Why doesn't the boot messages persist in the terminal after booting, on modern Linux distributions?

Yes, I know I can make the boot messages persist with --noclear or TTYVTDisallocate=no.

Like described here: https://askubuntu.com/questions/58097/how-can-i-remove-the-clear-screen-before-login

However, why is this the default behavior? What is the rationale behind it?

It is also not true that you can just read the system logs if you want this information, or type dmesg. Some information is not always present in dmesg or the system logs, and require special debugging steps to obtain. Moreover, it is a mere inconvenience to have to go through these hoops just to read a simple boot message, as evident in this user's frustration (and mine): https://askubuntu.com/questions/58097/how-can-i-remove-the-clear-screen-before-login

  • Answers indeed go in answers, not in questions. But note that unix.stackexchange.com/q/451069/5132 has already covered this. – JdeBP Apr 8 at 15:00
  • @JdeBP I don't believe that is the same, for security reasons? Boot messages aren't the same as your private work in the terminal. Sure, boot messages could in theory help you figure out the addresses of symbols in kernel space for exploits, but seriously, this isn't the same at all as private work left open for the world to see in the terminal. – AlphaCentauri Apr 8 at 15:03
  • @AlphaCentauri JdeBP’s own answer there at least covers where the boot-message-clearing behaviour is coming from, namely mingetty (which was suggested as a solution for people looking to enable this behaviour, nearly twenty years ago). – Stephen Kitt Apr 8 at 15:07
  • @StephenKitt Fair enough, and seems correct. However, this might give the impression that the primary purpose of mingetty is to do this, while it is simply a stripped down getty, which happens to clear the screen. "mingetty is designed to be a minimal getty for the virtual terminals". – AlphaCentauri Apr 8 at 18:42
  • @AlphaCentauri I agree, I’m just saying that’s what’s doing it, and it is certainly not mingetty’s stated purpose. It would be interesting to know why Florian La Roche chose to clear the screen like that. – Stephen Kitt Apr 8 at 18:53

Regular users find it too "cluttered", and "ugly". They can't be bothered to have a (god forbid) screen full of boot messages on their aesthetically pleasingly designed computers. I'm dead serious, I think this is the rationale behind it. This can be seen in the design choices that e.g. Ubuntu makes, where they hide the boot process entirely, with some fancy splash screen.

  • How about explaining why this isn't a good answer instead of just downvoting? – AlphaCentauri Apr 8 at 17:33
  • (not me the downvoter btw) Primarily opinion-based question and answers are off-topic per our FAQ. – Rui F Ribeiro Apr 8 at 17:44

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.