Change login screen in Lubuntu 21.10


Not sure if this question has been brought here already, but I’m looking for a way to change login screen in Lubuntu 21.10. I don’t mean to change background only, but also avatar, box, the whole design; the current and apparently only one is ugly as hell and you can’t even add a picture as your personal avatar. I wonder if there might be downloadable themes for customize it as there are for icons and general aspect.


The display manager (DM/greeter) used by Lubuntu is sddm which is also used by Kubuntu or KDE.

The manual page on the topic is found here which does make mention of installing and other themes.

Themes can be changed very easily; KDE has a tool that allows for this easily; but it’s rather heavy (uses KF5) requiring a lot of KDE to be added onto your system for it to function on LXQt; so adding it isn’t ideal if you aim to keep your system light. Thus editing files is the light way (currently).

Work is progressing on an easier config tool (see but it’s status currently is still early alpha.

Themes can be seen/found at

and other places. Download/install and follow what is found in the manual; yelling out here if you have issues.

Additional notes:

For complex editing/configuration of the sddm conf files; I’d likely use the arch wiki but the upstream github wiki can be found here.


Well, thank you very much! I kinda remembered there was downloadable themes for previous versions, didn’t know where they were, though.
Annyway, I got a theme from KDE Store. The thing is, it’s a tar.gz file and I simply don’t know what to do with it. I googled it out but solutions apply for Ubuntu only. I can’t just click on it and install and not sure if I have to type some sudo install or something. Ain’t no graphics to drag and drop and so.

This is a really long HOWTO; or that was my intention; before I abandoned it.

Yeah it did work; but I stopped short of describing that and changed my answer recommending you don’t follow what I was doing, but instead just change the wallpaper. If you do what I had to do, it’s not the easiest way anyway…

If you want to skip my abandoned howto response; jump to the “Stopping my howto response at this point” bold section & read from there (or the links I gave just before that on new themes we’ll get to when we can)


(Note: I didn’t finish writing this part; as I had to install extra package(s) to get it working; which I don’t think is worth it; I also used a meta package and didn’t want to delve down to find which actual package(s) are actually required)

I went to KDE Store & found a theme,

This was in firefox which offered to SAVE the file or open in LXQt File Archiver. I usually save these types of files & open, but in this case I just had it directly open in LXQt File Archiver

I selected all & extracted; in my case this was a fresh QA-install so I didn’t create a directory; using only ~/Downloads/ which created a directory inside it titled “Twilight_Dark” (ie. the name of the theme I’d selected).

Lubuntu’s provided theme is packaged in sddm-theme-lubuntu which expands to the directory /usr/share/sddm/themes/lubuntu on install; so I’ll just move the details to that directory, ie.

sudo mv ~/Downloads/Twilight-dark/ /usr/share/sddm/themes/

Changing to themes as discussed in the manual assume you’ve added them from repository packages; which does simplify things, alas I’ve opted not to in this case.

The manual next tells me to edit the file /usr/share/sddm/themes/lubuntu/theme.conf which I do firstly with sudoedit (which can be a safer option than sudo nano), alas I’m not good at nano so switch instead of vim… alas here I think the manual needs updating - and why you’ve probably gone wrong sorry.

I instead sudoedit /etc/sddm.conf`

where I added lines


On reboot the theme is changed; alas it’s now what I selected so I’ve actually failed, with a few errors, so I

sudoedit /usr/share/sddm/themes/Twilight-dark/Main.qml

and comment out the lines that created the issue, reboot to try and there are loads more issues… and I’m reminded of this discussion and a Lubuntu task.

Stopping my howto response at this point

Sorry this isn’t as easy for a clean Lubuntu install. On prior attempts I’ve had no issues; however that’s likely because

  • of the theme I’ve picked being generic (ie. I was lucky), OR
  • I’d used boxes that already had kubuntu-desktop installed additionally to my Lubuntu, so everything was already present and I could pick any sddm theme & have it just work

but no doubt I’ve hit issues you encountered and yeah it’s not easy. The theme I used was a newish one that appeared on my first page of sddm themes.

Changing the background sddm wallpaper

Some changes are easy; eg. background is just a single file (/usr/share/sddm/themes/lubuntu/wall.png) and a link to an installed file, thus is easy to replace. I recall also making other changes to (Main.qml) the file for experimentation purposes, but most changes I make on my main box is minimal & usually backed out, so my box is mostly standard and I can hopefully detect changes and possible issues before they hit users (I’m on the development cycle)

This was done on a box to my left (a box I use for QA-test installs; ie. this was tested on a freshly installed Lubuntu jammy), however I bet if I re-tried this on the box to my right (which I do actually use on occasion), it’ll work flawlessly as it has extra package(s) installed.

If it was me; I’d just recommend changing the wallpaper if you’re using Lubuntu, given you need to install KDE/Kubuntu package(s) for it to easily work; and to me that’s not worth if for something that is only visual & seen briefly before you actually start working on your box; having no actual impact on what (to me anyway) matters which is all after you’ve logged in & start working.

I mentioned upstream was working on an easier fix; I’d recommend waiting for that. The other thread I referenced on this post provides additional details mentions editing the Main.qml file I did countless times in forming this response.

FYI: I reversed all my changes to return the Main.qml back to default; got my first warning; then added a package to the system & bingo it was perfect (even has nice changes on timeout etc as it sits besides me as I type this), but as already stated… my option for a lean Lubuntu install would be just changing the background which can be done super easily to one you like, unless you’re likely me and don’t mind a bloated system.

If I had a need to document/complete my howto section, I’d want to narrow down the actual package(s) required; which I didn’t do - getting bored & opting for a meta package that I knew would fix the issue. Pick the right themes and the additional packages aren’t required anyway.

Sorry I could re-write this to make it clearer; but I’m sick of it & would rather just delete it; why I’ve been slow to submit it. I used jammy as it’s what we’re QA-testing currently, and at least the fresh install was good for something (a QA-test), but it’d be the same as impish or 21.10

metapackages used: kubuntu-desktop which was removed and then desktop-base & wmmaker (appeared to be smallest depends for desktop-base…)


I have to but how to resolve this issue anyone tell me?

What “issue” are you referring to? What are you trying to do exactly?

if @a_s wants to change the entire design, then I think the best course of action would be to install a completely different desktop manager. There are several out there.

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There are also a number of easy altenatives using themes found in Ubuntu archives

guiverc@d960-ubu2:/usr/share/sddm/themes/lubuntu$   apt-cache search sddm                                                         
kde-config-sddm - KCM module for SDDM
materia-kde - Port of the popular GTK theme Materia for Plasma 5
sddm - modern display manager for X11
sddm-theme-breeze - Breeze SDDM theme
sddm-theme-debian-elarun - 'Debian Elarun' Theme for SDDM X11 display manager
sddm-theme-debian-maui - 'Debian Maui' theme for SDDM X11 display manager
sddm-theme-elarun - 'Elarun' Theme for SDDM X11 display manager
sddm-theme-lubuntu - Lubuntu theme for SDDM X11 display manager
sddm-theme-maldives - 'Maldives' theme for SDDM X11 display manager
sddm-theme-maui - 'Maui' theme for SDDM X11 display manager
sddm-theme-maya - 'Maya' theme for SDDM X11 display manager
ubuntustudio-default-settings - default settings for the Ubuntu Studio desktop

Any added theme (from sites I mentioned worked perfectly with extra packages installed (I mentioned two groups) so it’s possible, just not worth it in my opinion.

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Well, I hadn’t time to check this out for a while, so…

I really appreciate guiverc’s effort. He could have ignored my post, but he chosen to be helpful, or at least he tried, because, well, I lost track, to be blunt about it. I was looking for an easy way to change full login screen, not only the wallpaper. Hell, I think even Linux Mint allows you to do so with a few clicks. But again, this Ubuntu amateur says thank you very much.
About the easy alternatives, yeah, I found them. I usually install via Muon if the program I’m looking for is available there. I tried those other themes but mate, they are equally ugly or even worse. Why the fuck they don’t put the good ones there? Why Ubuntu felllas have to be such a pain in the arse? Please don’t mind my diplomatic manners.

As for epp, yeah, I could install another desktop manager, but I don’t know how to do it either or which one I should install.

So I don’t know what I’m gonna do next. Maybe I’ll just settle for the current theme if ain’t no other EASY way. I won’t fuck with my computer just for a login screen. You know how Ubuntu is. Touch a single thing and all the rest is pushed out of place…

Anyway, thank you all very much for those answers!

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