Make Your Linux Desktop Look Lovely With Dynamic Wallpaper


Linux may not be the primary working system that involves your thoughts when talking of customizations, however it’s fairly the opposite. Whereas most Linux distributions could appear plain and boring on the primary boot, there are numerous customization choices to make your desktop pop and look distinctive.

In the event you’re a proficient Linux consumer, you might need realized that Linux can provide extra personalization relying on the desktop setting and window supervisor you employ. Let’s take step one in direction of a greater desktop look and change to dynamic wallpapers.

What Is Dynamic Wallpaper?

Static wallpapers are these wallpapers that don’t change routinely over a time period. These are the kind of wallpapers that come built-in along with your Linux distribution and desktop setting. Nonetheless, you may transcend the common static wallpapers and make a leap in direction of dynamic wallpapers.

Dynamic Wallpaper is an easy bash script that permits you to set wallpapers in response to the present time, utilizing a cron job scheduler. Confused about what which means? In a nutshell, it permits you to set completely different wallpapers for various instances of the day. Think about utilizing a brighter model of wallpaper in the course of the day and a darker one at night time. With Dynamic Wallpaper, you could make your desktop look reactive.

Although there are over 25 completely different wallpaper units of varied resolutions, from HD to 5K, you can even create your individual wallpaper set for a customized look. It additionally helps pywal, a instrument that generates a colour palette from the dominant colours in a picture and then applies the colours system-wide and on your whole favourite packages. 

Can You Use Dynamic Wallpaper?

Most Linux desktop environments and window managers help Dynamic Wallpaper. Here is an official checklist of all of the desktop environments and window managers that Dynamic Wallpaper works with:

Desktop Environments:

  • KDE
  • Pantheon
  • Deepin
  • Cinnamon
  • Xfce
  • LXDE
  • MATE

Window Managers:

  • Openbox
  • i3wm
  • bspwm
  • AwesomeWM
  • Fluxbox
  • FVWM
  • Sway

Don’t fret in case your desktop setting or window supervisor just isn’t on this checklist. You’ll be able to nonetheless give it a try to use the take a look at script to verify if it really works in your system.

Set up Dynamic Wallpaper on Linux

Earlier than you begin putting in dwall (Dynamic Wallpaper), you will have to put in all the mandatory dependencies for it to work correctly. Relying upon the Linux distribution you are operating, run both of the 2 instructions given under to put in the dependencies.

For Arch Linux and Arch-based distributions:

sudo pacman -Sy feh cronie python-pywal xorg-xrandr

In the event you’re not operating the Xfce desktop setting, be at liberty to take away the xorg-xrandr package deal from the above command as you will not require it if you happen to’re utilizing different desktop environments. You can even take away pywal if you don’t plan on utilizing it.

For Ubuntu and different Debian-based distributions:

sudo apt-get set up x11-xserver-utils feh cron

Equally, you may take away the x11-xserver-utils package deal if you happen to’re not operating the Xfce desktop setting.

Now that you’ve all of the dependencies put in, it’s time so that you can set up the precise dwall instrument. It is a simple course of, and you can begin by cloning the git repository. Here is how to try this:

git clone
cd dynamic-wallpaper

If you wish to take a look at the bash script earlier than you proceed to put in it, you may run the take a look script with the next command:

./take a look

As you may’ve seen, you may select from over 25 completely different wallpaper units. For instance, if you wish to apply the manufacturing facility wallpaper set for testing the script, you may run this command:

./take a look -s manufacturing facility

You’ll discover that your wallpaper has routinely been modified to your required wallpaper set relying upon the time of day.

After testing, you may wish to set up the script if you happen to did not face any points. Contained in the listing, one can find a devoted set script for precisely this goal. To put in dwall, all it’s a must to do is run this script.


And there you go. You may have efficiently put in dwall in your Linux machine. You’ll be able to change between completely different wallpaper units, and dwall will routinely apply the suitable wallpaper from the set relying upon the time.

However that is not all. In the meanwhile, you’ll manually run the dwall script each few hours to replace your wallpaper. To keep away from this, you may arrange a cron job and automate this course of, which you will notice within the subsequent part.

Dynamic Wallpaper Automation With Cron Jobs

Lastly, to modify the wallpapers routinely, you will have to arrange a cron job. Cron is a Linux command that you need to use to schedule the execution of instructions or duties someday sooner or later repeatedly. In your case, you will want a cron job to run dwall each hour. You can begin by enabling the cron service in your system utilizing the instructions given under.

On Arch-based distributions:

sudo systemctl allow cronie.service --now

To allow the cron service on Ubuntu and different Debian-based distros:

sudo systemctl allow cron

As soon as it is carried out, you will have to seek out out the values of some setting variables earlier than you may proceed to create a cron job. Run this command in your terminal and notice down the values:


The output in your terminal is likely to be completely different than the one proven within the picture above. Don’t worry about that because it differs throughout completely different units. Now that you simply’re good to go, let’s create a cron job utilizing crontab.

crontab -e

You may see a textual content editor open up so that you can add a brand new cron job. Paste the command given under to the editor however make sure that to interchange the setting variables with your individual values.

0 * * * * env PATH=<path-variable> DISPLAY=<display-variable> DESKTOP_SESSION=<desktop-session-variable> DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS="<dbus-sesssion-bus-address>" /usr/bin/dwall -s <wallpaper-set>

Within the above command, make sure that to change all of the values inside <> with your individual setting variables and take away the <>. And that is it, you could have efficiently created a cron job for switching your wallpaper dynamically.

To take away your earlier cron job and use a special wallpaper set, you may run the next instructions:

crontab -r
crontab -e

A textual content editor window will present up once more. This time, you may select a special wallpaper set by changing the <wallpaper-set> variable with a brand new worth.

Take pleasure in a Vigorous Desktop With Dynamic Wallpaper

Dynamic wallpapers are probably the greatest methods to get began with personalizing your Linux expertise. With a customization-centric desktop setting like KDE Plasma or a window supervisor like i3, you may even take it to the following stage. It does require a little bit of tinkering out of your facet although.

Fancy the macOS appear and feel as a substitute? Guess what, Linux can try this too. Here is a roundup on how one can customise your GNOME, Xfce, KDE Plasma, Unity, or Cinnamon desktop setting to imitate the macOS look.


Supply hyperlink