I want to change the background image of my Ubuntu (14.04) login screen, but Ubuntu doesn't display the changes. I tried changing the background in dconf-editor which resulted in there being no background just the vanilla Ubuntu color. And logging in resulted in the screen freezing in a kind of white noise mix of the login screen, after which I come in the desktop.

Then I tried it with Ubuntu tweak with no change.

I'm using the cinnamon desktop, I don't know if that may be the problem?

Anyone have any idea? Thanks

  • Use dconf-editor to change background, this should work. – Emmet Aug 17 '15 at 7:48
  • If you read the question you can read that I was using dconf-editor but it still didn't work, thanks for contributing though... – Sl4rtib4rtf4st Aug 18 '15 at 10:18

Ubuntu Tweak will most probably work.

Possible reasons of your problem:

  1. Permissions to your Image file is wrong.

    The Image file should have the following permissions:

    • Owner: Root
      Access :Read and Write

    • Group: Root
      Access: Read-only

    • Others: Read-only

  2. Your File location is not suitable

I strongly recommend you to copy your Image file to /usr/share/backgrounds

Step-wise Solution

  1. First of all, let's make it easy to open folders with Admin Privilege:

    press Ctrl+Alt+T to go to a terminal and type (Enter Password if prompted):

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/apps
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install open-as-administrator
    nautilus -q

    Now you can open any folder with permission by right-clicking on the folder and choosing open_as_Administrator (Enter Password if prompted).

    Screen shot

  2. Open the background folder with Admin Privilege.

  3. Now Copy your image and Paste it to this folder.
  4. Right click on the Image and go to Properties
  5. Go to the Permission Tab and Change the permissions as listed above.

    ScreenShot (Note: Once you Open the folder as Admin, Owner will be shown as Me instead of Root)

  6. Close the window.

  7. Now Use ubuntu-tweak and select the file from the Backgrounds folder. (Assuming that you know to use Ubuntu Tweak).
  • Could Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! ;-) Could you help the user even more by providing how to change those permissions how to copy it to the right directory? – Fabby Aug 17 '15 at 11:50
  • Thank you for your comment @ Fabby. The solution is Edited – Jithin Pavithran Aug 17 '15 at 14:22
  • Now it's a good answer, so upvoted! ;-) (Look at the edits I made) – Fabby Aug 17 '15 at 14:38
  • Can you please activate the 2nd Screenshot ? Pic of Permission window will be helpful. Thanks again – Jithin Pavithran Aug 17 '15 at 15:08
  • 1
    Thanks that did the job. "open-as-administrator" is a nice feature, I was using "sudo nautilus" in the terminal to do something similar. It was the permissions that broke the camels back. I tried putting a file with hardly any permissions in the background folder and select that as background from tweak and broke the login screen, changing the permissions in a vertual terminal solved it. – Sl4rtib4rtf4st Aug 18 '15 at 10:42

I had the same problem after installing Gnome desktop. I think its because these "themes" call for background from different places.

What I did:

  • went to /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme
  • found the .png file that was my background (for me it was noise-texture.png)
  • replaced that file with a background of my liking (keeping "noise-texture.png" name)

For you the directory would probably be more like /usr/share/cinnamon-shell/theme.

I believe this also depends on the display manager you are using. I was using GDM.

  • That would work only if you correctly set the permissions of the replacement file. – Sl4rtib4rtf4st Aug 18 '15 at 10:47

Possible cause: the file you want to use as a background is not readable by 'others'. Check the access rights of the file:

> ls -l total 21552 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1320 dec 5 2002 your_image It should have 'r' permissions for the group 'other' (as is the case here).

  • That indeed was the problem, as I'm something of a noob I would have to look up chmod and the correct codes (644) to change the premisions. sudo chmod 644 file_name.jpg would have done the job – Sl4rtib4rtf4st Aug 18 '15 at 10:49

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