Here are some easy to use and configure XPlanet scripts that allow a user to automatically update their Gnome background image.
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XPlanet Scripts v0.1
written by Patrick Jennings

About the scripts

I wrote the following scripts in order to easily setup a nice looking xplanet
background image on to a Gnome desktop.

The scripts were written specifically for the GNU/Linux platform but should work
for all Unix compliant systems with access to Bourne shell, Gnome desktop
manager, and Python. The xplanet package is required to be installed. The images
come from NASA's image collection database, "Visible Earth". The cloud script
was written by Michal Pasternak and is slightly modified to download the only
larger cloud images.


1. Create the directory structure:
	$ sh

This creates the directory structure in ${HOME}/.xplanet and downloads the
images to the correct sub-directories.

2. Create a new cron job entry:
	$ crontab -e

You may now add a cron job that executes the scripts automatically.
For example:
	0,20,40 * * * * /usr/bin/nice -n 19 /bin/sh ${HOME}/.xplanet/

This cron job will execute every 20 minutes with a high nice value (in the


1. Delete directory structure:
	$ rm -r ${HOME}/.xplanet

2. Remove any cron job entries:
	$ crontab -e


All configuration files will be in the users home directory:
	Options for editing the resulting xplanet image (latitude, longitude,
	geometry, output file, etc) is located in this script.
	Options for downloading the cloud images reside here. Default is to
	download a new cloud map every 3 hours.


Michal Pasternak's ver. 1.1:

NASA's Visible Earth: