Saturday, May 12, 2012

Text free boot in Quantal Quetzal? Not happening

If you check out the list of blueprints for Quantal Quetzal, you'll notice there's a blueprint for text free boot. This is just another step in the long road Ubuntu has been on for a long time now.

You don't have to look far to find a similar blueprint for an earlier Ubuntu version. It's high time we finally reached the goal of a text free boot.

It's been a long road. We've used various splash for the boot loader, we've added failsafe X, we waited for KMS to be ready. The current boot splash generally ensures things are text free as long as KMS works with your hardware, and fsck doesn't run it's regular checkups. We should see those disappear this round. Right?

The pieces do seem to be ready. Grub 2, kernel KMS, X, LightDM. The boot process got streamlined and slimmed down regularly. Combined with a gradual decrease in text during boot, there doesn't seem to be any reason we won't be seeing a text free boot with Quantal.

But there's a catch.

Proprietary drivers do not necessarily support Ubuntu's efforts. If you use proprietary drivers for some reason, you're likely still stuck with a more verbose boot.

The open source drivers don't work for all hardware in all cases. There are hardware that work yet don't support the required features (yet). Isn't it always the case?

Finally, you still need some sort of output to communicate with the user in case the regular fsck check runs. More so if there's a problem.

Of course, I'm always hoping we do finally get that awesome text free boot. Every single Ubuntu release, I'm hoping for that to happen.