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gnome screensaver lock screen background

There isn't much info about customizing the lock screen appearance for GNOME 2 so WebUpd8 reader Oleg has sent us a tip on how to change the GNOME screensaver unlock dialog background.

Before proceeding, please note that this will only work with GNOME 2 (so it will only work in Ubuntu Natty, Maverick and older, etc.) and will also change the GDM login screen background, unless you're already using a custom GDM background (set via Ubuntu Tweak, GDM Tweaker, Gconf, etc.).

The command below works with both static files and xml wallpaper slideshows (like the Cosmos wallpaper available in Ubuntu or "A Day in the Life". You can create such slideshows automatically using CreBS.


1. To change the GNOME screensaver lock screen background, run the following command in a terminal:
sudo gconftool-2 --direct --config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults --set /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename --type string /path/to/file.jpg

Where "/path/to/file.jpg" is the exact path to the wallpaper you want to use as a background for the unlock screen.

2. After running the command above, you need to log out and log back in or run the following commands in a terminal:
killall gconfd-2
killall gnome-screensaver


You can also set the lock screen background to your current desktop wallpaper by using the command below:
sudo gconftool-2 --direct --config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults --set /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename --type string `gconftool-2 --get /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename`


Revert the changes


If you want to revert this customization, run the following command in a terminal:
sudo gconftool-2 --direct --config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults --unset /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename


Thanks to Oleg for the tip!
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