How to get Plymouth working on Kubuntu 10.4 LTS with proprietary NVIDIA drivers

Plymouth is the new start-up display program in Ubuntu/Kubuntu. It can show a native-resolution animated start-up screen while that GNU/Linux distribution boots to X. Unfortunately, at the moment, it doesn’t work well with proprietary display drivers. Here is what fixed the problem for me. (I have a PNY GeForce 8400GS PCI-E card driving two 1280×1024 monitors with version 185 of the nvidia packages.)

Following the instructions here, I edited /etc/default/grub

sudo xemacs /etc/default/grub

[replace xemacs with your editor of choice] so that this line was uncommented and contained the appropriate vga option for my screen mode [table of modes and codes]:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="splash vga=0x31B"

(0x31B corresponds to 1280×1024 pixels in 24-bit colour) and, from here, I uncommented and edited this line with my screen resolution:

GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x1024

and edited /etc/grub.d/00_header so that the line beginning “gfxmode=” contained the right resolution:

gfxmode=1280x1024

and was followed by this:

set gfxpayload=keep

I then ran:

sudo update-grub2

Next, from here, I blacklisted vga16fb by adding the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer.conf:

blacklist vga16fb

and then commented out the line that previously blacklisted the VESA framebuffer, so:

# blacklist vesafb

Then, I added fbcon and vesafb to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules

# List of modules that you want to include in your initramfs.
#
# Syntax: module_name [args ...]
#
# You must run update-initramfs(8) to effect this change.
#
# Examples:
#
fbcon
vesafb

Finally, I ran update-initramfs:

sudo update-initramfs -u

and rebooted to my shiny new splash animation.