I am aware that the way to change user picture, is creating a .face file on /home... The thing is, this only works when one checks the users and groups on System directory... When it's time to login, nothing is displayed, but the default "faceless" icon... Why is this?

I am using Xubuntu 11.04


5 Answers 5


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*For Xubuntu 14.04 : The image must be as high as wide : 200x200 for ex. Open Terminal (CTRL-ATL-T) and copy it to ~/.face Reboot to see if all is OK ?

For Xubuntu versions before 11.10

Create a 96x96 jpg (JPEG) and renamed it as ~/.face.

For Xubuntu versions 11.10 and above

Create a 96x72 png (PNG) and renamed it as ~/.face.

Log-out to see your masterpiece.

How To:

1. Using GIMP

The in-built image editor in Xubuntu is Gimp.

Load the image in Gimp and crop the image to approximately 96x96 or 96x72 pixels depending upon your xubuntu version as described above.

Then fine-tune your image via Image - Scale Image...

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Break the scale link as shown and enter the pixel size 96 x 96 or 96 x 72 as appropriate. Complete the scale by clicking the Scale button

Save the file. If necessary save the file type when saving (jpg or png).

2. Using Imagemagick

imagemagick comes with several command line image manipulation programs but the one we need to resize the image is named convert

convert original.jpg -resize 96x96 ~/.face

This will create a copy of original.jpg named .face, with a resolution of 96x96 and place it in your home directory.

  • 1
    My .face suddenly started showing after upgrading to Raring, but there's still no GUI for changing it in Xubuntu. If there's no GUI for changing it, it really shouldn't be shown (I can imagine less technical users being upset by having some photo there which they cannot change!)
    – unhammer
    May 2, 2013 at 9:18

In Xubuntu 13.10, I believe any square PNG ~/.face file will work. Even transparent ones!

A rectangular image will be squashed, so only use square. Go to switch user screen to test it while editing.


Application->System->Administration->About Me

Click on the picture-less icon next to your Name and change it to whatever pic you'd like :)

  • That option is not available in Xubuntu...
    – Gibarian
    Jun 8, 2011 at 12:35

Xubuntu 13.04, created a 64x64 JPEG file, placed it as $HOME/.face -- it works immediately even before logoff (as you can see in Settings-Users and Groups)


96x96 works in 13.04 Xubuntu, at least it does for me. For some reason, I used to have the blank two figure icon in the Login window, then one day after an update, I just had a square with a red X in it. I added the 96x96 .face picture in $home and now have a nice Santa Fe engine at login now.

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