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Put Beastie back on the boot menu

The 5.x branch of FreeBSD saw the addition of a boot menu, and with it the ASCII Beastie logo was shown on the side while it counted down. Since then FreeBSD has decided to move away from the Beastie logo, making him simply the mascot now. In the 6.x branch the default logo is simply the text FreeBSD in ASCII art. This has annoyed me ever since I first switched to 6.x on new machines, but today I was making changes in /boot and noticed there was a way to change it, so here it is


Everything is located in the /boot directory. To view the logos

# ee /boot/beastie.4th

Here you can see that there are 3 standard options. beastie, beastiebw, and fbsdbw. If you want to add your own just copy and paste the code for one of the logos and name it custom-logo. Just becareful that you do not enter anything invalid for the logo, because as I found out, if there is an error in the logo FreeBSD will crash and reboot before it even gives you the menu to get into safe mode. If you have this problem you will need to use a FixIt disk and then mount your drive so you can get in and take out your changes.

Setting logo to use

Next you need to tell FreeBSD which logo to use when the machine boots. This is set in /boot/loader.conf just set the variable loader_logo to your logo of choice by adding this line to the file. Note that loader.conf is probably going to be completely empty unless you added something to it in the past. To use the black and white Beastie logo you would simply add


For the custom logo use


Customizing the MOTD

If you want your custom logo, or custom info to also be shown whenever any user logs into the machine you can do so with

# ee /etc/motd

Making a somewhat interesting MOTD is easy if you use figlet

# cd /usr/ports/misc/figlet && make install distclean
# figlet w00t
           ___   ___  _
__      __/ _ \ / _ \| |_
\ \ /\ / / | | | | | | __|
 \ V  V /| |_| | |_| | |_
  \_/\_/  \___/ \___/ \__|

Then copy and paste it into your MOTD or use redirect and edit to your liking.