A utility for adding a custom boot splash to a libreboot bios image. https://git.lenzplace.org/lenzj/libreboot-splash
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Jason T. Lenz 715de7976e
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This repository contains a makefile and instructions for adding custom bootsplash images such as the ones below to a libreboot rom. The default parameters and instructions are currently targeted at the Thinkpad X200 platform but other libreboot computers may be added in the future.

Example 1 Example 2

For more info on what libreboot is see https://libreboot.org


These are quick instructions to create a libreboot rom containing a custom splash image:

  1. Clone this git repository.
  2. Ensure you have the dependencies mentioned in the section below installed.
  3. Change to the repository and edit "config.mk" to match the parameters for the target computer you are installing to.
  4. Type "make"
  5. Flash the custom libreboot rom image stored in "build/libreboot_custom/..."

For instructions on how to flash a libreboot rom refer to the "install" instructions on the libreboot website at https://libreboot.org


Ensure the following is installed in your particular linux system:

  • make
  • wget
  • gpg

In addition the following will be needed but are likely already installed:

  • sha512sum
  • sed
  • tar
  • cat
  • grep

"config.mk" parameters

The "config.mk" file is used to select various desired parameters and customizations. Edit the parameters in the file carefully. These are directly used by the makefile to download and check files from the libreboot website so typos and incorrect case will cause issues.

  • LB_VER: The libreboot version to download
  • LB_MIR: Path to the internet mirror containing libreboot files
  • LBR_COM: The particular libreboot computer platform to target
  • LBR_SIZ: Rom chip size in megabytes
  • LBR_KEY: Keyboard format used on your target computer
  • LBR_DIS: This should always be "vesafb" if you intend to use a graphical splash boot screen.
  • LBR_LOD: The boot loader type ("grub" or "seabios")
  • LBR_MAC: You must change this to match the mac address of your target computer
  • IMG_NAM: The name of the splash image in the "images" subdir
  • IMG_EXT: The filename extension of the splash image ("png" or "jpg")
  • LBU_CPU: This is the architecture of the host computer running this makefile. ("x86_64", "i686", or "armv7l")

Creating Custom Splash Images

The example splash images in this repository were created using the LibreOffice Draw application (files ending in ".odg"). Although there are many applications able to create png and jpg images that can be used as splash screens it's helpful to note that the grub bootloader in the libreboot rom cannot handle some of the advanced image features in the png and jpeg standards. These instructions explain how to create graphics targeting the ThinkPad X200 laptop and export a png image that it is compatible with libreboot. At the time of this writing LibreOffice version was used.

  1. Start the LibreOffice application, select "Open" and then select the "x200_grub_menu.odg" file from the "images" subdirectory in this repository.
  2. From the top menu bar select "File" -> "Save As" and select a new name for the custom splash image you will be creating.
  3. At the very bottom of the screen note that there is a "Grub Menu" tab which represents a layer in LibreOffice Draw containing a representation of the grub text menu that displays when libreboot starts up. This layer provides a useful visual reference for what the grub menu will look like when libreboot starts up on your computer.
  4. Select the "Layout" tab at the bottom of the screen so that any graphics or text that you add to your custom splash screen is on a different layer from the grub menu layer.
  5. Update the "Layout" tab as desired with any modifications you wish to make.
  6. For example from the top menu bar you can click on "Format" -> "Page Properties" and select the "Background" tab to modify the background color or insert a bitmap image etc.
  7. Also in "Page Properties" you will note that the "Page" tab has been pre selected with a "Screen 16:10" size and "Landscape" format. If you are targeting a splash screen for a different computer with another screen size you will need to modify this accordingly.
  8. Once you have the splash screen set up the way you want in LibreOffice Draw you will need to delete the "Grub Menu" layer so that it isn't included in the exported graphic file. Right click on the "Grub Menu" tab and the bottom and select "Delete". The grub menu text should disappear leaving your custom splash remaining on the "Layout" layer. Note that it may be tempting to modify the "Grub Menu" layer to make it not visible and not printable but this unfortunately has no effect on exporting. The only way to ensure the grub menu layer doesn't make it into the exported graphic file is to delete the layer.
  9. From the top menu bar select "File" -> "Export" and then type in the filename you wish to export your splash screen to with the ".png" file extension and then click "Save".
  10. A dialog menu should pop up asking for specific png file options. For the x200 ThinkPad laptop you need to ensure that the width is 1280 pixels and height is 800 pixels (see reference section below). Also make sure that "Interlaced" and "Save transparency" options are unchecked. The rest you can leave at their defaults and then click "OK".
  11. Make sure that the exported file is in the "images" sub directory in the repository and then update "config.mk" to use the name of the image file you just exported.

Reference - Display sizes for Libreboot laptops

Laptop Model Pixel Width Pixel Height Aspect Ratio
Lenovo x200 1280 800 16:10


Copyright (C) 2018 Jason T. Lenz


Unless otherwise noted all files in this repository are under the MIT license as described in the "LICENSE" file in this repository. The Libreboot logo in the images subdirectory is the exception and is licensed (CC-0) as described at https://libreboot.org/logo/license.html