I am using freshly installed Ubuntu 19.10 on a Dell Precision 7530 laptop.

Under settings - background, I cannot change the background to anything other that the default pictures.

According to Ubuntu Desktop Guide » Settings » Display & screen » Change the desktop and lock screen backgrounds, "There are three choices displayed on top:.... "

This is incorrect. There is an "add picture" button, but no wallpapers, colors or pictures buttons.

I will appreciate any help getting this to work properly.



  • the plain colors option is removed in 19.10.. default wallpapers are there.. if you want to choose plain colors.. you need to isntall dconf-editor tool with sudo apt install dconf-editor or you should use gsettings command line way. – PRATAP Nov 19 '19 at 15:33
  • askubuntu.com/q/1169145/739431 related – PRATAP Nov 19 '19 at 15:35
  • Thanks, PRATAP. The fix is seriously clunky compared to the described functionality, but at least it works. – A Hoffman Nov 19 '19 at 16:22
  • @PRATAP feel free to add your comment as an answer, where you can provide the link to how it still can be done with dconf-editor or the command line. – vanadium Nov 19 '19 at 17:19
  • @vanadium thanks for your feedback... I followed it. – PRATAP Nov 19 '19 at 18:23

The "plain colors" option has been removed in Ubuntu 19.10. It is currently only possible to select bitmaps as background.

You still can set plain colors through changing hidden settings, as outlined on How to get non-image (plain) desktop background?, or on Change background color to pitch black.

Edit: Nov 26

I Just tried to compile the source code by manipulating things here n there and could make background field like before, I mean like Ubuntu 18.04.

I don't know the side effects yet.. under observation..

enter image description here


First remove the picture: gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri ''

Then apply RGB value, for example: gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background primary-color 'rgb(66, 81, 100)'

  • This will give it a nice blue/grey color, almost identical as we had it in Color options before they removed it.

@PRATAP: Rather than opening a new thread. Just curious, is the solid color removal just temporal? I've noticed it existing in the documentation. Any infos on whether it will be returned?

  • Hi, Sorry for late reply. I did not get the inbox notification or missed it from your answer. Regarding your Q, I have gnome through the source code of Gnome Control Center which holds the color section part. It is still there like previous versions. But some how they managed to hide this part from background selection part. There is no info about returning it back. But if there are more request to developers about this.. It may come back with 20.04 Version. – PRATAP Nov 23 '19 at 7:09

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