One of the purposes of building an arcade cabinet is to “suspend disbelief”. In other words, even though the cabinet is meant to look like the real thing, it is ultimately just a fancy computer case housing some sort of computer. When that computer is a Raspberry Pi, it inherits the very Linux roots of Raspbian’s Debian boot screen. The first thing that you are greeted with are the raspberry logo, followed by all of the boot messages. Thankfully, this is incredibly simple to change.
This is actually the first thing that I did, after following the incredibly well-written installation directions on the RetroPie wiki. Considering the number of times that I restart my Raspberry Pi, the boot messages are a continual reminder of what the hardware is, instead of focusing on what the focus of this project is. Two small edits are all that I need to remove this, inside of a single file.
The file that needs to be edited is /boot/cmdline.txt. Generally, this file contains a single line that defines the initial boot parameters that tell Raspbian what to log to the default display during boot. Open this file, by typing the following from a command line:
sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt
Inside of cmdline.txt, there is just that single line which indicates the display logging parameters. Two small changes are all that is required in this file. First, identify the console that content is being pushed to. By default, it should be console=tty1. This should be changed to console=tty3, which will push these messages to a non-existent display. After making this change, log messages will still be viewable in dmesg, in case there is a boot problem that needs to be further investigated.
At the end of the line, a single addition needs to be made. By adding logo.nologo to the end of the line, the Raspberry Pi logos that appear to identify the hardware version will be hidden, as well. With that addition, the full and final content of my cmdline.txt file is now:
dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=serial0,115200 console=tty3 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline fsck.repair=yes rootwait quiet loglevel=3 consoleblank=0 plymouth.enable=0 logo.nologo
It is important that no line breaks are present, and only show above because the length of the content is wrapped. Once saved, by pressing CTRL+X and hitting Y to overwrite the file, reboot via:
On post, the monitor will still receive a signal, but the screen is now black until the boot sequence has completed. On a RetroPie installation, the first thing that will be shown on the monitor will be the RetroPie splash screen. From a cold boot, this will take about fifteen to twenty seconds on a base install.