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Thread: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

  1. #1

    Cool HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    Hello all!

    I spent way too much time trying to figure out how to do this, but I finally have, so I thought I'd share. I'm pretty new to linux myself, but you'll need to be fairly familiar with navigating around the file system. I'm going to show you how by using the graphical file browser (nautilus). You can use either one single picture, or three different ones in this method. There may be better ways to do this, but this is what worked for me as a newer user.

    You'll be navigating the file system as the root user so BE CAREFUL!

    These first set of instructions are for using the stock gnome background. Mine had horizontal blue stripes.

    First, you need the .jpg file you want to set as your background. Make sure its the same size as the resolution you use for your display.

    If you want to find the folders you need first and get familiar with navigating to them, open the normal file browser and navigate to the path below without root access.

    open up a terminal window and get root access by typing in

    Code:
    su -
    once you're logged in, open the graphical file browser as root.

    Code:
    nautilus &
    now, browse (carefully!) through the file system to:

    Code:
    /usr/share/themes/Adwaita/backgrounds/
    You should see three .jpg images here:

    bright-day.jpg
    good-night.jpg
    morning.jpg

    so, go ahead and right click on each file and rename them to something else. I simply put another character in front of the name to back them up. (xbright-day.jpg)

    copy and paste your new .jpg background here and rename it to match one of the three files mentioned above. We're replacing the files we just renamed. Do this again for each of the file names listed. You could also use three different pictures if you wanted, and they'll switch at different times of the day (I think).

    Go back out to the login screen and you should see your new background there!

    If you're brave, there is an .xml file in this folder called adwaita-timed.xml that you could also edit to just match your file name that you placed into that folder for each entry. I figured I'd start simple. If you do this, make a backup copy of the .xml file first before you modify it!

    If you're using the Gnome login screen that comes with opensuse, you likely have the green background. To change those ones instead, go to:

    Code:
    /usr/share/backgrounds/lightrays/
    and modify the files in the same way I mentioned above. You'll notice however, that there are different files for different resolutions, so, I haven't tried it yet, but I think you just modify the file of the appropriate resolution. They're also named differently. I'm sure you know to change them to the file names in this folder, not the ones I talked about above! If your resolution isn't there, you may have to play around a bit to find the one that is being used instead, such as 1920x1080 when you're using 1680x1050.

    There's also an xml file here that could be modified too. Thats next on my to-try list!

    I hope this helps someone else out and saves them a lot of time poking around! I may be back to edit this if I discover a better way to go about it.

  2. #2

    Default Re: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    I changed the lightrays.xml file to include an entry for 1680x1050 (how to do it will be obvious) and pointed it at the file I wanted. Simply logging out caused my system to hang, so if you change this file, I suggest rebooting instead of logging out. Double check your work first!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    IMHO your advice is full of "don't"s.

    Browsing as you do with a file manager as user root is extremely dangerous (as you say, but you do not come to the consequence not do do it).

    Changing like you do in system directories is not very clever. It may brake things in your system and at the best it will be overwrittn by any next update/upgrade of the package that installed the files there in the firtst place.

    I am not a Gnome user, but I bet there is a better way to do this using Gnome configuration tools. And when not, then it should not be done like you do it. And even when you do it (after all it i your system and you can do with it what you want), you should not seduce others into doing this.
    Last edited by hcvv; 21-Feb-2013 at 13:12.
    Henk van Velden

  4. #4
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    Default Re: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    @op - did you try changing the branding packages through YaST.
    I have seen some packages named up stream etc...
    GNOME Version 3.20.2
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  5. #5

    Default Re: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    Alrighty. Like I mentioned, I'm pretty new to linux, so I guess there are things I don't know yet. Since you're a mod, go ahead and take this down.

    Yes, I did try changing the branding packages in YaST. I also tried finding a simple program to change it for me, without much luck. I spent a lot of time trying command line stuff for other distributions. Changing the files in the theme was the only way I had been successful.

    Turns out this also changes the default background for other users.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    Quote Originally Posted by oapeter View Post
    Alrighty. Like I mentioned, I'm pretty new to linux, so I guess there are things I don't know yet. Since you're a mod, go ahead and take this down.

    Yes, I did try changing the branding packages in YaST. I also tried finding a simple program to change it for me, without much luck. I spent a lot of time trying command line stuff for other distributions. Changing the files in the theme was the only way I had been successful.

    Turns out this also changes the default background for other users.
    Of course it changes for everybody. You changed in the system files. Those are for everybody. That is why they are system files.

    The problem is of course not that you ar experimenting. The problem is that when you find a way to your goal, you think it is the correct way. Posting it here is one thing, but when it might be dangerous for new users to follow, we have to warn them that this might not be the correcct and thus dangerous way to do things.

    It would have been much better when you, not finding an easy way to solve wehat you want, would have asked here. Then we possibly would have a better solution to the benifit of everybody including you.
    Henk van Velden

  7. #7
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    Default Re: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    On Thu, 21 Feb 2013 19:06:01 +0000, hcvv wrote:

    > I am not a Gnome user, but I bet there is a better way to do this using
    > Gnome configuration tools. And when not, then it should not be done like
    > you do it. And even when you do it (after all it i your system and you
    > can do with it what you want), you should not sedive others into doing
    > this.


    You'd think there is, but if there is a way using the config tools, I
    haven't found it (and I've looked, but not very vigorously).

    What I'd probably do is modify it so that rather than browsing with a
    privileged file browser (which can make it easy to accidentally affect
    something that breaks the system) is use gnomesu to launch gedit with the
    specific filename to edit as a parameter.

    Jim

    --
    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

  8. #8

    Default Re: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    Yep. I think usually when people want to change something like this, they're the only user of the system anyway. For me this isn't a problem, since I'm the only user of my computer. Other users can still change their backgrounds as they wish, this method just matches the default with the login screen.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    Quote Originally Posted by oapeter View Post
    Yep. I think usually when people want to change something like this, they're the only user of the system anyway. For me this isn't a problem, since I'm the only user of my computer. Other users can still change their backgrounds as they wish, this method just matches the default with the login screen.
    I checked dconf-editor and couldn't locate entries for login screen entries .pretty tricky to customise GNOME :-) keep those live iso and dvds handy just in case . You are correct everyone can feel free with mess with their own OS otherwise Linux wouldn't have been born from minix. You might have chosen another sub-forum because this is a official support forum
    GNOME Version 3.20.2
    openSUSE Leap 42.3 64-bit

    www.vazhavandan.blogspot.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: HOW TO: Change your gnome 3.4 login screen background

    Quote Originally Posted by vazhavandan View Post
    You might have chosen another sub-forum because this is a official support forum
    Yep. I'll have a look around for different forums.

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