How to customize the Raspberry Pi splash screen

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When a Raspberry Pi boots into Raspberry Pi OS, we see a splash screen, an image that tells us that the operating system is loading. But why settle for the default? If we’re planning on incorporating a Raspberry Pi into an art installation, interactive ad, or information board, then a custom splash screen is a cool and easy way to add some class to your project. Or you can just change the picture to have fun for you and your friends. Replacing the Raspberry Pi splash screen is exceptionally easy.

We don’t need to install any additional software on our Raspberry Pi, and the software to create the images and videos is available for free on the Internet. In this tutorial, we are going to create two custom boot items: a bootable boot image, then a video that plays while our Raspberry Pi is booting up. The inspiration for this tutorial comes from the RetroPie retro emulator which has custom splash splash as part of its theme manager.

How to replace the Raspberry Pi splash screen image

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

1. In your favorite image editor create a splash screen and save it as splash.png. We have chosen a resolution of 1920 x 1080 because it adapts well to 16: 9 resolutions.

2. Copy the image to a USB stick and insert the reader into the Raspberry Pi.

3. Copy splash.png from the USB stick to your home directory / home / pi /

4. Open a terminal and change directories to the location of your Pi’s original splash screen.

$ cd /usr/share/plymouth/themes/pix/

5. Save the original splash.png file to a file called splash.png.bk.

$ sudo mv splash.png splash.png.bk

6. Copy your splash.png to the current directory. This will copy the freshly created boot image, ready to use.

$ sudo cp /home/pi/splash.png ./

7. Restart your Raspberry Pi.

Once your Raspberry Pi has restarted, you’ll see the familiar rainbow screen, and then a few seconds later you’ll see your personalized splash screen.

How to create a Raspberry Pi splash screen video

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

A picture is worth a thousand words and it can really sell your project, so a video needs to be an order of magnitude more effective. The process of adding a video also includes only two lines of code and a video file. For best results why not have a boot image and video, by doing this we keep all console logs out of prying eyes, and this keeps our boot process on the mark.

1. Create a video using a video editor. We chose to use DaVinci Resolve because it’s free and exceptionally powerful, but any editor is fine. Your video should be 1920 x 1080 and output as a mov file using the H264 codec.

2. Copy the file to a USB stick, we called the file TH-intro.mov.

3. Insert the USB key into your Raspberry Pi and copy your video to the home / home / pi / directory

4. Open a terminal and open the rc.local file for editing.

$ sudo nano /etc/rc.local

5. Scroll to the line before exit 0 and enter two lines of code. The first is a comment, to explain what we are doing, the second uses the command line video player omxplayer to play the video in the home directory. The added & is an instruction to run the command in the background. Don’t forget to edit TH-intro.mov to match the name of your video.

#Run video on boot
omxplayer /home/pi/TH-intro.mov &

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

6. Press CTRL + X, then press Y and ENTER to save and exit the editor.

7. Restart the Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi will restart and we will see the boot process take place, our custom boot screen will appear and then after a few seconds the video will play as the system completes the boot process.


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