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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
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Splash Screen


You can choose the splash screen used by Gnome. The simplest way to do this in Debian is with:

  $ wajig update-alternatives desktop-splash

This allows a choice of a number of Debian supplied splash screens.

The splash screen can also be changed, for a specific user, to any graphic by editing the gnome-session configuration with the gconf-editor. You can start the Gnome configuration editor with Applications-->System Tools-->Configuration Editor. Then choose apps-->gnome session-->options. Highlight splash_image and enter the path to the image you wish to display. The default, in case you want to change back to it, is /usr/share/images/desktop-base/desktop-splash, a symbolic link to /etc/alternatives/desktop-splash, which in turn is a symbolic link, that might point to /usr/share/images/desktop-base/Splash-debblue.png, but is managed with the update-alternatives command as above.

Sometimes the splash images stays around for quite a while until it times out. If, for example, xmms is automatically started when you enter a Gnome session, then this will happen--because xmms is not communicating back to the Gnome session manager properly. The splash screen will disappear of its own accord eventually, although it will also disappear if you click it. The other alternative is to remove the offending application from the session.

This same problem will also cause the Log Out action from the menus to delay until the timeout. It will eventually display the logout prompt, but it may take a little while.

Another program that causes some issues is gnubiff. Sometimes, gnubiff gets into the session list multiple times or persists after removing it from the panel, causing the same delays for Gnome.

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