5 ways to change GRUB background in Kali Linux

Now remember those 4 places GRUB looks for a background splash image? Here are those again:

  1. GRUB_BACKGROUND line in /etc/default/grub
  2. First image found in /boot/grub/ ( more images found, it will be taken alphanumerically )
  3. The image specified in /usr/share/desktop-base/grub_background.sh
  4. The file listed in the WALLPAPER line in /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme

So lets again try few of these options in Kali Linux (or any Linux using GRUB2).

Option 2: Define an image path in GRUB_BACKGROUND

So you can use any of the above in the order of priority to make GRUB display your own images. The following is the content of /etc/default/grub file on my system.

root@kali:~# vi /etc/default/grub

Add a line similar to this: GRUB_BACKGROUND=”/root/World-Map.jpg” where World-Map.jpg is the image file you want to use as GRUB background.

# If you change this file, run 'update-grub' afterwards to update
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg.
# For full documentation of the options in this file, see:
#   info -f grub -n 'Simple configuration'

GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`

Once changes has been done using any of the above methods, make sure you execute update-grub command as shown below.

root@kali:~# update-grub
Generating grub configuration file ...
Found background: /root/World-Map.jpg
Found background image: /root/World-Map.jpg Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-4.0.0-kali1-amd64 Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-4.0.0-kali1-amd64   No volume groups found done root@kali:~#

Now, when you boot your machine, you will see the customized image in GRUB.

Option 3: Put an image on /boot/grub/ folder

If nothing is specified in GRUB_BACKGROUND in /etc/default/grub file, GRUB ideally should pick first image found in /boot/grub/ folder and use that a its background. If GRUB finds more than one image in /boot/grub/ folder, it will use the first alphanumerically image name.

Option 4: Specify an image path in grub_background.sh

If nothing is specified in GRUB_BACKGROUND in /etc/default/grub file or there is no image in /boot/grub/ folder, GRUB will start looking into /usr/share/desktop-base/grub_background.sh file and search for the image path specified. For Kali Linux, it was defined in here. Every Linux distro has it’s own take on it.

Option 5: Define an image in WALLPAPER line in /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme file

This would be that last part GRUB looking for a Background image. It will search here if everything else failed.


This post was long, but I wanted to cover a few important basic things. If you’ve followed it carefully, you will understand how to follow symbolic links back and forth in Kali Linux. You will get a VERY good idea on exactly which places you need to search to find GRUB Background image in any Linux. Just read a bit more to understand how the colors in GRUB works and you’re all set.

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  1. Just in time.. Upgraded to sana yesterday, today was thinking of changing grub background, and now saw it in mail !

  2. Great!! how to change fontsize?

  3. Where can I get the image as of yours GRUB Background

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