How can I change the Login screen theme? Is there a graphical way or no?


7 Answers 7


Use this command in the terminal:

sudo cp /usr/share/applications/gnome-appearance-properties.desktop /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow

Logout, and you will be prompted with the Appearance window. change the theme as you change it for the desktop, and login back, and type this command:

sudo rm /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow/gnome-appearance-properties.desktop

That's it.

  • 2
    Instead of logging out, you can also use "Switch User".
    – Roger Pate
    Aug 15, 2010 at 16:41
  • 1
    Does not work with 11.10 or later as they use LightDM instead of GDM.
    – James
    Jun 10, 2012 at 16:03
  • Does not work with Ubuntu 17.10 where GDM is default again. A working example can be found on didrocks.fr/2017/09/11/ubuntu-gnome-shell-in-artful-day-11
    – user17254
    Nov 8, 2017 at 22:17

This depends on what you want to do with the login screen. You can configure some basic options in the Login Screen Settings app (System/Administration/Login Screen) - whether a user should be automatically logged in, the default session etc.

However to change the login screen more graphically Ubuntu Tweak can be used to change the background, logo etc.

Ubuntu Tweak - Login settings

  • 1
    It doesn't allow you to change any fonts, font-hinting, pointers, selected-item colors or icons. Just the wallpaper and the logo .
    – daithib8
    May 5, 2011 at 18:10

U can use GDMtweak to change theme and Icon. see the link http://www.webupd8.org/2011/05/change-gdm-theme-background-in-ubuntu.html

  • Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – nanofarad
    Aug 19, 2012 at 20:14

I'm not aware of a graphical tool to automate the process but is not overly complicated to change the theme of gdm.

Take a look at Gnome-Look GDM, most of the themes there come with good instructions on how to install them.

  • I think those themes are for an older version of GDM than what is shipped with Ubuntu now. Those will probably not work. Jul 9, 2011 at 4:48

There is a graphical tool for this. It's called GDM2Setup. You can get it from this PPA: https://launchpad.net/gdm2setup


Theme Support for GDM has been terminated since UBUNTU 9.Sorry..!!

  • 1
    What? Can I change any options at all? Who says? NOOOOOOOO!!!!! May 22, 2012 at 14:44
  • You cannot change any thene or any option related to its looks...What is offered is what you will have to accept..You may consider reinstalling lightdm
    – Nirmik
    May 22, 2012 at 14:46
  • Yeah... I can't, because I can't log in from LightDM (it's borked in 12.04 x64). Well, thanks. ;( (But where is this info from?) (I would still like to know.) May 22, 2012 at 14:51
  • Hmmm... thanks for the info. Interesting, my GDM looks different than that, more square and such. I just configured gdm from terminal login, and didn't install anything. Darn. May 22, 2012 at 15:02
  1. Copy the image you want to use into the /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme folder.
  2. Run

    sudo -H gedit /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gnome-shell.css
  3. Search for the following section

    #lockDialogGroup { 
    background: #2e3436 url(noise-texture.png); 
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
  4. Change the name of the image to your image and set background to repeat or no-repeat.

  5. Save the file.

  6. Logout and your new background is there.

This works for Ubuntu GNOME, for other flavours it might not work.

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