Ubuntu 13.04 LightDM: Change Login Screen Background

This brief tutorial will show you how to change the background wallpaper in Ubuntu 13.04 LightDM login screen. By default it has a dynamic background which will change to reflect the selected user’s desktop background. So that change your user desktop wallpaper will change the LightDM background too.

If you want a different LightDM background wallpaper to user’s desktop background wallpaper, follow the step below:

1. Hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal, all work will be done in this terminal window. First run command to get root privilege. You’ll be prompt to input user password:

sudo -i

2. Execute following command to allow the user “lightdm” to create a connection to the X server:

xhost +SI:localuser:lightdm

3. Now in this terminal switch to the user “lightdm”:

su lightdm -s /bin/bash

4. Turn off the dynamic background for LightDM, after that you get a fixed LightDM background.

gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter draw-user-backgrounds 'false'

5. Finally change the login screen background by:

gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter background 'PATH-TO-IMAGE'


If you want to change the wallpaper again, in a new terminal window do steps 1, 2, 3 and finally step 5 in same window.



  1. nef says:

    I tried this but it left me with the purple blank login screen.

    • key says:

      ah, i got blank purple screen too.. where did I go wrong?

    • Franco says:

      Check the permissions of the image. It works for me if I copy the image to /usr/share/backgrounds and set the permissions to read a write for root an read only for the rest.
      PD.: Sorry my bad English, I’m from Argentina.

  2. jsp says:

    Worked for me on 13.04.

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