Umar Ahmad

Automatically Changing desktop background on gnome-shell

Click here to download the scripts directly, or view them on Github

One of the main attractions about a system is the desktop background. We tend to choose our background which identifies our interests , are aesthetically pleasing or remind us of our good times.

But the thing with consistency is that it gets boring with time. Wallpapers we once loved, becomes a burden and we find it hard to come back to that wallpaper after getting it on 24×7.

This is the problem I had. I cancelled out each wallpaper from my list of all wallpapers I had, after I completely sucked out the goodness of a wallpaper with my eyes.

I came up with the idea of automatically changing the wallpaper randomly via some sort of shell script. It’s implementation used gsettings to change the desktop wallpaper. It was supposed to run automatically as a cron-job but I couldn’t make the cron work. The current implementation uses sleep to get the delay

So a simple wall paper changing script looked like:

# Setting up a path for local storage

if [ ! -d "$image_path" ]; then
  echo "Path doesn't exist (Pass absolute path as parameter)" 1>&2
# creating local directory
mkdir -p $local_dir
# getting name of the picture
pic=$(find $image_path -regextype posix-extended -regex "(.*\.jpg)|(.*\.png)"|shuf -n1)
echo $pic

# Storing image in local_dir
filename=$(basename "$pic")
# setting the wallpaper
cp "$pic" $local_wallpaper
# echo $local_wallpaper
# Adding bogus wallpaper (don't know if this is a gsettings bug or i'm doing some basic flaw)
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:/$local_wallpaper
# try increasing the sleep if wallpaper doesn't change
sleep 1;
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file://$local_wallpaper

You can find the rest of the files on Github

Have fun with your wallpapers :wink: