Disable verbose boot

When a Raspberry Pi boots and you have an external monitor connected, you will have noticed the many lines of code whizzing by. Whilst this is useful in some situations, it can often be a little distracting too.

I found this to be the case with my Raspberry PiStation build, mainly because I wanted to replicate the nostaligic feeling of playing a retro games console which would boot without reams of code. In my custom build I also managed to add a short MP4 video which would play as part of the boot process, thereby adding to the illusion, but seeing all the text before this detracted from the retro games console feeling.

However, there is a way to hide the text during boot and I’ll talk you through this process. But before we start, a word of caution.

Please take care when performing the following steps as any errors can result in complete boot failure. Making a copy/image of your SD card before doing this is highly recommended before editing any code here!

You can perform the necessary code edits via SSH or at the command line on the Pi itself:

sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt

This will open the “cmdline.txt” file in Nano as the “root” user. Be careful editing this, as any issues can cause a boot failure. All the text should be on one line and this is the default:

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait

We are going to make a few changes here, which are:

  • Change console from “tty1” to “tty3”
  • Add “loglevel=3”
  • Add “quiet”
  • Add “logo.nologo”

When done, it should look like this:

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty3 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait loglevel=3 quiet logo.nologo

Now press Ctrl+X, then Y to save and then reboot with:

sudo reboot

You should now have a black screen whilst your Pi boots, and depending on exactly how your setup is running you will typically see the login prompt at the command line, the desktop of your Pi or if you are running RetroPi…the main menu.

If you want to return to verbose boot mode, just follow the same steps to put it back to the default code shown above.

First published at 5:21pm on November 18, 2015
Last updated at 10:51pm on July 19, 2018