Nov 18, 2009

Customizing Ubuntu 9.10

If you have just downloaded Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, you probably just figured out that once again the folks at Ubuntu have made this version a little bit harder to customize. When I say customize I mean change the boot splash and login screen.

Why is that? It is because they have replaced uSplash with Xsplash and GDM with X11. So what does one have to do to pimp out this version of Ubuntu? I’ll tell you.

To customize the login screen, you can’t simply download a GDM theme from anymore. Now you have to change the look and feel the same way you do with your desktop, by changing the wallpaper and the metacity theme. To do that open a terminal and run the following:

# gksudo -u gdm dbus-launch gnome-appearance-properties

That will bring up the options to change the wallpaper, colors and settings for the login screen.

To change Xsplash, this is actually a little easier. Go to and do a search for ‘Xsplash’ and you will find a few boot splash screens. Go ahead and download the one of your choice. (I like the new Bauer-Puntu Xsplash screen personally ;-P) Once you download your theme, extract the contents, and copy the pictures inside to /usr/share/images/xsplash.

Reboot, and you are good to go.

Speaking of pimping out your Linux. I know I mentioned doing away with Bauer-Puntu, and going with a Suse based distro. Well, I changed my mind on that. Suse studio kind of sucks. No, I will make a Bauer-Puntu 9.10, but I am going a different direction with it this time. Stay tuned for the next few days for the official announcement.

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