Change the login screen background in Ubuntu 10.04

I used to have a custom background setup on my Ubuntu 9.10 system.  My login screen background was reset to the default purple background after upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04.  If you want to setup a custom login screen background there are (at least) two methods.

Method 1

Install Ubuntu Tweak.  Ubuntu Tweak will let you tweak many things including the login screen background.

Ubuntu Tweak

To install Ubuntu Tweak add the third party repository to your list of repositories.

Go to System-Administration-Software Sources, Third-Party Software tab, Add:

 deb lucid-getdeb apps

Add the repository GPG key, open a terminal window and type:

 $ wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Install ubuntu-tweak from the command line.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

Method 2

Copy your favorite background .jpg file to /usr/share/backgrounds

$ sudo cp  my_cool_bg.jpg /usr/share/backgrounds

$ sudo cp /usr/share/applications/gnome-appearance-properties.desktop /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow


You should see an “Appearance Preferences” window, select the Add button and select the .jpg file that you want for your login screen background.  Close the window.

Appearance Preferences

Login again and remove the gnome-appearance-properties.desktop file that you copied in the previous step.  This will prevent you from getting the appearance-properties windows at every gdm login.

$ sudo rm /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow/gnome-appearance-properties.desktop

Which method should you use?  If you really enjoy customizing your GUI and changing its behavior, then use Method 1 and install Ubuntu Tweak and enjoy having the control over many settings within easy reach.


8 thoughts on “Change the login screen background in Ubuntu 10.04

  1. nice job but is there any way to change the block containing login assword and username it is too big blocking the login screen.

  2. there is another way for 10.04, at login:

    ctl alt f1

    export DISPLAY=:0.0

    sudo -u gdm gnome-control-center

    ctl alt f7

    then go to appearance-background-add… choose from any pic on your system.

  3. Pingback: login screen!

  4. One thought:

    Instead of “removing” the appearance properties app from the autostart folder, why not just turn off the execute flag? This way the file is still there should you need it again, and all you have to do is flip the execute flag bit to use it.

    What say ye?

    Jim (JR)

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