I am running Ubuntu 12.04 with gnome-shell. I have two admin user accounts. Now, I used to know that in Precise we can set different different login wallpaper to different different user, so I tried with:

sudo dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.Accounts /org/freedesktop/Accounts/User1001 org.freedesktop.Accounts.User.SetBackgroundFile string:/usr/share/backgrounds/Green-wallpaper-27.jpg

but to no avail.

Then I tried

sudo xhost +SI:localuser:lightdm
sudo su lightdm -s /bin/bash
gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter background '/path/to/the/wallpaper.png'

It does change my login wallpaper but for all users.

Then I tried to locate /etc/lightdm/unity-greeter.conf but I found that it is not there. So where is it and how can I set different login wallpapers for different users?


unity-greeter.conf was replaced with gsettings in unity-greeter 0.2.1, and hence unity-greeter.conf has been removed. To change a global setting you run

sudo -u lightdm dbus-launch gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter <setting-name> <setting>

For string settings, I think you need quotes around the setting value.

For example:

sudo -u lightdm dbus-launch gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter background '/usr/share/backgrounds/Twilight_Frost_by_Phil_Jackson.jpg'

I use dconf-editor to browse through these settings, it's available in the dconf-tools package.

Now, what Mitch is saying does work, but it seems it might require you to change the wallpaper twice for the greeter to pick up the change. What you do is change your wallpaper, then change it back to what you want. Now when you click on different users in the login screen you will see different wallpapers. If you want the global change for users who haven't set a custom wallpaper, use the method above.


Here is the way I did it, and it works. First I switched to Unity, I really don't think that it will make a difference, but just to be on the safe side. I logged in as User 1, changed the background, and logged out. Doing that changed the desktop background, and the login screen background for User 1. Now login as User2 and do the same thing, log out, login as User 3 ..... you get the idea.

Below is an image of Abed Login Screen

enter image description here

Abed Desktop Background

enter image description here

User Login Screen

enter image description here

User Desktop Background

enter image description here

You can try Simple LightDM Manage, but I haven't had much luck with it. To install it,

Just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command below.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:claudiocn/slm
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install simple-lightdm-manager

or from USC

  • Ok, I got but how u change the login background through "sudo xhost" or "sudo dbus-send" or "ubuntu tweak" how? & I don't have an unity-greeter configuration file, Isn't it weird ? – data9 Jun 25 '12 at 5:39
  • Once you change the desktop background, it will change the login background. No need to do anything else. – Mitch Jun 25 '12 at 6:03
  • Ok I tried to run as root # lightdm but # lightdm Failed to use bus name org.freedesktop.DisplayManager, do you have appropriate permissions? How to add my 2nd user to lightdm user ? – data9 Jun 25 '12 at 6:37
  • Just logout, and then log back in as the other user. – Mitch Jun 25 '12 at 6:43
  • No luck from my main admin account too, I got the same error when tried to run lightdm as root . – data9 Jun 25 '12 at 6:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.