How do I add a login screen theme ?

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How do I add a login screen theme ?

Postby mark1mint on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:41 pm

I've just discovered that adding a new theme for the login screen in LMDE is not so trivial,as clicking on "add" and searching in the usual location as /usr/share/themes is getting me nowhere...so I suppose it probably has to be done the hard way,editing some configuration file somewhere:frankly I find the two standard themes a bit depressing,so if anyone has suggestions on how to do this,I think I'm going to give it a try.
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Re: How do I add a login screen theme ?

Postby Brian49 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:32 am

On my system, login themes are stored in /usr/share/gdm/themes. If you don't have that directory on your system, then I don't know the answer. I should add that I use the legacy package gdm, not the more recent gdm3, mainly because the legacy package comes with a nice GUI dialog for setting many login preferences.
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Re: How do I add a login screen theme ?

Postby mark1mint on Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:47 am

I have a /usr/share/gdm directory but there's no themes directory inside it,I suppose it won't be as easy as creating one and then dropping in some images,will it :wink: ?
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Re: How do I add a login screen theme ?

Postby Brian49 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:59 am

You'll certainly need to create a themes directory, but it won't be enough just to put images into it. Each theme you want to install needs to have its own subdirectory, which will contain a number of files, as many as 15.

You could start by browsing here for themes:

http://art.gnome.org/themes/gdm_greeter/

When you've downloaded a few themes, decompress them and put them into the themes directory.

That leaves the question of how to activate a particular theme. If you don't have the GUI dialog on your system, you should be able to specify the theme you want by editing the file /etc/gdm/gdm.conf as root (assuming that file exists). Scroll down to the [greeter] section, where there should be a line GraphicalTheme=<insertnameof theme>.
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Re: How do I add a login screen theme ?

Postby widget on Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:53 pm

I have not fooled with mdm but took a look at it just now to compare with gdm.

It is quite different to what I am used to but I think you might want to take a look at /etc/mdm/PreSession/default. Looks like you can change the background color there. That seems to be the place that an image is also called for.

There is a reference to "mdmflexiserver" but I have not tracked that down but there is this;
Code: Select all
BACKCOLOR=`mdmflexiserver --command="GET_CONFIG greeter/GraphicalThemedColor $DISPLAY"`

mentioned at least twice in that script.

Running that from here (Debian testing) in chroot gets me;
Code: Select all
debian / # mdmflexiserver --command="GET_CONFIG greeter/GraphicalThemedColor $DISPLAY"
Error: MDM (GNOME Display Manager) is not running.
You might be using a different display manager.


May well be different result if running logged in to LMDE. Will probably be over there today and you have got me wondering about it so I may have to play with it some.

Have FUN
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Re: How do I add a login screen theme ?

Postby widget on Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:49 pm

OK I fooled with it.

If you don't like the themes they are real hard to edit.

Go to /usr/share/mdm/themes/linuxmint in a root browser. I use Xfce and have a "custom action" that will "Open With MInty Green Authority" from the right click menu any directory.

Open the above theme as root. Pullup the "theme.xml" file in your favorite text editor and you will see that you can have a background color.

That is defined by the numeric color stuff (don't know what it is properly called). It is easy to get the code for whatever color you want by fooling around in Gimp for the background or foreground of an image. Get the color you want and the number will be copy/paste-able from there to the file.

This will only come up if there is a problem with the background.png setting which is next in the script. If you want a solid color then comment that whole image section out. If you want an image get one you like, remembering that the log in box will be plumb in the middle of it (although you could change that too). I used a simple image that i made years ago that just looks like green burlap. I used Gimp to make it the same resolution as my screen size.

Created a new folder in that /linuxmint folder "aholding". I like a holding folder in config files that I edit to hold the defaults that are changed and I like it at the top of the list, thus aholding.

Put the background.png image in aholding (or whatever you call it). Put your image (.png to be safe although I suspect a .jpg would work) in the theme and change its name to "background.png". You could also leave the name what ever it is and edit the theme.xml to read the name you have on your image. You would need to edit the .png to .jpg in any case if that is what you are using.

Save the theme.xml file close things down and reboot. You should now be using that image.

I did not do anything more in the theme.xml file. You could, however, simply edit all the colors and sizes in there and then save it to folder by that name of your new theme.

Basically just take the entire original theme, modify it, and save it as another theme.

These things look pretty easy to make. You may become famous for your themes if you enjoy it enough to fool with.

Remember that if you simply copy the theme to someplace safe you can do anything you want and easily revert to the saved copy.

I figure that couple of minutes I spent on it was plenty. The login screen is only up a few seconds anyway. I do like to change the image.

Thank you for posting this thread as I probably would have suffered on with the default forever as this is not my production OS. Looks a lot better when logging in now.

"Screen Shot" is made up in Gimp without the little doo dads added to the login box but will give an idea what it looks like anyway.
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Dell XPS 420 Core2 Quad Q 6600, audigy5.1, Radeon HD 6450 - currently 4 320Gb HDD, Debian Squeeze for secure use, Debian testing for daily use, Debian Sid for fun.
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Re: How do I add a login screen theme ?

Postby mark1mint on Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:05 am

Thanks a lot,that's indeed a lot of work to just change a login screen theme :shock: : I understand there may be other priorities and also that this may not be the right distro to fixate on such things,however it is a bit of a shock to find out how hard it can be to do such a (supposedly) trivial tweak.

Edit:well...I've had a go and just realized that *it is* actually trivial,at least if you download an already existing theme say from here http://gnome-look.org/ and simply drop it (without extracting the archive) in the /usr/share/gdm/themes directory,then go in the login window preferences and select the new time.
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