Fedora Linux : Change user icon in GDM login

In general, I’m pretty happy with my desktop setup. I use MATE with i3 on my Fedora Linux laptop for quite some time now, and it works well.

However, there was one annoying tidbit that I decided to fix today – my user icon on the login screen. I remember that I used to have it at some point, but it disappeared during some upgrade a few month ago.

The login screen is managed by Gnome Display Manager (GDM). In previous versions, you could easily customize the user icon via either some GUI tools for users and groups, or by simply dropping your icon into ~/.face file, in, preferably, PNG format, and GDM would pick it up just fine. Turns out, not anymore.

It took me a few Google searches to find the solution, so I’m sharing it here (just replace ‘leonid’ everywhere with your own username):

# Copy the user icon file
sudo cp /home/leonid/.face /usr/share/pixaps/faces/leonid.png
# Edit user settings file and add the following line:
# Icon=/usr/share/pixaps/faces/leonid.png
sudo vim /var/lib/AccountsService/users/leonid
# Logging out is not enough, so just ...
reboot

Once your system restarts, you should see the proper user icon on the login screen.

MATE + i3wm = Happy, happy, happy!


I finally freed up a few minutes to try this solution for combined MATE desktop environment with i3 window manager.  And I have to say it works perfectly!

I now have the best of both worlds – MATE’s out of the way desktop, with good multi-monitor support, and i3wm’s tiling windows and keyboard navigation.

Replacing default MATE window manager with i3wm


For the last few month I’ve been torn between i3 tiling window manager and MATE desktop environment.  I love them both, even though they are very different from each other.

When I’m alone, and have all the time in the world to write code, i3wm is my best friend.  When I’m in the office, or need to move between tasks, monitors, and locations, MATE is the best.  But I want both.  I don’t want to choose.

Today I came across this YouTube video with a screencast of how to setup i3 window manager instead of the default MATE’s one.  Yes, i3 running inside MATE!  This sounds like magic!

Things I have to do this week make tweaking a working desktop a really bad idea, so I probably won’t try this until the weekend, but it does look exciting!

I love you, MATE!


Three seconds after switching to MATE Desktop, I am in love.  It’s been a long while now that I’ve been trying to get used to Gnome 3, gave up, switched to KDE 4, which is better, but nowhere near as good as Gnome 2.  All of a sudden, all those distant memories of a useful, stable, working desktop environment which is completely out of your way are a reality again.

mate

 

I’ve only done it on my home laptop for now.  But with positive feelings that strong, I think my work laptop will be switched over on Monday.   Huge thank you goes to both everyone who made Gnome 2 an awesome desktop and those who forked the MATE.  Please keep it up!