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Michael Skyba edited this page Apr 8, 2022 · 28 revisions

Table of Contents



  • linux or bsd or macOS (iTerm2) or windows (no terminal support)
  • python 3.5+
  • imagemagick
    • Colorscheme generation.
  • pidof (procps)
    • Detection of running programs.
  • xfce, gnome, cinnamon, mate
    • Desktop wallpaper setting.
  • feh, nitrogen, bgs, hsetroot, habak, display
    • Universal wallpaper setting.

Terminal Emulator

To use wal your terminal emulator must support a special type of escape sequence. The command below can be used as a test to see if wal will work with your setup.

Run the command below, does the background color of your terminal become red?

printf "%b" "\033]11;#ff0000\007"

Note: Before the test, clean your current memory's Xresources with xrdb -remove *. The .Xresources file overrides the printf "%b" "\033]11;#ff0000\007" command.

If your terminal's background color is now red, your terminal should work with wal.

Terminals that DON'T work with wal.


Pip install

System-wide install (sudo)

pip3 install pywal

User install (No sudo)

pip3 install --user pywal

# Add local 'pip' to PATH:
# (In your .bashrc, .zshrc etc)
export PATH="${PATH}:${HOME}/.local/bin/"

Manual/Git install

git clone
cd pywal
pip3 install --user .

# Add local 'pip' to PATH:
# (In your .bashrc, .zshrc etc)
export PATH="${PATH}:${HOME}/.local/bin/"

OS/Distro Packages

Arch Linux

pywal is available in the Arch Linux repos as python-pywal.


pywal is availalble in Nixpkgs as pywal

Void Linux

pywal is availalble in the main Void Linux repo as pywal

Source Mage GNU/Linux

pywal is available in test grimoire as pywal


If you want to enable alternative backends, install the supported backend via pip. To install colorz for example:

pip3 install --user colorz