Miscellaneous ephemera…

Changing Karmic's Login Screen

With Ubuntu 9.10, Karmic Koala, they have dispensed with the GDM in order to accelerate boot time. This has made for a faster boot, but a side effect has been that there is no longer a straightforward way to theme your login - and the default isn’t just ugly, it’s fugly…

Fear not. It can be fixed.

The first thing you want to do is replace the background image. You can find it at /usr/share/images/xsplash.

Before doing anything rash, make a copy of the directory:

sudo cp -r /usr/share/images/xsplash ~/xsplash-backup

Then delete all of the images that begin with bg_:

sudo rm /usr/share/images/xsplash/bg_*

Use the gimp to create a background image for your desktop and save it into this directory, and name it bg_2560x1600.jpg …irrespective of the resolution of your screen. Leave the other images as they are: the logo and the marvellously named throbber will sit over your new background as you boot up…

Next you can change the colours of the login box to complement your new background. This is all controlled in /usr/share/themes/HumanLogin/gtk-2.0/gtkrc.

Again, make a copy:

sudo cp /usr/share/themes/HumanLogin/gtk-2.0/gtkrc \

Then open the file and edit the relevant lines of code at the beginning of the file:

sudo vim /usr/share/themes/HumanLogin/gtk-2.0/gtkrc

As you can see, the colour scheme I have chosen uses dark grey to match my desktop. Feel free to experiment, you can’t really break anything…

Customized Karmic Login Screen

Simple, really.