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#1 2013-07-26 08:05:11

Registered: 2013-07-26
Posts: 11

[SOLVED] Customizing lightdm-gtk-greeter generic avatar

I've been trying to customize the default gtk greeter into something a little more presentable for my desktop. I managed to get a theme set up and a background via lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf. It looks great. The only fly in the ointment is that the login box presents a little generic avatar dude icon, throwing the whole thing off. I'd like to just tack an Arch logo badge on it or barring that just get rid an icon alltogether. I'm not seeing where it's pulling this icon and there doesn't seem to be any documentation out there on it.
I've been to the lightdm-gtk webside and scanned the source but I'm not a programmer; googling along the lines of lightdm-gtk-greeter {theme,customization,hacking} just results in garbage relating to ubuntus greeter, kde, and just about anything not related to actually theming out gtk. The wiki also seems to be lacking on it, just explaining how to change the background. I've run other Display Managers and greeters and the GTK one is the one that best suits my needs short of cosmetics, so, switching to a different setup is out. for what it's worth, here is my lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf:

# background = Background file to use, either an image path or a color (e.g. #772953)
# theme-name = GTK+ theme to use
# icon-theme-name = Icon theme to use
# font-name = Font to use
# xft-antialias = Whether to antialias Xft fonts (true or false)
# xft-dpi = Resolution for Xft in dots per inch (e.g. 96)
# xft-hintstyle = What degree of hinting to use (none, slight, medium, or full)
# xft-rgba = Type of subpixel antialiasing (none, rgb, bgr, vrgb or vbgr)
# show-language-selector (true or false)
# show-indicators = semi-colon ";" separated list of allowed indicator modules (e.g.
# show-clock (true or false)
# clock-format = strftime-format string, e.g. %H:%M
# keyboard = command to launch on-screen keyboard

twiddling around with the icon-theme-name variable does bubkis, I'm guessing that has more to do with the clickies for the power, session selection, and accessibility functions.
If anyone could point me to the relevant man pages or even a tutorial on how to skin lightdm, or have done what I'm trying to do and willing to share how, I'd much appreciate it.
Thanks in advance!

Last edited by mostlyharmles (2013-07-26 23:26:29)


#2 2013-07-26 08:49:02

From: Hungary
Registered: 2009-10-01
Posts: 432

Re: [SOLVED] Customizing lightdm-gtk-greeter generic avatar

This one worked for me: … our_avatar, if this is what you wanted...

“The future has already arrived. It's just not evenly distributed yet.”
― William Gibson


#3 2013-07-26 09:17:22

Registered: 2013-07-26
Posts: 11

Re: [SOLVED] Customizing lightdm-gtk-greeter generic avatar

scar wrote:

This one worked for me: … our_avatar, if this is what you wanted...

That doesn't seem to be it. I have it set to require a username and password be typed in, rather than presenting a user list, the generic icon is still there. I've tried setting the icon for every user listed there, even adding the lightdm user and literally following the instrucitons and making a johndoe file. Nothing.


#4 2013-07-26 23:24:21

Registered: 2013-07-26
Posts: 11

Re: [SOLVED] Customizing lightdm-gtk-greeter generic avatar

Solved it, albeit in a probably not clean way. Here's what I did:
like the wiki indicates it looks in the the hicolor theme of 64x64 but what it didsn't say is that it is looking for a file called avatar-default. Not wanting to mess around with the icons that could actually be used for something and create a hillarious issue where all my generic avatars in gtk are rebranded into archlinux badges, I set out to make a simple theme:

# mkdir /usr/share/lightdm/64x64/devices
# touch /usr/share/lightdm/index.theme

then resized the badge I wanted to use to 64 by 64 px and copied it into the /usr/share/lightdm/64x64/devices folder as "avatar-default"

 # mv /Path/to/badge.png /usr/share/lightdm/64x64/devices/avatar-default.png

I then edited the index.theme
this is what I used:

[Icon Theme]
Comment=Lightdm Icon Badges: Name the badge of your choice in 64x64/devices "avatar-default"

Not sure if I needed this step but I did it anyway, I then refreshed the icon cache with

# gtk-update-icon-cache /usr/share/icons/lightdm/

Finally, I changed the icon-theme= setting in /etc/lightdm/lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf from




A quick logout confirms that the greeter defaults any icons it can't find in the specified icon theme, and replaces the generic avatar with the customised badge.

Hopefully this doesn't break in the next update because it sems like the way to do this changes with every update of light-gtk-greeter.


#5 2013-10-05 20:21:45

Registered: 2013-10-05
Posts: 1

Re: [SOLVED] Customizing lightdm-gtk-greeter generic avatar

mostlyharmles wrote:

# mkdir /usr/share/lightdm/64x64/devices

Very nice but shouldn't your theme folder be located in /usr/share/icons and not directly in /usr/share ?


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