk or endorphins?), or whatever.

Nick.
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