I hate Ubuntu 9.10′s GDM theme so much I tweaked it slacker style.

Quick, sloppy, and gratefully cribbed from rfurgy’s comment on a post about hacking the new GDM, which incidentally his comment was the only method that worked out of all the various ways being discussed. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s not but this method, while kind of silly, actually does make a change though ymmv.

The fugly wallpaper is kept in /usr/share/images/xsplash as bg_[screen resolution].jpg along with the logos and something called a throbber. Make backups of these and tuck them away in a safe place in case you want to revert back.

  1. Make backups of all the files in /usr/share/images/xsplash just because it is the responsible thing to do
  2. Find an image that you want to use for your login background
  3. Crop it to the resolution of your screen
  4. Generate resized versions for the six sizes contained in the folder
  5. Copy your new images into /usr/share/images/xsplash
  6. If you are using a light or white colored back ground you might want to invert the color in the logo images
  7. Log out or reboot
  8. Enjoy a little less ugly in your life

I’d take a screenshot but gdmflexserver –xnest tells me it hasn’t been implemented and I’m too lazy to look for another way. Shaky and dimly lit iPhone pictures are worth a handful of words.

Cheeseball Screenshot

6 thoughts on “I hate Ubuntu 9.10′s GDM theme so much I tweaked it slacker style.

  1. Pingback: Ubuntu 9.10 has problems too. (screen resolution fix)

  2. Thank you for the info, would have cause me a lot of time searching for this “xsplash” thing. I was not trying to replace my gdm background but just wanted to know where the picture was stored (previously they were in /usr/share/gdm/themes). Sometimes they make a nice desktop background if not in gdm greeter

  3. Yeah, you’ll need to elevate your rights to move items into the folder. On the command line you can do ‘sudo cp /from/here /to/there’. If you are more comfortable with nautilus you could ‘sudo nautilus’ to kick off with elevated rights (I can’t remember where the gksudo nautilus hangs out in the menu).

  4. This will let you change the splash screen
    gksu nautilus /usr/share/images/xsplash
    this may look like the normal appearance properties, but it’s not it’s real for the log-in screen…..
    gksudo -u gdm dbus-launch gnome-appearance-properties
    so you can change the background from this menu, and when you log-out you see that it changed it…

    Just right click on you desktop Create Launcher
    give it any NAME
    For the command use
    gksu nautilus /usr/share/images/xsplash
    click o.k. and your done you now have a short cut… and change the splash image

    next make another Create Launcher …
    Command … is
    gksudo -u gdm dbus-launch gnome-appearance-properties
    it is way easier done you now have a short cut for Log-in screen…
    you will only see the changes when you log out… change theme and background… done


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