GDM login background

Coming from a KDE background, learning some stuff about Rocky Linux and GDM.

The question is how to change the GDM login background?

I’ve found some topics that let me do some things (add MS Active Directory login, change desktop backgrounds), but I cannot find where to change the GDM login screen background.

I’ve also tried following some of the steps found on the net for generic GDM login settings, but can’t seem to find the right setting for Rocky Linux GDM login background.

I’m not entirely sure that’s possible to do.

Try using lightdm instead; it’s smaller and faster and is almost infinitely configurable using a text file.

I don’t know the answer.

I do have in Ansible play these tasks:

  - name: GDM
    - name: Ensure that GDM config dir exists (gdm 3.28 did not have it)
        path: /etc/dconf/db/gdm.d
        state: directory
        mode: '0755'

    - name: Hide users from GDM login screen
        content: |
          # Do not show the user list
        dest: /etc/dconf/db/gdm.d/00-login-screen
      - dconf update

    - name: Add to dconf
        content: |
        dest: /etc/dconf/profile/gdm

    - "'gdm' in ansible_facts.packages"

And the notify triggers:

  - name: dconf update
    command: dconf update

I can’t remember whether all of that was just for the “disable-user-list=true”. The point is that GDM login customizations should probably be placed into in /etc/dconf/db/gdm.d/.

One should note that EL7 had gdm-3.28 and Gnome 3.28, EL8 has gdm-40.0 and Gnome 3.28, and EL9 has gdm-40.1 and Gnome 40.1. Gnome developers tend to change how things are configured, but do 40.0 and 40.1 use same method? (OP did not state which Rocky major version is in question.)

Rocky 9 (I believe 9.1). Fresh install from a minimal install disk.

“Banner” is not the same as “background”?

Hi, well that’s a topic that bothers me ever since I started using gnome.
AFAIK, there seemed to exist a way to achieve this in the past which involved “de-compiling” (in the sense of unpacking) resource files and editing a CSS file inside them. That needed to happen for the “default user”, because at the time that GDM comes into play, there is obviously no user logged-in.

That being said, I seem to remember that this whole approach stopped working some couple of versions ago due to changes inside gnome itself. But YMMV and if you’re into adventures and trying things out, you can check Arch Linux’s wonderful (honestly!) Wiki about that:

Keeping fingers crossed. And keep us in the loop as to whether it worked or not! :wink:

HTH, Cheers, Thomas

In response to myself:

It seems that a lot of approaches have been done to achieve that with tools/scripts that have emerged since the last time I checked (like a year ago). I finally came across a very promising one by reading this piece:

…that points you to:

…which mentions that a better version exists as:

That one, in the end, appears to be what we might be looking for. However, note that I did not had the chance to give it a try yet. I will probably do that as soon as I have my RL desktop again in front of me. Also, it may be more complicated than what it looks like due to the “flavour” of gnome in RL, any possible dependencies, limitations of flatpak/AppImage sandbox, you name it…

Will let you know once I have more insight.
Cheers, Thomas

Okay, fasten your seat belts:


The “Login manager Settings” app available from
works fine, yet some minor roadblocks have to be circumvented.

I tried it on a fresh install of RockyLinux 9.1 (inside a VirtualBox VM)
Blocker #1: I couldn’t get the Appimage to work so you will need to

→ install the Flathub version.

Blocker #2: Upon first launch, in my setup, the App appears to not be able to deal with the selected fonts:

In order to “fix” that, you will need to

→ change system fonts

from the default “Cantarell” to, e.g. “Droid Sans” by using gnome-tweaks:

Now the App eventually became useable to me - and I was able to change background, set a welcome text, hide the user list et cetara for a customized GDM login screen. It works nice! Some things are missing (or I haven’t found them yet) such as hiding the accessibility icon from the top bar of GDM but there is a wealth of things to fiddle around with and they all seem to work indeed.

Note that the App doesn’t overcome the limitation that your changes to the GDM login will get lost/overwritten each time there is an update to gnome. But the good thing is that the app allows to save and restore settings!

So indeed, it saves users from a lot of the painful work involved in customizing the GDM login.
Here’s a “before-after” comparison. Have fund, cheers, Thomas



Here, we have welcome message, a changed format for the clock (24h style using day name), a changed background image, a hidden user list and a changed font (monospace).

“Coming from a KDE background, learning some stuff about Rocky Linux and GDM.”

Any major reason for the switch to GDM from KDE?? YES KDE 5.XX (5.24 ?) is a royal PITA to configure – not like KDE 4.19, for sure – but once you get KDE 5.XX (5.24 ?) set up, it is almost as good as KDE 4.19. While I truthfully despise KDE 5.(24 ?) is needlessly complex to do the exact same thing I did in KDE 4.19, at least it can now can be done; OTOH I LOATH GDM. I have GDM installed as a backup or as an alternate to KDE for those who prefer GDM or some other DM, I have some dummy accounts for someone who needs a computer. Me?!? I still use KDE. My second DM is Cinnamon. My LAST DM is GDM, but it is a good “Down and Dirty” DM.

D’ Cat

GDM, LightDM, SDDM are display managers. GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon are desktop environments.

This thread is about the configuration of login dialog. Nothing to do with any particular DE.