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Utilities to manage gnome wallpapers
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Dynamic background generator

This package propose two ways to dynamically change your desktop automatically. One is by generating a XML file, that can be used by any GNOME desktop compatible system (such as GNOME 2 and 3, Unity, MATE and Cinnamon), and the other one is a little script you can run to randomly select a picture from a path.

Using XML files

GNOME background compatible desktop environment can use XML files to make an animated background. This little script allows you to automatically generate your own XML background changer file, easily, using the command line.

To generate the XML file, use gnome-background-generator:

usage: gnome-background-generator [-h] [-v] [-o OUTPUT]
                              [-r] [-t TRANSITION_TIME] [-d DISPLAY_TIME]
                              [-R] [-f] [directory [directory ...]]

A simple command line tool to generate an XML file to use for gnome
wallpapers, to have dynamic walls

positional arguments:
  directory             Directory path that should be searched for image files

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -r, --randomize       Randomly shuffle scanned images
  -R, --recursive       Recursivly scan the given directories
  -f, --follow-symlinks
                        Follow symbolic links when scanning directories
                        recursivly (implies --recursive)
  -o OUTPUT, --output OUTPUT
                        Output filename. If no filename is specified, a
                        dynamic-wallpaper.xml file will be generated in the
                        path containing the pictures. You can also use "-" to
                        display the xml in the stdout
                        Time (in seconds) transitions must last [Default: 2]
  -d DISPLAY_TIME, --display-time DISPLAY_TIME
                        Time (in seconds) a picture must be displayed
                        [Default: 900 (15min)]
  -v, --debug


  1. Generate a file named dynamic-background.xml from all images in the current directory: gnome-background-generator
  2. Generate a file named background.xml in the current directory using all images in the directories "foo" and "bar" and all their subdirectories (even symlinked ones) in random order with a 5 second transition and a 15 second display time: gnome-background-generator -o background.xml -r -t 5 -d 15 -R -f foo bar

Changing your desktop randomly

There is also another command you can use to change your background to a random file from a known directory:

$ gnome-wallpaper-select /path/to/walls

This second one is useful if combined with a cronjob; Unfortunately, it's sometimes a hard process because crontabs use dbus, and this conflicts with the use of gconftool-2.

Here is a simple tutorial on how to make it work:

$ wget -O ~/.Xdbus
$ crontab -e

And then add

*/4 * * * * . ~/.Xdbus; /usr/local/bin/gnome-wallpaper-select ~/Images/walls
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