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Need Help - Ubuntu Splash Screen


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Calling all Linux geeks...I know there are lots here.  :)


I am on the very last step of turning an x86 system into a Retropie appliance.  It is essentially Ubuntu Server 17.10.1 x64 with Openbox as the window manager and Retropie installed (yes...you can run the Retropie setup script on Ubuntu).  I borrowed a lot of work that was already done but then wanted to hide all of the background (gnome terminal window, mouse pointer, etc.).  Normally coming in and out of a game you would see the mouse pointer and a the gray gnome terminal window with a light blue title bar.


Here is the *almost* finished product if anyone is interested (I will write-up a full how-to):  



Where I am stuck is hiding the usual Ubuntu boot dialog.  I really want to use a fancier splash screen using Plymouth, but, I can't get even get the standard splash screens to work.  I was hoping it would be as easy as turning it back on in the grub config (shown below) and updating grub...


GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`


but it hangs at the following:



And then eventually this...



I have tried on a VM in unRAID and two different physical hardware.  I even tried Ubuntu Server 16.04.4 with the same result.


Can anyone help?!?!?!


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I'm having much better luck on 18.04.  However, in order for the splash screen to work, I have to append the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line.  Appending the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT has no impact (at least not for me).


If this works satisfactorily, I run through my entire Retropie setup process on 18.04.



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