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I'd like to understand whether a user, without root permissions, can change login screen background, in the same fashion as one can change desktop background or icon size in unity, in particular without installing any extra package to the standard Ubuntu 12.04

(it appears my dad has done so on our home pc, and since he has almost zero linux knowledge, I'd like to understand how this may happen)

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    Well, by default (and if you don't have an encrypted home directory), the login screen background is the user's background. – muru May 2 '15 at 11:02
  • I see, thanks a lot, so in my case it doesn't happen because my home is encripted, while his is not. Good – jj_p May 2 '15 at 11:23
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The default greeter for the LightDM display manager (Unity Greeter) displays the currently selected user's background if it is available (which it may not be, if the user's home directory is encrypted). As such, all a user needs to do to change the login screen background is change their background.

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