This article discusses some of the best wallpaper applications for Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
All Ubuntu versions have a set of 12-14 default wallpapers that comes with it. You can select either one of them or choose to create a slideshow of the wallpapers to shuffle the background image at a certain time interval. So far so good. But if you want these
But if you want these new wallpapers to change periodically in Ubuntu, things are not that rosy anymore. Even if you add the new image to the directory where the wallpapers are stored, it won’t be included in the wallpaper slideshow. For that, you need to edit an XML file and trust me it’s not a user-friendly task. Instead, you can use dedicated applications to manage your wallpapers in Ubuntu.
Best wallpaper apps for Ubuntu
The list is in no particular order. The features of these applications are more or less same, differing only slightly. You can choose to use one or more based on your preference.
Wallch is short form for wallpaper changer. You can browse it to any directory with images in it and it will let you choose the wallpapers or create a slideshow of automatic changing wallpapers at various time duration. All of this is configurable. In addition to wallpaper slideshow, it also provides some additional features. o summarize them:
- select wallpaper
- create wallpaper slideshow
- display ‘picture of the day’ from Wikipedia to get surprise wallpapers
- set live earth as desktop background
- live clock wallpapers to display time and date
- live website to set the desktop background (set website feed as desktop background)
Here is one of the live clock wallpaper I used in Wallch.
Using Wallch is very easy so I presume that you can easily handle it after installation. To install it in Ubuntu 14.04 and higher version, use the following command in terminal:
sudo apt-get install wallch
To uninstall it, use the following command:
sudo apt-get remove wallch
SyncWall is another wallpaper changer application for Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Apart from providing basic feature of changing wallpapers, it has a unique feature that allows you to synchronize wallpaper change between several workstations on the local network. Its features can be listed as following:
- change wallpaper at start-up, by interval or at fixed time
- define system hot-keys to change wallpaper manually.
- Basic multi-monitor support in order to share the wallpaper across screens
- add special effects (emboss, edge, blur, …) to the displayed wallpaper.
- rate images in order to display them more often when random order is selected
- Several resizing methods and background filling
- Network synchronization of wallpaper change
- live wallpapers
- Available for Linux and Window
To install SyncWall in Ubuntu and Linux Mint, you can use the following commands in the terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install syncwall
To remove SyncWall, use the following commands:
sudo apt-get remove syncwall
sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
You can read more on how to use SyncWall for live wallpapers in Ubuntu.
Variety is yet another wallpaper changer focusing on simplicity and bringing some innovative features to distinguish it from other similar applications. If you are running out of ideas for your new wallpaper, Variety can be your best bet because it allows you to fetch wallpapers from different online sources including Flickr, Wallpapers.net, Desktoppr, NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day.
It also provides a sync feature with the help of VRTY.ORG. If you create a profile here and choose VRTY integration on separate computers, you can syn the wallpapers between them. You can also get personalized recommendation for wallpapers based on your preferences of images. To summarize the features:
- change wallpaper manually or automatically
- change wallpaper at start
- add random effects to wallpaper
- show random quotes on the wallpaper
- support for digital clock
- get wallpapers from various online sources
- drag and drop from URL
- clipboard monitoring to automatically fetch images from URL and store it (from selected sources or all)
- sync wallpapers between computers
- get personalized wallpapers recommendation
- light on resources
- social connect for Variety users to find and follow users of similar taste
In fact, it has so many features to use that I am planning to cover it in a separate article. To install Variety, you can use the official PPA. Open a terminal and use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install variety
To remove Variety, use the following commands:
sudo apt-get remove variety
sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:peterlevi/ppa
What’s your favorite?
I know few people never touch the wallpaper and let it be set at the default wallpaper itself. I can understand the reason because we are seeing less and less of desktop these days therefore, it hardly adds value unless you use it on a desktop (instead of laptop). What about you? Do you often change the wallpaper? If yes, which application do you use to change desktop background automatically in Ubuntu or Linux Mint?
Suggested reading: Take a look at best Linux photo management software.