Fedora 27: Restore Plymouth on XPS 13

I was always fond of Dell’s Project Sputnik notebooks and am now a happy owner the Skylake 9350 model. Initially there were some power management issues with Skylake on Linux kernel 4.4. This kept me stuck on Dells kernel. When the fixes reached mainline in 4.8 I was quick to install the Fedora 26 Beta.

Overall Fedora workstation has been a smooth experience with no real issues. I however was unable to see the Fedora, plymouth-charge, splash screen and attributed this to running the beta’s debug kernel.

When I upgraded through to Fedora 26 stable this was not the case. I enjoyed Fedora gnome enough to to deal with this non critical issue later when I could spare the downtime.

Just last week I found the fix. The purpose of this post is to mirror this fix so that others may more easily find and implement this fix on their systems.

Finding a Fix

Every so often I would take a casual glance at the Plymouth systemd documentation or the occasional forum. I was convinced my missing splash screen was a small configuration error. I could see the Fedora plymouth-charge boot animation during UEFI upgrades through LVFS. It was only broken when I was cold booting the system.

Just last week I stumbled upon this reddit post that describes my exact issue with plymouth. His issue is for the same notebook, a model year newer, and on Fedora 25. I decided to look at what was done and see if it was worth running.

Implementing the Fix

I however did not follow his directions directly. I appended my configuration files and only modified conflicting lines. I recommend you match your /etc/plymouth/plymouthd.conf and /etc/default/grub to match the following:

Once those files were changed I then regenerated my grub configuration and overrode Fedora’s stock grub.cfg

The following command is applicable only to UEFI machines. Otherwise use the BIOS specific location for grub.cfg

$ sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grub.cfg

I also had to rebuild initrd.

$ sudo dracut --force

Once this was done I was able to see the plymouth-charge shutdown animation. The start up animation did not work until the next available kernel update. I presume there was some more changes that were made by dkms that made the rest of the necessary changes.

This fix may not be obvious and I cannot guarentee the Reddit post will always be available or any more easier to find. I hope that mirroring, and confirming, this fix here can help some other penguin lovers out there.


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