How to Set your Ubuntu Wallpaper as the bootsplash and login screen background

If you have noticed, Ubuntu Karmic comes with a new xsplash that allows you to set custom wallpaper as the background. Not only is it more visually appealing, it is also much easier to customize than the previous usplash.

In this article, we are going to do some thing more interesting – change the bootsplash and login screen concurrently when you change your desktop wallpaper.

Note: this is currently only possible with Ubuntu Karmic 9.10 or distro with xsplash installed.


Update: A new PPA is now available for the wallpaper daemon script. You can install it with the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:meerkat/stable
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install xsplash-background-settings

Once installed, you should be able to access it from System -> Settings -> XSplash Wallpaper Settings

First, install the dependencies.

sudo apt-get install imagemagick

Download the script from

Extract the tar file to a suitable location, probably your home folder.

Go to the location where you have extracted the file. Right click on the and select Properties. Go to the Permissions tab and check the box “Allow executing file as program”. Click Close.


Open a terminal and type

/filepath-to-script/ –-install

Remember to change the filepath-to-script to the actual filepath.

This will backup your existing xsplash screen and run the daemon.

Now change your desktop wallpaper (System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Background)


Open a new terminal (do not close the previous one) and type:

sudo xsplash

You should see a preview of your new bootsplash. Press “ESC” to return to the desktop.

Go to Startup Application (System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications)

Click Add

Enter the command as below:
Name: Wallpaper Daemon
Command: /filepath-to-script/

Remember to change the filepath-to-script to the actual filepath

Click Close.

Close all windows and restart your computer. You should now see your favorite desktop wallpaper as the bootsplash and login screen.


Desktop wallpaper


Bootsplash screen


Login screen


Wallpaper Changer

If you are using wallpaper changer app like Wally or Desktop Drape, they will work with the wallpaper_daemon script as well. Whenever the desktop wallpaper changes, the xsplash and login screen will change as well.


If you feel that the wallpaper_daemon script is taking up too much resources, or you are tired of such fancy stuff, here are the steps to uninstall it.

Go to Startup Application, delete the wallpaper_daemon entry that you have entered earlier.

Open up your Nautilus file manager and navigate to /usr/share/images/xsplash and look for this file backup.xxxxxxx where the xxx represents a string of number. Copy down the name of this file.


Open up a terminal,

sudo tar -C / -xf /usr/share/images/xsplash/backup.xxxxx

Note: Replace the backup.xxxx with the actual name of the backup file.

This will restore the default xsplash screen.

That’s it. You may also want to delete the script from your computer, but that is purely optional.