I've been battling with this for a while now and I don't know how to make it work. I want to change the login background on Elementary, but ONLY that one. I already tried Nautilus and either I'm using it wrong or it doesn't work for me. It either changes my normal wallpaper and the login one, or it doesn't do anything. What else can I do? I've tried a few stuff already.

Thanks in advance

  • Check this out it seems to have the answer you seek!
    – Rodney
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 16:26

4 Answers 4


Elementary uses LightDM for login. Please refer to the LightDM arch wiki for info on the GTK+ Greeter and how to change the wallpaper.


But basically you can run the following:

sudo apt install lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings

Then run the app and make your changes there.

  • Okay, it actually worked, but it changed the entire layout of the login screen. Is that normal?
    – xyzdig
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 6:08

You can use solutions from this post: How do I change login background in elementary OS Freya or Loki?


This is a bit of a hack however in Loki (0.4.1) You can right-click on the login background image and set it as desktop, then through the command line enter the command:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:///path/to/file

This will set the user's background image. Allowing you to have different images.

It's a bit hacky but it is the simplest way (2ish steps)


gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:///home/wwjdtd/pictures/801.png

I want to change the login background on Elementary, but ONLY that one

It's quite simple, but not as intuitive unfortunately.

All images used as wallpaper from /usr/share/backgrounds will be applied by LOKI to both Desktop and Login (permissions matter too!)

To keep them separate, use an image from /usr/share/backgrounds as your login BG with greeter config line (must be unhashed!) at /etc/lightdm/pantheon-greeter.conf:


And to set different wall for the destop only, choose an image from any other location in the system, and use right clik->set as wallpaper - that should keep them separate. Tested it on LOKI and JUNO Beta2 and it works.

Setting desktop wallpaper this way copies your chosen image to /home/YOURUSER/.local/share/backgrounds/ and imports it to Settings->Desktop->Wallpaper. This unfortunate way, its up to you to remember which image is from here...

/usr/share/backgrounds (applies to both Desktop and Login)

or here...

/home/YOURUSER/.local/share/backgrounds/ (applies to Desktop only)

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