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I am about to ship a new 10.04 installed system to a customer. This is the 1st system that we are shipping with our preinstalled software and an additional hardware test platform, so I thought it would be a nice idea to have the desktop wallpaper include our company's logo.

What I want to do is just to add the logo to the default background image. the questions are:

  1. Where are the set of backgrounds stored?
  2. What are the rules for creating a custom background from scratch?
  3. If I create a background from scratch, how do I add it to the system's background set (i.e., not just save it in the user's Pictures directory - I want it to be available to all future users of the machine)?
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up vote 10 down vote accepted
  • Place the image that you want to use as background image at /usr/share/backgrounds/ Example:

    sudo cp ~/Pictures/1.jpg /usr/share/backgrounds/1.jpg

  • Edit the /usr/share/gnome-background-properties/ubuntu-wallpapers.xml. Remove the default images (if you want to) and add custom entries and finally save the file. (Make sure that the entries are done before the last line, that is, before the </wallpapers> line). Example:

nits@nits-workstation:$ gksudo gedit/usr/share/gnome-background-properties/ubuntu- wallpapers.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE wallpapers SYSTEM "gnome-wp-list.dtd">
  • Now whenever a user tries to change the background, the files listed according to the XML file only will show up by default in the Appearances Preferences window
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Thanks, just what I needed. – ysap Oct 14 '11 at 18:06
Most welcome :) – Nitin Venkatesh Oct 14 '11 at 18:11
so... how do I change the image in the login screen? – ysap Oct 14 '11 at 19:29
nvm, answered in another question. – ysap Oct 14 '11 at 20:02

The background images are stored in


For the files to appear in the list of available backgrounds for all users, including new ones, you'll need to add their information to an XML file in this folder :


If you're customizing Ubuntu, take your cue from the ubuntu-wallpapers.xml file for the format to use for your background information.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, just what I needed. Wish I could select two answers. @nitstorm got it just because of the extra effort :-) – ysap Oct 14 '11 at 18:07

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