I remember back in the day if I had 3 accounts on my Ubuntu system and each had a different wallpaper I would see each wallpaper at the login screen (depending on which account was selected). Now in 18.04 I don't get that by default. As an added complication I run xplanet and it changes my wallpaper every 20 minutes.

How do I get the login screen to show my desktop wallpaper when my account is selected.

P.S. I checked many other "solutions" and they were either not for 18.04 or just plain didn't work. Also I recently installed 18.04 from a thumb drive (it's sparkly new).

Also I don't think I have gdm. I got this response from dpkg-reconfigure: /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure: gdm is not installed Also: $ps ax gives me this output 958 tty1 Sl+ 0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-session/gnome-session-binary --autostart /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart I've installed lightdm, but all that did was get me the orange beaver background back.

Update: It seems there may be a security issue involved in having access to an account's walpaper before login. It seems this may have been blocked due to a security hole.

1 Answer 1


If you already have lightdm installed, then a terminal enter

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

And select the lightdm option from the ncurses menu then restart. After changing your background, the login screen should now show the new background.

If you don't have lightdm installed you can install it with

sudo apt install lightdm
  • I don't think I have gdm. I got this response: /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure: gdm is not installed Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 22:31
  • What happens if you try gdm3 instead?
    – rviertel
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 22:31
  • installing lightdm... I think this will do it. Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 22:49
  • Maybe I was wrong about my assumption that if you upgraded from 16.04 you'd still have lightdm installed. (I'm still running 16.04 so I can't verify on my system). What is the output of 'dpkg -l lightdm' ?
    – rviertel
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 22:52
  • Desired=Unknown/Install/Remove/Purge/Hold | Status=Not/Inst/Conf-files/Unpacked/halF-conf/Half-inst/trig-aWait/Trig-pend |/ Err?=(none)/Reinst-required (Status,Err: uppercase=bad) ||/ Name Version Architecture Description ii lightdm 1.26.0-0ubuntu1 amd64 Display Manager Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 23:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .