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How to add a custom welcome message to your Xubuntu or Ubuntu login screen

I like the graphical login screen on my laptop to display my e-mail address. In case I lose the laptop and an honest person finds it, they should at least have the possibility to return it.

In the latest versions of Ubuntu or Xubuntu, you can change the welcome message via the settings menu for “Login Window” (or, at a command line, type “gksudo gdmsetup”). Go to the “local” tab.

However, the custom welcome message is not displayed for a lot of (possibly most or all of) the themes, if you want a themed login window. My guess is that this is because these themes do not display a welcome message at all, period. To work around this, you can manually edit the .xml file of the theme you wish to use. Let’s assume you want to use the “Human” theme for your login screen. Pick that in the gdm setup window. Set your custom welcome message. Now, go to /usr/share/gdm/themes. You will see that this contains folders named after the different themes. You want to change the “Human” theme, so go to that folder. Now, using sudo, edit the file Human.xml. You will see that it contains xml markup, which is similar to hmtl. Add a section that looks like the following (I don’t think it matters where you add it. I added mine after the “ubuntu logo” section and it works fine):

  <!-- Welcome message (added by MP) -->
  <item type="label">
    <pos y="2%" x="2%"/>
    <normal color="#000000" font="Sans 14"/>
    <!-- Stock label for: Welcome to %h -->
    <stock type="welcome-label"/>

Of course, you can change the position, color and font; this should be easy to figure out. Save the file. Next time you log out, you will see the custom welcome message that you have defined in the GUI for the gdm settings on your login screen.

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