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I try to change the appearance of the login screen in ubuntu 10.10 with

gksudo -u gdm dbus-launch gnome-appearance-properties

but it doesn't work. i get the following error.

(gnome-appearance-properties:3624): Gtk-WARNING **: cannot open display: :0.0 No protocol specified Anzeige kann nicht geöffnet werden:

What's the reason?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

As an alternative you can try loading the Gnome appearance properties screen directly at the login window. (This worked for me to change the GDM login background on my computer that is running 10.10.)

Add the gnome-appearance-properties application to the GDM login window autostart list using the following terminal commands:

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

When you logout, the appearance properties should appear in front of regular GDM login window. Any changes made will be applied to the GDM login window. When you're finished making changes close the appearance properties and log in as usual.

To stop the appearance properties from appearing again, remove the .desktop file from the login window autostart list using these terminal commands:

cd /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow
sudo rm gnome-appearance-properties.desktop
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This works for me, great thanks. – fmowrg Oct 10 '10 at 10:22
is there a solution without login out? and login in? – aki Dec 8 '11 at 22:12

The method I used a couple days ago in 10.10 was:

  1. Log out.
  2. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 and log in to the virtual console.
  3. Run:

    export DISPLAY=:0.0
    sudo -u gdm gnome-appearance-properties
  4. Press Ctrl+Alt+F7 or F8 to switch back to the login screen, where the Appearance Properties window should now be open.

  5. Make your changes and then close the Appearance Properties window.
  6. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to switch back to the virtual console and then type exit to sign out.
  7. Press Ctrl+Alt+F7 or F8 to get back to the login screen, where you can log in as usual.
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This procedure worked for me except that instead of pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7 to switch to the login screen I needed to press Ctrl+Alt+F8. I don't know the reason for that difference. – moberley Oct 10 '10 at 7:37
Also tried that but i get the same error message as mentioned above, the other way works. – fmowrg Oct 10 '10 at 10:27

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