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


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.

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    Instead of logging out, you can also use "Switch User". – Roger Pate Aug 15 '10 at 16:41
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    Does not work with 11.10 or later as they use LightDM instead of GDM. – James Jun 10 '12 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 '17 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

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    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 '11 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. – hexafraction Aug 19 '12 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. – Christopher Kyle Horton Jul 9 '11 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..!!

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    What? Can I change any options at all? Who says? NOOOOOOOO!!!!! – WindowsEscapist May 22 '12 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 '12 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.) – WindowsEscapist May 22 '12 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. – WindowsEscapist May 22 '12 at 15:02

copy the image you want to use into the /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme folder

sudo gedit /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gnome-shell.css

Search for the following section

lockDialogGroup {

background: #2e3436 url(noise-texture.png);

background-repeat: no-repeat;

change the name of the image to your image | set background to repeat or no-repeat

Save the file | logout and your new background is there

This works for the best Ubuntu - Ubuntu Gnome - other editions might not


dconf worked for me on Ubuntu 12.04. Ubuntu Tweak has no longer any (visible) way to change gdm background.

com -> canonical -> unity-greeter -> background

hope this helps, cheers!

  • 3
    That's for the lightdm based greeter, not gdm. – Jorge Castro Jul 14 '12 at 18:25

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