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velikij 01-04-2012 04:50 PM

Where are configuration files for gdm login screen under Ubuntu 11.04?
I am running Ubuntu 11.04 'natty' on several computers, mostly upgraded from earlier versions of Ubuntu. During the past few version releases, utilities for configuring the login screen have changed, and apparently there have been changes in the configuration files where the parameters for the login screen have changed, along with the location of these files.

My problem is the some settings when could be made under 10.04 or 10.10 can't be modified by current programs, such as "Ubuntu Tweak" and "Login Screen". In particular, in an earlier version I was able to set a line of text which appears above where the user name and password are selected or entered. The current utilities are not able to access this text, so I am left with text referring to an earlier version of Ubuntu, for example.

What I need to know is where the configuration is stored, so I can change it 'manually'. It doesn't seem to be under /etc/gdm - the settings in /etc/gdm/custom.conf don't have any effect in 11.04, for example.

Note that this release does use gdm - lightdm is not used until 11.10.

corp769 01-04-2012 06:26 PM

Sounds like you would want to use gconf-editor to change a few settings.

Also, read here -



widget 01-04-2012 07:31 PM

Or just go to the config files and edit them.

The ones you probably need should be in /usr/gdm. There are a few there and not knowing what you want to do I have no idea which one you want. They are pretty straight forward and easy to understand.

velikij 01-04-2012 10:26 PM

I tried using gconf-editor to change what looked like appropriate settings, to no avail. after apparently enable the text heading, and entering two different strings, neither would appear when I logged out, but the old string from 10.04 or 10.10 did display. (banner_message_enable, banner_message_text and banner_message_text_nochooser under /apps/gdm/simple_greeter).

It looks like the message I AM seeing is stored in an unknown location, and also gconf-editor is storing its data in an unknown location.

Clearly, the version of gdm and the greeter code is quite different in 11.04, but somehow the message text from 10.10 is being displayed in the greeter! (this is not yet 'lightdm' used in 11.10).

towheedm 01-04-2012 10:51 PM

Try my tutorial here. Go to the GDM (Login Screen) chapter.

This worked up to Maverick. I have never tested it on Natty.

Hope it works.

velikij 01-05-2012 04:49 PM

I couldn't read that. By the way, if that was for Maverick, it would not work under Natty - I've been down that route.

towheedm 01-05-2012 07:51 PM

3 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by velikij (Post 4567349)
I couldn't read that. By the way, if that was for Maverick, it would not work under Natty - I've been down that route.

Too bad you could not read that. If you could you might be able to get it to look like the screenshots.

These are from Natty. I only changed a few items. Much more is possible as described in the tutorial.

velikij 01-05-2012 08:23 PM

Thank you, Towheedm! I was a bit confused by the web page that data (including the PDF) is loaded from. I've started to read the gdm section of the document. I had begun to suspect that the parameters for the login are now in a special database, rather that a Unix-style text file under /etc/gdm/. So that is hopefully going to be the solution. I'll try this later this evening or tomorrow!

By the way, the document refers to the /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme file. I've noticed this script gets rewritten every now and then, and in recent releases it refers to images off in a theme directory as an alternative to images in /boot/grub or a subdirectory thereof. So it can get a little complicated.

I will post another response when I get this working on my computer(s).

velikij 01-05-2012 10:34 PM

Now this problem is solved. I was able to change the banner message easily with the gdm tools!

Thank you, Towheedm!

towheedm 01-06-2012 07:01 PM

05_debian_theme has absolutely nothing to do with customizing the gdm screen. This file is for GRUB2. If you need to theme GRUB2, look at my sigs.

towheedm 01-06-2012 07:53 PM

If you want to do it the GUI way using the gconf-editor app, there are two methods:

1. Configure it directly from the gdm screen. This allows most changes to be seen immediately. If you want to use this method, do this in a terminal window:

sudo cp /usr/share/applications/{gconf-editor,gnome-appearance-properties}.desktop /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow/
Now logout and the appearance and gconf-editor windows will be opened at the gdm screen. Use the keys in the pdf file to guide you.

To prevent the windows from showing up:

sudo rm /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow/{gnome-appearance-properties,gconf-editor}.desktop
2. You can use this method to customize the gdm screen directly from your desktop. First, allow user gdm to connect to the X server, then run the gnome-appearance-properties and gconf-editor apps as user gdm:

sudo xhost +SI:localuser:gdm
gksudo -u gdm dbus-launch gnome-appearance-properties

When finished, use gconf-editor to customize the face browser:

gksudo -u gdm dbus-launch gconf-editor
Now, go knock yourself out! :D

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