GDM – Ubuntu‘s login manager – used to be easy to customise cosmetically in 9.04 backwards, at least by installing some of the themes available. However, in “Karmic Koala” 9.10 this changed, and you now have to hack the Ubuntu login screen to make any changes to the appearance.
While this means a bit more hassle, users can at least stop grumbling that there is no longer any customisability. For the most part, the various methods for achieving this are hassle-free, but one issue has affected a few users, and it is more of an annoyance than anything worth worrying about (too much).
If you find that gnome-control-center (which will look like the “Appearance Preferences” dialogue) is loading at the login screen every time you reboot or log in, there is a file that is causing this, and is easily removed.
To remedy this issue, simply enter the following into a terminal or Alt+F2:
sudo rm /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow/gnome-appearance-properties.desktop
When you reboot or log out and back in again, you should get the login screen without having to close Gnome Control Center.
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