Devin Reade

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Getting a Text Boot Sequence
(Instead of Graphical)

This is for RHEL/CentOS/FC6. There is also a Fedora 12 version.

Since at least the introduction of RH7 (and perhaps earlier), there has been a movement to make the boot process graphical, and as time goes on less and less information is shown to the user. This is a problem if you like to be able to see the boot process, and is especially problematic if you use a serial console. (If the machine was originally installed with a serial console it may be less of a problem, but there are still pathological cases where this isn't so.)

If you'd prefer the boot process to be entirely text based, then read on. There are two sections below, one for Grub (which most people will be using) and also for the older Lilo boot loader.

See also Using a Text Display After Boot if you also want text after the boot process is complete.


If the file /etc/grub.conf or /boot/grub/grub.conf exists, you're probably using the grub boot loader. In this case, edit the respective grub.conf file and:

  1. Comment out the line containing the word "splashimage".
  2. On recent distributions, you'll see the word "hiddenmenu". Comment out that line, too.
  3. Also on recent distributions, you will see the word "quiet" in the list of kernel arguments. Remove that word.
You also need to modify the /etc/sysconfig/init file and change

Note that at least with older versions (circa RH8, if I remember correctly) it was sometimes necessary to redo this procedure after performing a major system upgrade; Red Hat seemed to like to add this "feature" back in. I wouldn't be surprised if this is still the case.

(Thanks to Magnus Naeslund for providing part of this information, back before I started using grub.)


If you use the LILO boot loader, you can disable it by editing the file /etc/lilo.conf and commenting out the line:

After you edit that file, you must run the command lilo for it to take effect.

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Last Updated: 22 Jan 2010