Changing the background of the GNOME GDM login.

This document (7001347) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) or Server (SLES) or openSUSE with gdm selected for the displaymanager (default for a GNOME installation).


When the login screen is displayed a custom background is desired.


SUSE Linux Enterprise version 10

The primary tool for configuring gdm is gdmsetup.  It must be run as the root user.

From the GNOME desktop press Alt-F2 to bring up the "Run Application" dialog and enter "gnomesu /opt/gnome/sbin/gdmsetup".  Enter root's password when asked.

In gdmsetup you will see tabs across the top for modifying different aspects of gdm.  You will be on the General tab by default.  Notice the Local Greeter.  By default it will be set to "Themed Greeter".

The themes will provide a few styles to choose from under the Themed Greeter tab.  To be able to select a custom background image file you will need to switch the Greeter to "GTK+ Greeter".  You can then click on the GTK+ Greeter tab and select a custom background image.

An alternative is to keep the theme you have selected and manually change the image file that is used for that theme.  This must be done manually in the directory where the theme's files are located.  For example the files for the default theme will be found under the directory"/opt/gnome/share/gdm/themes/GDM-SuSE/".  The file that is used for the background image is "background.jpeg".  You can replace this jpeg file with one of your own (it would be prudent to make a backup of the original before overwriting it).  The background file to use is identified in the theme's configuration file which for this theme is "industrial.xml".

SUSE Linux Enterprise version 11

Locate and edit the following file:


Look for this section near the bottom:

     <dir name="desktop">
     <dir name="gnome">
         <dir name="background">
            <entry name="secondary_color" mtime="1328289312" type="string">
            <entry name="primary_color" mtime="1328289312" type="string">
            <entry name="picture_options" mtime="1328289312" type="string">
            <entry name="picture_filename" mtime="1340296711" type="string">

Change /usr/share/backgrounds/glass/glass.xml (or whatever it is currently set to) to any other graphic image file.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7001347
  • Creation Date: 12-Sep-2008
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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