How to use gdm-tools to change the GDM3 login screen (Greeter) GTK theme and background image

gdm-tools As the name suggests, it is a set of command line tools for changing the appearance of the GNOME Display/Login Manager (GDM 3).

Using gdm-tools, you will be able to easily change the GDM login screen (greeter) theme and background image, backup/restore the default GDM theme and optionally reset everything to default, and extract the default GDM theme for “weird” “A GNOME session, such as an Ubuntu session.

Not sure what GDM login screen/welcomer is this? This is a screenshot:

Not all GTK themes are compatible with GDM.In order to be able to use the GTK theme as your GDM login screen theme, you need to make sure that the theme is installed in /usr/share/themes And it contains a gnome-shell Subdirectories with valid GNOME Shell themes (valid gnome-shell.css file).

It is worth noting that gdm-tools is new, and it may not have been extensively tested. So please use it with caution and at your own risk! Using the wrong GDM settings may prevent you from logging in to the Linux desktop.

The developers recommend using only one tool to change the GDM login screen theme, because each such tool creates a different backup of the original GNOME Shell gresource file. In this regard, gdm-tools is smarter than other such tools, and the use of a dual backup system can avoid problems.

It is also worth mentioning that the GNOME Shell update will restore the custom theme you set for the GDM login screen/welcomer to the default value (to use a custom GDM theme, gnome-shell-theme.gresource The file needs to be replaced, and this file is overwritten by the GNOME Shell update). Therefore, when this happens, you need to use gdm-tools to apply the theme again.

The gdm-tools GitHub page does not have all this information about the dual backup system, etc.However, everything is explained in the gdm-tools man page, so you can use it after installation man set-gdm-theme , Or online Here .

GDM related: How to change the default display manager in Debian , Ubuntu or Linux Mint (switch to GDM, LightDM, SDDM or LXDM)

gdm-tools installation

Let’s start to install it using gdm-tools. For Arch Linux / Manjaro, you can install gdm-tools directly AUR .

For other Linux distributions, first install the packages required to run these tools (GLib 2.0 and dconf-cli, and Git to get the latest code from GitHub):

  • Debian / Ubuntu / Pop!_OS / Other Linux distributions based on Debian or Ubuntu:
                        sudo apt install libglib2.0-dev dconf-cli git

  • Fedora hat:
                        sudo dnf install glib2-devel dconf git

For other Linux distributions, you need to find out the package names of GLIB 2.0 (development header files) and dconf-cli, and then install them.

Next, clone gdm-tools Git repository And install it using the following method:


git clone --depth=1

cd gdm-tools


If you want to uninstall gdm-tools in the future, please use Script from the cloned GitHub repository.

Use gdm-tools to change the GDM3 login screen theme and background image

Before using gdm-tools to change your GDM login screen or wallpaper, use the following command to back up the default theme:

                        set-gdm-theme backup update

Now let us list all available valid GDM login screen themes:

                        set-gdm-theme list

Warning for Ubuntu users: The theme is named “default” set-gdm-theme list The command output is the default GNOME Shell theme (Adwaita), not Yaru. If you only try to change the background image (see below), the GTK theme will also switch to the “default”, which is the GNOME Shell Adwaita theme!

To set one of the themes listed above for your GDM login screen/welcomer, use:

                        set-gdm-theme set <theme-name>

For example, to set Yaru-light As a GDM3 theme, you will use:

                        set-gdm-theme set Yaru-light

Haven’t installed any themes that support GDM3?Try Orchis or WhiteSur (run the installation script sudo , Because the theme must be installed to /usr/share/themes Use it as a GDM welcome theme).

Use the following command to set the background image of the GDM3 login screen:

                        set-gdm-theme set -b </path/to/background/image.png>

You can set the GDM welcome theme and background image at one time, using:

                        set-gdm-theme set <theme-name> [/path/to/background/image.png]

For example, set Yaru-light GTK themes used as the GDM login screen, and /usr/share/backgrounds/warty-final-ubuntu.png As its background image:

                        set-gdm-theme set Yaru-light /usr/share/backgrounds/warty-final-ubuntu.png

If you want to restore the GDM3 theme backup, please use:

                        set-gdm-theme backup restore

Or, if you want to reset everything to its original state, use:

                        set-gdm-theme reset

For more information, check the help of the two scripts ( set-gdm-theme -h with gnomeconf2gdm -h , and also man set-gdm-theme ).

You might also like: How to use different GTK 3 themes for specific applications


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