Being a bit of a freak I actually tend to read my boot output. Well, when I'm not using that time to go grab a cup of coffee first thing on a Monday morning. However I don't always find Debian's default output as clear as I'd like (especially when I haven't had that coffee yet, or when I'm half watching a remote machine boot over its serial console). ISTR that RedHat had much nicer boot output (I'm talking about text based here, not the fancy Plymouth stuff) with a row of OK/FAILED etc down the right hand side that made it nice and obvious what was happening. Of course we can do that with Debian, at least for packages that use the lsb-base logging functions. Drop the following into /etc/lsb-base-logging.sh and enjoy a slightly prettier boot. I'm slowly filing wishlist bugs with patches for those bits and pieces I use that don't use lsb-base for their init script logging.

# Colour our init scripts output

# int log_end_message (int exitstatus)
log_end_msg () {
    # If no arguments were passed, return
    if [ -z "${1:-}" ]; then
        return 1
    fi

    retval=$1

    log_end_msg_pre "$@"

    # Only do the fancy stuff if we have an appropriate terminal
    # and if /usr is already mounted
    if log_use_fancy_output; then
        RED=`$TPUT setaf 1`
        GREEN=`$TPUT setaf 2`
        YELLOW=`$TPUT setaf 3`
        NORMAL=`$TPUT sgr0`
        $TPUT hpa $((`$TPUT cols` - 12))
    else
        RED=''
        GREEN=''
        YELLOW=''
        NORMAL=''
    fi

    if [ $1 -eq 0 ]; then
        /bin/echo -e " [   ${GREEN}OK${NORMAL}   ]"
    elif [ $1 -eq 255 ]; then
        /bin/echo -e " [${YELLOW}WARNING!${NORMAL}]"
    else
        /bin/echo -e " [ ${RED}FAILED${NORMAL} ]"
    fi
    log_end_msg_post "$@"
    return $retval
}

log_action_end_msg () {
    log_action_end_msg_pre "$@"
    if [ -z "${2:-}" ]; then
        end=""
    else
        end=" ($2)"
    fi

    /bin/echo -n "${end}"

    # Only do the fancy stuff if we have an appropriate terminal
    # and if /usr is already mounted
    if log_use_fancy_output; then
        RED=`$TPUT setaf 1`
        BLUE=`$TPUT setaf 4`
        NORMAL=`$TPUT sgr0`
        $TPUT hpa $((`$TPUT cols` - 12))
    else
        RED=''
        BLUE=''
        NORMAL=''
    fi


    if [ $1 -eq 0 ]; then
        /bin/echo -e " [  ${BLUE}DONE${NORMAL}  ]"
    else
        /bin/echo -e " [ ${RED}FAILED${NORMAL} ]"
    fi
    log_action_end_msg_post "$@"
}


(This is mostly for my own future reference, because I keep trying to search for details on it and not finding exactly what I want. I forget where I even found the basis for this, though there are lots of similar snippets out there. I've not tried it with a concurrency based boot so it may well look horrible under that.)