Mint Display Manager (MDM) is the default display manager for Linux Mint and Linux Mint Debian Edition. A display manager helps you to start a graphical session on the desktop environment of your choice. Display managers can be themed to just like we theme our desktops.
MDM comes in three varieties. You can choose a GTK theme, a GDM theme or a HTML theme. The default theme is an HTML theme, Mint-X. In this tutorial, we will tweak it a little bit to create a custom HTML theme. You need to follow these simple basic steps.
Note :- This tutorial is written keeping a beginner in mind. Experienced users may refer to the detailed tutorial :- http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1336
- Open Nemo, the file manager.
- Click on file system and go the usr directory.
- Open share directory and then, mdm directory.
- Inside mdm you will see html-themes directory. Open it and copy the folder, ‘Mint-X’.
- Paste the folder in a location of your choice.
- Look for a file ‘bg.jpg’. You will note that this is the background you saw on the login screen.
- Choose a picture and rename it as ‘bg.jpg’.
- Replace the default background with the picture you chose.
- Open ‘theme.info’ file and change name and description of the theme.
- Change directory name ‘Mint-X’ if you want and compress it to create a theme archive.
- Open Menu and choose Administration > Login Window and enter administrative password. Add our new theme and choose it.
- Log out to see the magic.
A video tutorial has been uploaded under public domain on Media Globin instance globinrefuge.com. You are free to download the video.
Link to my video tutorial :- https://goblinrefuge.com/mediagoblin/u/abhijith/m/tutorial-create-your-own-custom-mdm-html5-theme-for-newbies/
Once you are done you can try editing the codes and create better themes. There are plenty of themes available at gnome-look.org and linuxmint-art.org for you to test and learn. The detailed tutorial mentioned above introduces you to mdm theme emulator for testing your theme. You may also use a browser to do so by opening the index.html file.