6

When executing Activities → Settings → Background, you can find three background tabs:

  • [Wallpapers]
  • [Pictures]
  • [Colors]

In [Wallpapers] you can find backgrounds under /usr/share/backgrounds/, but which have been previously added to an XML configuration file in /usr/share/gnome-background-properties/. If you put new backgrounds in /usr/share/backgrounds/, but you don't add them to an XML file, they won't be displayed.

On the other hand, in [Pictures] you can find backgrounds under ~/Pictures/ and any new addition will automatically be detected and displayed by the application (this folder is "reloaded" or "refreshed" every time).

Is there any way I could set the [Wallpapers] tab to automatically find new pictures under /usr/share/backgrounds/ as well?

If not, is there a way I could change the configuration, so that, when clicking on the [Pictures] tab, it will look under /whatever/i/want/ instead of ~/Pictures/?

I know I could just edit the XML configuration file (myself, with a script, or even with existing GUIs), but I am not looking for that. I just feel curious about the customization level of GNOME Shell.

I am using Fedora 20 with GNOME Shell 3.10.

6

Is there any way I could set the [Wallpapers] tab to automatically find new pictures under /usr/share/backgrounds/ as well?

There's no such option. The [Wallpapers] tab shows the default choice of wallpapers (which may vary depending on distros/admins) available to all users. Distros/admins may choose to alter the content of /usr/share/backgrounds/ (along with the corresponding entries in the .xml file). I don't think it was meant to be customized by regular users.

is there a way I could change the configuration, so that, when clicking on the [Pictures] tab, it will look under /whatever/i/want/ instead of ~/Pictures/?

Yes, the [Pictures] tab is, to some extent, customizable. Pictures is one of the XDG user directories and is defined in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs. Change the default value XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Pictures" to XDG_PICTURES_DIR="/whatever/i/want", restart the shell and next time you click on the [Pictures] tab in the [Background] settings, it'll look under /whatever/i/want.
The downside is that some other applications that use XDG_PICTURES_DIR will also default to /whatever/i/want instead of ~/Pictures.

  • Is it possible to create a new directory (or symlink) at ~/.local/share/backgrounds? Will that be merged with /usr/share/backgrounds? – nikeee Jun 13 at 8:55
  • @nikeee - afaik the answer is NO to both questions. – don_crissti Jun 19 at 15:52
3

/usr/share/gnome-background-properties/desktop-backgrounds-default.xml holds the settings for the wallpapers; while there doesn't seem to be any command to rescan that XML file (one still can add further XML files into there, which keep an up-to-date index of some other directory).

however, one can define individual filenames:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri 'file:///whatever/i/want/background.jpg'

and one can access other parameters like that, as well:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-options 'centered'

when scripting wallpaper-changes, one has to set draw-background before and after:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background draw-background false
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:///whatever/i/want/background.jpg
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background draw-background true

there's also the gnome-tweak-tool which provides a GUI to these gconf settings.

@see Bug 682126 - Show the user's most recent photos.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.