General Computing
linux boot debian systemd
Updated Fri, 20 May 2022 14:10:37 GMT

How to show own welcome message during boot with lolcat, Debian 8 (and systemd)?

I would like to run this command in boot time:

/usr/games/lolcat /home/decker/file-with-text-content

This command prints "colored" content of /home/decker/test text file.So it would be something like welcome message during bootup process.

Tested this command when logged in in terminal.

I tried following, but nothing works:

  1. added "/usr/games/lolcat /home/decker/test" to /etc/rc.local
  2. created systemd service that should start this in boot time. (and was successfuly started, but I did not see colored content...)
  3. (very) desperately added "/usr/games/lolcat /home/decker/test" to /etc/init.d/procps. I was very desperate...

Tried with and without "quite" kernel boot arg.

Back in my days, when no systemd was here, this was simple. I have no idea what to do now.

In ideal world, I would like to place it after fsck messages while using "quite" kernel boot arg. (So there would be only messages with booting kernel name, fsck and colored welcome message). I dont want to use plymouth.

EDIT: So, thanks again for answers guys. We moved forward, but still no go. No rainbows. I added 3 mentioned lines to journalctl.conf. There is everything else commented out, so these 3 lines are there "alone". Then I added 2 mentioned lines to my unit. Content of my unit is:

Description=Peace Unicorn
ExecStart=/bin/cat /home/decker/test5

When I restarted system, systemd printed this error:

[    4.817429] systemd[1]: [/etc/systemd/system/unicorn.service:7] Failed to parse output specifier, ignoring: tty-force

7th line is this: StandardOutput=tty-force. I tried to change it to "tty" only, but that did not printed anything.

Also I changed to "/bin/cat" from "lolcat" to focus on systemd problem for now.


Your rainbows are being sent to journalctl, which manages stderr and stdout for all systemd units. If you want to enable tty output for a single unit, add this under your unit's [Service] section


This won't preserve any formatting codes, such as colors and extra spaces


Comments (5)

  • +1 – It is far better, surely, to simply adjust the standard output and error settings of the relevant unit so that they don't go through the journal in the first place, rather than change how all journalling is handled system-wide just for one thing? — Apr 06, 2015 at 01:03  
  • +0 – Would be, yes, but that's provided there's a unit created. In the question, output from /etc/rc.local was going to journalctl as well. While the proper way is with a unit, I'm assuming the asker wants to duplicate the pre-systemd style boot — Apr 06, 2015 at 02:14  
  • +0 – You've missed item #2 of the question. — Apr 06, 2015 at 10:00  
  • +0 – Hrrm, still no go, but we are moving. I have edited the question with latest results. — Apr 07, 2015 at 23:07  
  • +0 – Updated the answer. Try it again. Seems I don't know systemd as well as I thought. — Apr 07, 2015 at 23:13  

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