Currently, my Ubuntu locks the screen after 5 minutes of inactivity and I'm perfectly fine with this.

However, I'd prefer the screen doesn't power off after Ubuntu locks itself, so that I'm able to watch the wallpaper slideshow.

The approach used here and here doesn't seem to do the trick - screen locking seems tied to screen powering off. if I turn off the Blank screen under Power, then this also turns off the locking.

So, how is it possible to keep the screen locking after five minutes, but still showing the lock screen with the wallpaper on it?

I prefer not installing additional apps, just using built-in settings.

  • Just to set some expectations: I can't even change the lock screen's background image to be different than the normal logged-in desktop background. The standard settings app does not have anything for it, and the settings in Gnome-Tweaks and in the gsettings api (dconf-editor) do not take effect at all. Styling #lockDialogGroup with custom CSS in my custom gnome-shell theme (gnome-shell.css & gdm3.css) also do not take effect. For a plain bitmap image, that used to be customizable. Just saying.
    – Levente
    Feb 7, 2021 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


Interestingly enough, I found sort of a solution. You might call it a bug, but for me it is definitely a feature.

It works on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

So... given that:

  1. I have an app that randomly changes my wallpaper after a given time interval;
  2. I am using this GNOME extension to remove the blur on the lock screen.

I can force the lock screen to not power off using the following simple trick:

  1. I go to youtube and start a random video. 1.1. Alternatively, I've tried with this online metronome, simply because it can run indefinitely.
  2. I lock my screen;
  3. After the screen is locked, I press random button (you can just hit Escape twice, so that you see the clock instead of the password field).
  4. The wallpaper changer will keep chaning the wallpapers without any blur and the screen will not power off!

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