I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the boot splash that comes with the new Ubuntu 9.10.  It feels unfinished and sort of random.  First there’s the black screen with white logo, then a black screen, then a glowing white Ubuntu logo and throbber on a turdy-brown background, fading into the desktop.  There’s no progress bar any more.  I liked the old way better.  Here’s how to change it back.
First we’ll disable xsplash, which is responsible for the glowing white-on-poo logo screen.  We will need to edit two files, /etc/gdm/Init/Default and /etc/gdm/PreSession/Default.  Open the first one for editing, as root:

gksu gedit /etc/gdm/Init/Default

In that file, look for these lines:

if [ -x ‘/usr/bin/xsplash’ ];
then
/usr/bin/xsplash –daemon
fi

…and comment them out like so:

#if [ -x ‘/usr/bin/xsplash’ ];
#then
#/usr/bin/xsplash –daemon
#fi

Save the file, then do the same to /etc/gdm/PreSession/Default.
Now we need to install and activate the old-style usplash theme.  In terminal:

sudo apt-get install startupmanager usplash-theme-ubuntu-color

Then run Startup Manager (System>Administration>StartUp-Manager).  In the Boot Options tab, make sure Show Boot Splash is selected; in the Appearance tab, select the usplash-theme-ubuntu-color theme.  Close Startup Manager, wait for it to finish its post-config tasks, and reboot.  You should see the familiar Ubuntu boot splash and startup behavior as it was in Jaunty.
If you get no boot splash at all, run Startup Manager again and check to be sure Show Boot Splash is selected; then note the Display Resolution selected in the Boot Options tab.  In a text editor, open /etc/usplash.conf and verify that the resolution specified in that file is the same.  If it isn’t, change the file, save it, and reboot again to check for proper boot splash display.

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