How to change desktop background from command line in Unity?


This brief tutorial is going to show you how to create application shortcuts on Unity Desktop in Ubuntu 13.04 Raring. You can just drag and drop icons to your desktop, but it won’t always work. Some of them have the permission issues which can be fixed by below steps:

UPDATES: For Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy, copy and paste the programs .desktop file from /usr/share/applications to user’s Desktop folder

1.) Search for applications from Unity Dash, drag and drop them onto desktop:

2.) After added all app icons to your desktop, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal.

Change the ownership of them. My username is handbook, in below command change it to yours.

sudo chown handbook ~/Desktop/*.desktop

Make sure all icons are executable:

sudo chmod +x ~/Desktop/*.desktop

You are done....

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LightDM is a lightweight display manager that has been made default in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, replacing GDM.

If you want to change the LightDM login screen background, all you have to do is edit a file and enter the path to the new background:


Open a terminal or press ALT + F2 and enter:

gksu gedit /etc/lightdm/unity-greeter.conf

2. Scroll down to the line that begins with "background" - it should look like this:


And replace "/usr/share/backgrounds/warty-final-ubuntu.png" with the exact path to the wallpaper you want to use for the LightDM background.

3. Save the file and log out.

The above instructions assume you're using Unity Greeter, the default LightDM greeter (theme) in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. If you use a different greeter, like for instance LightDM GTK Greeter (package name: lightdm-gtk-greeter), search for it's configuration file under /etc/lightdm/ and...

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@Rafi993 I think one problem in my distribution is, that i have settings within the org.gnome and org.mate namespace. So i get the same file on GET that i've set, but the wallpaper didn't change.

I've tested the three commands again that are available within my system, and only those two show an effect:

dconf write /org/mate/desktop/background/picture-filename "'/home/myuser/myimage.jpg'"
gsettings set org.mate.background picture-filename "/home/myuser/myimage.jpg"

The first one works perfect, the second one only works for one session, but falls back to the initial wallpaper after a restart. In conclusion the dconf rule has to be on top of the appsList for my distribution, the get changing wallpapers.

But as i already mentioned, the system to determine the right command for the current environment doesn't work so well. Adding your cinnemon rule to the appsList has overridden the gsettings rule for distributions that keep their wallpaper file within...

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If you want to prevent users of a PC from changing the desktop wallpaper, it’s not too hard to do. Here’s how to make it happen.

Whether you have PCs in a home or small business setting, there are times you might not want users of the PC to change the desktop background. Maybe you want a specific background in place, or maybe you just want to make sure nothing inappropriate gets added. Whatever your reason, Windows does provide ways of preventing changes to the desktop background. If you have a Home edition of Windows, you’ll need to make some edits to the Registry. If you have a Pro or Enterprise edition, you can make edits in the Registry or use the Local Group Policy Editor. By the way, if you’re interested, you might also want to prevent users from changing the screen saver for the same reasons.

The process for preventing changes to the desktop background requires two steps. First, you’ll disable the main Settings interface for changing the desktop...

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Unity is a graphical shell for the Gnome desktop environment developed by Canonical Ltd. for its Debian based Ubuntu distribution of Linux. Unity debuted on the netbook edition of Ubuntu 10.10 but is still the default choice in Ubuntu 16.

This guide will demonstrate how to change the lock screen wallpaper.

Method 1: Change the Wallpaper

Open System Settings by clicking the gear in the upper right corner of the screen, and then clicking System Settings. Click the Appearance applet to open background settings. Select a background to change your desktop wallpaper and the lock screen wallpaper.

PRO TIP: If the issue is with your computer or a laptop/notebook you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by Clicking Here

Method 2: Modify the UNITY configuration

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Ubuntu Unity already has a dynamic desktop wallpaper that changes throughout the day, which are selected from the /usr/share/backgrounds folder, but after a while a I got bored to see always the same images so I wanted to use my collection of images from the APOD, Astronomy Picture of the Day, website.

I thought that I could simply set a folder in System Settings -> Appearance but actually the only folder that you can select is the whole ~/Pictures folder, while I wanted to use only the ~/Pictures/Wallpapers. To solve my problem I could edit the /usr/share/backgrounds/contest/precise.xml file, but this means that I have to update that file every time I download a new picture from APOD, so I had to find my own solution.

The idea is quite simple:

select a random file from ~/Pictures/Wallpapers change the desktop background setting from the command line use a cron job to schedule the wallpaper change every 15 minutes

Select a Random File

This can be solved...

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In this tip we will see how to change the desktop background image (wallpaper) from the command line under Ubuntu or any other system having the GNOME desktop environment.

Some users may ask the question of the benefit of using such tip as long we can do this via the provided Appearance window, so please don't take it so seriously, it's just to broaden your knowledge. There are also some users who might use this tip to create a bash script for changing the desktop background image automatically.

To change the wallpaper of your desktop, open the terminal and run the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:///image-path

Replace image-path with your own image path. Here is an example:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:////home/user/Desktop/image.png

Note: Tested under Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot.


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