Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Change Your Login Screen Wallpaper in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 17

In this article, we will guide you through the process of changing your login screen wallpaper in Ubuntu. This can be a great way to personalize your Ubuntu experience. There are several methods to achieve this, and we will cover them in detail.

Quick Answer

To change your login screen wallpaper in Ubuntu, you can use Terminal commands, Nautilus (File Manager), dconf-editor, or modify the default theme file. Each method offers a different approach to achieving the desired customization.

Method 1: Using Terminal Commands

The Terminal is a powerful tool in Ubuntu that allows you to perform tasks quickly by entering commands. Here’s how to change your login screen wallpaper using the Terminal:

  1. Open Terminal: You can do this by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or by searching for ‘Terminal’ in your applications.
  2. Enter the following commands:
sudo -i
xhost +SI:localuser:lightdm
su lightdm -s /bin/bash
gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter draw-user-backgrounds 'true'
gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter background 'path-to-image'
  • sudo -i logs you in as a root user, giving you administrative permissions.
  • xhost +SI:localuser:lightdm allows the LightDM display manager to access the server.
  • su lightdm -s /bin/bash switches the user to LightDM and starts a bash shell.
  • gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter draw-user-backgrounds 'true' enables the use of custom wallpapers.
  • gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter background 'path-to-image' sets your chosen image as the wallpaper. Replace ‘path-to-image’ with the actual path of your image.

Method 2: Using Nautilus (File Manager)

Nautilus, the default file manager in Ubuntu, can also be used to change the login screen wallpaper. Here’s how:

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Enter the command sudo nautilus to open Nautilus with root permissions.
  3. Navigate to /usr/share/backgrounds/. This is where Ubuntu stores the default wallpapers.
  4. Copy your preferred image to this location.
  5. Rename the current wallpaper file to something like ‘backup-imagenameold.png’ to keep a backup.
  6. Rename your image to the filename of the original background (e.g., ‘warty-final-ubuntu.png’).

Method 3: Using dconf-editor

dconf-editor is a configuration tool in Ubuntu that provides a simple way to change your login screen wallpaper. If you don’t have it installed, you can do so by entering sudo apt-get install dconf-editor in the Terminal.

  1. Launch dconf-editor by entering sudo dconf-editor in the Terminal.
  2. Navigate to com > canonical > unity-greeter.
  3. Change the values of ‘draw-user-backgrounds’ and ‘background’ to ‘true’ and ‘path-to-image’ respectively.

Method 4: Modifying the default theme file

This method involves modifying the default theme file of Ubuntu. It requires a bit more technical knowledge, but it’s not too difficult.

  1. Backup the default theme file by running sudo cp /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/ubuntu.css /var/tmp/.
  2. Open the file with a text editor. For example, you can use Vim by entering sudo vim /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/ubuntu.css in the Terminal.
  3. Find the section with #lockDialogGroup and modify the background property to point to your desired image.
  4. Save the file and restart your computer to see the changes.

Remember, the methods mentioned above may vary depending on the Ubuntu version you are using. Always make a backup of any files before making changes, and ensure you have the correct permissions to modify system files.

By following the steps in this guide, you should be able to change your login screen wallpaper in Ubuntu and further personalize your Ubuntu experience. Happy customizing!

Can I change my login screen wallpaper in Ubuntu without using Terminal commands?

Yes, you can change your login screen wallpaper in Ubuntu using Nautilus (File Manager) or dconf-editor. Please refer to the methods mentioned above for detailed instructions.

How do I open Terminal in Ubuntu?

To open Terminal in Ubuntu, you can press Ctrl+Alt+T or search for ‘Terminal’ in your applications.

Do I need administrative permissions to change the login screen wallpaper?

Yes, you need administrative permissions to change the login screen wallpaper. The Terminal commands mentioned in Method 1 require the use of sudo to gain root access.

Can I use any image as my login screen wallpaper?

Yes, you can use any image as your login screen wallpaper as long as it is in a supported format (e.g., PNG, JPEG). Ensure that the image is located in a directory accessible to the system, as mentioned in the methods above.

Will changing the login screen wallpaper affect my system’s performance?

Changing the login screen wallpaper should not have any significant impact on your system’s performance. It is a cosmetic change that does not affect the functionality or resource usage of your Ubuntu system.

Can I revert to the default login screen wallpaper?

Yes, you can revert to the default login screen wallpaper by either removing the custom image from the designated directory or restoring the original wallpaper file, depending on the method you used to change the wallpaper.

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