I just installed Ubuntu 16.04 with GNOME and I would like to set the background color to black.

If I right click in the background I can select a wallpaper or a photo or a color. But there are only a few colors available.

How can I open a palette and select the #000000 color ?

3 Answers 3


Simple solution

First create an all-black image (jpg or png) using Gimp for example and save it to a convenient location. Alternatively you may download one from the internet.

Then open GNOME Tweak Tool (aka GNOME Tweaks, you may have to install it first) and go to the 'Desktop' section (or the 'Appearance' section depending on your Ubuntu version). Look for 'Background Location'. You can select the image you created/downloaded to load as the desktop background.

setting background image in GNOME Tweaks

Advanced alternative

GUI way:

  1. Launch dconf Editor either from your application list or using dconf-editor command (you may have to install it first).
  2. Go to /org/gnome/desktop/background/.
  3. Select 'picture-options'.
  4. Disable Use default value and select 'none' in the 'Custom value' option.
  5. Get back to /org/gnome/desktop/background/ and select 'primary-color'.
  6. Disable 'Use default value' and put the hex-code for your colour, e.g. #000000 for pitch black in the 'Custom value' box.

CLI way:
You can achieve steps 1-4 of the "GUI way" by running the command

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-options 'none'

in Terminal and then steps 5 & 6 by running the command

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background primary-color '#000000'
  • 6
    The CLI commands worked fine.
    – thanos.a
    Apr 20, 2020 at 21:07

CLI way worked but I did need to right-click desktop and then select a solid background, which wasn't available before.


Solid and Gradient Wallpaper

  • Use Open Office Draw to create a solid or gradient background.

  • Export the .odg file to the "Pictures" folder as a .png or .jpg file.

  • Right click the file in the "Pictures" folder and select Set as Wallpaper

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