"First boot"-specific splash screen

Hey guys,

If you run Core on a Raspberry Pi, there is a significant delay (as in several minutes) during the first boot before anything appears to happen. From what I gather, this is when the device keys are being generated.

The problem however when end-users (technical and non-technical alike) boot the device for the first time, they simply assume that the device is broken. What we have seen frequently is that people tend to then power cycle the device, or simply re-flash the SD card.

It would be desirable to have a specific splash screen for the first boot that says something along the lines “Device is being prepared” or similar. That would mitigate the issue and level expectations for users.

I’m not sure if it make sense to have this being a part of @ogra’s WIP splash screen, or if it makes more sense to have a separate snap/service for this.

(CC @kyleN/@renat2017/@sborovkov)

While i’m actively working to integrate psplash by default into our gadgets to bring up the splash when ithe initrd starts, we would need the psplash-write utility in the image to show a message and we would need snapd to actually send this message to psplash-write … i’m not sure what changes that involves in the key generation code, perhaps @pedronis can chime in here …

Thanks. @ogra. IMHO it would be better to have a secondary image that we can point to than a message. (I used message loosely.)

that would have to be something else than psplash then, the advantage of psplash is that it is extremely small because it builds fonts, image and code into one single static binary, there is no way to change the builtin image without massively changing the code … (in any case snapd would have to learn to talk to whatever tool displays a splash to trigger the change)

psplash works great for us I think (@sborovkov pls confirm). I was just thinking that since this is only during the initial boot, it might be easier to just point it to an image and display it with fbi or similar. That said, we could equally well point it to an “image” of the same format that psplash takes so to speak.