How can I set user pictures on Debian with lightdm?

Xfce does not seem to have a GUI facility for user management at all. I have tried installing gnome-system tools that contains user management dialog (users-admin) but I can't find where to set picture there.

I remember Gnome had "About me" dialog but that was GNOME 2. GNOME 3 probably also has something like that but I don't want to install GNOME if I can simply add PNG file and/or edit a config file somewhere for lightdm to look up.

3 Answers 3


I don't know if there is a way to do it with a GUI, but you could place a icon.face file in your user directory. That may cause issues, however.

An alternative is to use the AccountsService. Edit/create the file /var/lib/AccountsService/users/<username>, and add the following lines:


Make sure the lightdm user has read access to the icon (IDK, but maybe 755 permissions?)

Source: This Arch Linux wiki page.

  • 2
    In some cases, the file could just be called .face in your home directory. Aug 29, 2016 at 18:25

Since the Mate desktop-environment was introduced in Debian, this is now available in the mate-about-me application, which is part of mate-control-center as it was before in Gnome 2.


As of Debian 10 "Buster" with Xfce4, managed renaming desired image picture to .face at user home directory and uncommenting greeter-hide-users=false line in [Seat:*] session at /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.