I have recently been trying to separate all three wallpaper states that are all the same as default. They are:

  1. Unity Greeter
  2. Lock screen
  3. Desktop

All of them have a wallpaper, and as default the three are all the same and changed by changing the desktop wallpaper. It is fairly simple to change the log in background in LightDM, but I haven't found any successful attempts to change the lock screen background and 'free' it from the consistent background setting.

I was looking around for a solution, and I got this:

sudo gconftool-2 --direct --config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults --set /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename --type string /path/to/image.jpg

But it just doesn't work. No errors, no notes - it simply does affect the settings at all. The file it edits exists, and it looks reasonably legitimate for the purpose - but it's ineffective.

How would you correct the command or diagnose the problem with it?

I am using Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal and am running Unity (if that isn't already obvious).

  • What version of Ubuntu? gconftool became sort of obsolete so this will not work anymore.
    – Rinzwind
    Feb 2, 2013 at 11:18
  • 12.10, sorry. I'll add that in.
    – Mochan
    Feb 2, 2013 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


This is only possible in Gnome 2. In newer versions, the background picture in the lockscreen will always be the same as the background of the user currently logged in.

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