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I know this is a bizarre question, but I need the Pi to display images to serve as a digital sign. The reason I want a black screen through the whole boot process is just so I don't have all that kernel text whizzing by.

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You can disable the splash through a config.txt entry, but at this time there is no way to prevent the kernel output from displaying without recompiling the kernel.

From the official docs

DISABLE_SPLASH

If set to 1, don't show the rainbow splash screen on boot. The default value is 0.

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