Configuring MATE Lockscreen Background

MATE is fast becoming my desktop environment of choice, and best of all it will run on both my desktop and my Raspberry Pi.

However I did discover that I couldn’t easily change the desktop background when unlocking a locked session – to get round this problem I simply replaced the default background image with the one I wanted to be able to use.

First to be able to lock the screen at all you need to install the mate-screensaver package if it isn’t already installed. To do this you need to be logged in as root.

Update : 07 Sep 14 – I have recently discovered that this method no longer works for MATE 1.8, it does still work with MATE 1.6.

$ su


$ sudo -i

Then you need to use apt to install the additional packages (include mate-backgrounds if that is not already installed too).

# apt-get install mate-screensaver
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
Suggested packages:
  xscreensaver-data rss-glx
Recommended packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  mate-screensaver mate-screensaver-common
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B/4,926 kB of archives.
After this operation, 7,394 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? Y
Setting up mate-screensaver-common (1.6.0-1) ...
Setting up mate-screensaver (1.6.0-1) ...

Logout and then log back in again.

By default when you lock the screen MATE will use the default background on the unlock screen – this looks alright but I prefer to use the same image as my wallpaper. It isn’t possible to change this in the application preferences yet but you can obtain the same effect by renaming the default background image and creating a link to your own background image. In this case I’m using the ‘Two Wings’ image.

First hide both the default ‘Stripes’ and the ‘Two Wings’ background images. Hiding the ‘Two Wings’ background stops it appearing twice in the list of screen backgrounds when we have finished. Then create a link to the hidden ‘Two Wings’ background to replace the original ‘Stripes’ background.

# mv /usr/share/backgrounds/mate/desktop/Stripes.png \
> /usr/share/backgrounds/mate/desktop/.Stripes.png
# mv /usr/share/backgrounds/mate/nature/TwoWings.jpg  \
> /usr/share/backgrounds/mate/nature/.TwoWings.jpg
# ln /usr/share/backgrounds/mate/nature/.TwoWings.jpg \
> /usr/share/backgrounds/mate/desktop/Stripes.png

Now when you come to unlock the screen the background image should be ‘Two Wings’ instead of the default ‘Stripes’…

Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

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