How to Change the Ubuntu Login Screen

This detailed and step by step guide will show you how to change the login screen and lock screen in Ubuntu Linux.

This did not used to be so… involved. It’s not that it’s difficult to change the Ubuntu lock/login screen, it’s that it takes quite a few more steps than it should. Fortunately most of the process only has to be done once, so it’ll be much easier to change the lock screen going forward.

  1. First up you’ll have to install some software. Open a Terminal and enter the commands:

    sudo apt-get install girl1.2-clutter-1.0
    sudo apt-get install gnome-tweaks

  2. an Ubuntu Terminal window with text from installing gnome-tweaks and girl1.2

  3. Depending on the version of Ubuntu you’re using you may not actually need Gnome Tweaks, but it’s quite small and doesn’t hurt to have installed. Plus, it’s the app you need to switch Ubuntu themes.
  4. Now fire up Firefox and head over to the GNOME Shell integration Firefox addon page and install it. The installation is the same as it is for all Firefox addons – just click the + Add to Firefox button.
  5. the Gnome Shell addon for Firefox page with an arrow pointing at the Add to Firefox button

  6. While you’re still using Firefox, head over to the Lock screen background extension page. Once the page has loaded, toggle the ON/OFF switch to ON
  7. the Lock screen background page on gnome.org with an arrow pointing to the ON/OFF switch

  8. Click the Install button when you’re prompted to install the extension.
  9. an arrow pointing at an Install button to install an extensions to change the Ubuntu login screen

  10. Once the extension is installed, confirm the switch is in the ON position.
  11. an of/off switch in the turned on position

  12. Bring up the Ubuntu search panel and enter the word extensions. This will bring up Tweaks (which is Gnome Tweaks) and depending on your version of Ubuntu, it may bring up the Extensions app. It doesn’t matter which you use – both accomplish exactly the same thing, and we’ll go over both methods. If you’re using the Tweaks app, jump down to step #9 – if you’re using the Extensions app, proceed with step #8.
  13. the Ubuntu search menu with the word extensions in the search field

  14. Look for the Lock screen background extension in the Manually installed section. Make sure the ON/OFF toggle is ON, and then click the Settings button – which looks a bit like a gear (see screenshot below). Now jump down to step #10.
  15. the Ubuntu Extensions app with an arrow pointing to a Settings button that looks like a gear

  16. Select Extensions from the column on the left side of the Tweaks app. Find the extension titled Lock screen background and make sure that the ON/OFF toggle is set to ON. Click the Settings button – which looks a bit like a gear (see screenshot below).
  17. the Gnome Tweaks app with an arrow pointing at Extensions and another arrow pointing at the Settings button which looks like a gear

  18. Make sure that Enable Function is enabled, and then click the Browse button.
  19. an arrow pointing to a Browse button

  20. Navigate to the picture you want to use as your Lock screen (and blurred as your login screen), select it and then click Open
  21. selecting an image to change the Ubuntu login screen

  22. You can now close the Lock screen background window.
  23. closing out of the change Ubuntu login screen window
    click to enlarge

  24. To test it out, lock your PC by clicking the System menu in the upper-right corner of your Ubuntu desktop and selecting Lock
  25. the Ubuntu System menu with an arrow pointing to the Lock option

  26. Ta-da! There’s your new lock screen background.
  27. the Ubuntu lock and login screen after an image change
    click to enlarge

  28. The next time you sign out and back in again, you’ll see your new login screen – which is a blurred version of your lock screen.
  29. the Ubuntu login screen after an image change
    click to enlarge


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