Theming, Changing the background

Hello everyone.

I have been trying to do a little theming on my gibbon install.
However after reading the forums im still finding it hard to locate and change the background.
So far I’ve added a new theme and changed the img file within that theme. I’ve installed it and its running as i like. But its still not showing the background image. So, I’ve tried to just change the colour of the background but still i can’t find the place were that is set,
I’ve been looking in the css files and i can see the text and the tables also, their background. But this is not what im wishing to change right now, as the main background is the main and probable the only thing I am wishing to change right now.

What am i doing wrong? Can anyone help me out?

Thank you all for your help of late

I’m not sure I’m getting you right but the user background image is not really part of theming, isn’t it?

Did you check the “Preferences” link in the upper right corner of Gibbon? This is where a user can set an individual background image.


Hello meierrom, Thank you for your comment.
Yes, they can. However im trying to make a default theme that matches the colour theme of our school. So, I’m trying to make a system-wide background.
As the blue is not really our school colour. Any pointers would be great?

Hi BrianE, good questions! In v17 we introduced a setting to allow schools to change the background of their installation, without having to change theme or do any coding. This is available under Admin > System Admin > System Settings. The setting is called, simply, Background.

In terms of theming, the best approach would be to copy the Default theme, give it a new name, update the mainfest.php file to match, and then edit there. This way your changes won’t be overwritten when you update Gibbon.

One warning, we are currently working on a new approach to theming, and so the situation will likely change during v19. More to come on that soon.



Thank you for the update Ross,
I’ve managed to sort out the background image. In the end it was just a typo.
I look forward to v19 and the changes to come.

What should the dimensions of the background file be?

Hi Tieku,

Nice to see you here! There is no set size for the background, and it will tile horizontally if needed (which can be more or less attractive depending on the background).

I would ask what is the maximum size that 98% of your users are using, and then use that. For us, I’ve gone with 2880 x 1800. You could go bigger, but then loading time increases.

Hope this helps.


I can’t find System Settings on my system admin… Kindly help

Should be there tho by default when logged in as admin. Did you do some changes in user permissions?

  1. Check User Admin> User Management> Manage Permissions
  2. Scroll down to section “System Admin” and check if all checkboxes are ticked for “Adm”.