I'm currently trying (and failing) to make a system icon theme for the Ubuntu LightDM login screen. I really hate the default ubuntu-mono-dark icons, and would like to use my own set of icons.

After experimenting with icon names for a few hours, Google searching for a bit, and referring to existing system themes like gnome, and ubuntu-mono*, I can't determine which of the hundreds of icons are actually used at the login screen.

So, I'm looking for two things here really:

  1. What categories of icons does LightDM use? actions, apps, stock, status, etc?
  2. What are the names of the icons that LightDM looks for?

From what I can tell, the indicators seem to be the same ones from the Unity desktop space (indicator-power, nm-applet, indicator-sound, indicator-keyboard, etc.). As such, I would've thought that using icon-names associated with those indicators would work, however LightDM doesn't seem to like the names that I'm using and simply shows an incomplete theme at login.

Note that I am aware that LightDM only looks for icons under /usr/share/icons/ and that I've been the applying theme with ubuntu-tweak.

EDIT: After struggling with getting the names, I still haven't found the correct answer. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

1 Answer 1


Turns out that this was a simple matter of giving the wrong permissions to my icon set. There was nothing wrong with my theme, it just couldn't be read. Odds are, if you're modifying an existing icon theme, it has all the required icons. Permissions just need to be set as 755 for directories, and 644 for files.

Lesson from this: Always check permissions!!

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