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Guide Beginner How to change the login screen's background image in Pop!_OS

derpOmattic

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Generously made for the community by @wingmannian on Mattermost, I was asked to post it here for those interested.

[There may be some discrepancy with 20.04 - checking it out - will update][SOLVED - SEE HERE]

For 20.04 see the link above.
For 19.10 and below, see the following;


Anyone familiar with Pop!_OS will undoubtedly be aware of the plain, gray Plymouth splash-screen during boot. We’re greeted with the user-name and password fields, which are also a little bland, contributing to a start up that is, if I’m being honest, unexciting. I understand that System76 are working towards a lightning-fast start up, and the gray is only a few seconds, but I prefer a splash of color and I don’t mind a couple seconds more to achieve it. Searching for a method to do this, the answer was found in a response from someone on 'Switched To Linux' Discord HELP chat server.


Someone was kind enough to walk me through the process, which I really appreciate, so I though it’d be nice to share it as well. To begin, we navigate to /gdm3.css located at /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme. You can use whatever editor you’re comfortable with, but Pop’s default editor is Nano, which we’re going to use to modify the file. In Terminal, type sudo nano /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gdm3.css. If you’re on an older version of Pop, that file might be at sudo nano /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/ubuntu.css.


The section we need to modify is lockdialog, which you can do a `find` search for. You’ll see a section that starts with #lockDialogGroup. Replace that whole section with this code:


Code:
#lockDialogGroup {
background: #2c001e url(file:///<your-file-location/your-filename.png>);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-size: cover;
background-position: center;
}

Substitute your chosen picture’s file location at <your-file-location/your-filename.png>, but remember to remove the arrows <>. Additionally, the file can also be a .jpg. Save the file with your changes and you’ll be done! To save changes in Nano use ctrl + s. To exit Nano use ctrl + x.


Here is my example: Cute aren’t they! :)


Doggos2.jpg
 
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ParanoidNemo

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Incredibly useful! Thank you for sharing.
Only a small question: modifying a theme "default" file doesn't became a problem when updating the specific package? It could be overwritten or stop the update due to a conflict, or Pop! as a way to cope with that like for example arch does installing a packnew config file and asking if you want to overwrite the modified one or not?
 
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derpOmattic

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Important question, which I'll try and find an answer for. If the author doesn't know, I'll dig around. Although it is handy, I don't use it myself.
 

C-MAN-GALAXY

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Hi,

so I followed your guide to this, and I cannot find the gdm3.css file anywhere. i get into the right directory. and nothing, or am I missing something.

Thanks
 

sc05

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This thread got me the closest to adding a background picture. Everything else I've read simply failed.

If it helps, for those missing the gdm3.css file like me, I was able to change the color of the background by modifying this file
/usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/Pop/gnome-shell-theme.gresource
. I changed the same section called out above (#lockDialogGroup) and used a different hex color code. That section appears multiple times in the file, 8-9 i think. The default color... o boy....

This file is clearly more than a simple text file and maybe the solution to a picture is somewhere in there. If you monkey it up prepare for recovery mode. My attempts to add the snippet above to this file resulted in a rather friendly 'you messed up' hard stop during boot. had to boot from usb to restore the file with a backup copy.

Full disclosure:
I have absolutely ZERO knowledge of what this file is, but it changed my login screen color.
 

derpOmattic

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I have absolutely ZERO knowledge of what this file is, but it changed my login screen color.
I tried the same thing with the same file and borked my login also, which is why I put the notice at the top regarding a discrepancy. ;)

I'll get back on it when I have a chance.
 

sc05

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Thank you for your efforts!! BTW, thank you for being a founding member; This site is awesome for the POP community!

I'm hanging on for someone smarter than me to figure this out. I'm very likely to brick my system poking around like this and I can't afford the downtime :) . I figured changing the color could help pass the time.
 
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derpOmattic

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Thank you for your efforts!! BTW, thank you for being a founding member; This site is awesome for the POP community!
I may be a founding member, and I may have had a couple of productive ideas, but this community site and wiki, along with Paste and the community repo are all @evertiro's work! He keeps it all running, add free and up to date.
 

derpOmattic

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I found this, which confirms the css is very different in 20.04.

Well, seems the process is very heavy just for changing the login screen background, rite?
Lol, I agree! although that would be the correct way, there's no way I'd do all of that for a picture on splash. They then give another two suggestions, one of which I'm trying. A second comment gives a similar method, which I'm also trying. See below.


I'll update which I think works best.
 

derpOmattic

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I can confirm that this works just fine, although it slowed my boot time in the VM to about 10 seconds.

Screenshot from 2020-05-17 12-50-19.png


The method using focalgdm3 won't work unless you modify it to look for Pop's default theme. Even then I'm not sure it would work - haven't tried it.
 
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sc05

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ubuntu-20.04-change-gdm-background worked for me after a small change. I had to change line 33 (i think it's 33).

Original:
gdm3Resource=/usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/Yaru/gnome-shell-theme.gresource

New:
gdm3Resource=/usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/Pop/gnome-shell-theme.gresource


Thank you for posting this! And thank you to who every wrote it!!!!!!
 

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