• Any user logged in, they can right click on desktop and get Change Background
  • This takes you to the global Settings panel with Background chosen
  • Here it shows Background and Lock Screen
  • Under Background it then allows for Wallpapers, Pictures, Colors.

Problem I have is Pictures works but it shows any .jpg file under $HOME/ and not under $HOME/Pictures. And this obviously makes for a messy home directory if you want a many different pics to choose from, and I don't want N users having N copies of the same pics eating up disk space; I want all background pics/wallpapers in one location.

Under Wallpapers it seems it is limited to 16, and they are those that come pre-installed located in /usr/share/backgrounds/gnome/. I have tried adding extras and they do not show up and Wallpaper choices; if I remove what is there then they do not show up; and only those originals file names like Fabric.jpg or Road.jpg work to show up in the menu. If I overwrite those original 16 file names with different pics then those new pics show up as menu choices in Background-Wallpapers. Also if you right click on any picture and choose Set as Wallpaper that seems to create a $HOME/Wallpapers folder but this is a per-user thing.

I have many gnome related items installed, here are what I think are relevant; this installed in CentOS-7.6.1810:


My goal is to allow all users, in a work type environment, to be able to choose from a global set of nice wallpapers or pics stored in one location to change their desktop background to. It has to be simple because as far as anyone should have to go and as far as I am willing to tell anyone is: right click on desktop and choose change background. And then they can see and choose from 5, 20, or 100 pics to choose from. Is this possible?

  • 1
    there are also some shortcomings under the basic solid color choices: only 15 pre-defined, and you cannot set your own custom color
    – ron
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 16:02
  • I gave up on getting the normal Gnome desktop settings to do what I wanted (on Ubuntu 18.04); I installed gnome-tweaks instead, which made it simple although not as graphically pretty for the selection.
    – Wildcard
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 21:31

2 Answers 2


try gnome-tweaks? ("tweaks") still exploring all it adds, and why it does not come by default (though is trivial to add)

I was surprised too that the default centOS DE does not allow you to pick a folder for desktop backgrounds? it is only ~/Pictures, no subdirs.

per Ubuntu docs, ~/Pictures "because this is where most photo management applications store [pictures]"


CentOS default backgrounds are stored under /usr/share/backgrounds/c8/default/standard/

c8-hue-0.png  c8-hue-1.png  c8-hue-2.png  c8-hue-3.png  c8-hue-4.png
c8-hue-5.png  c8-hue-6.png  c8-hue-7.png  c8-hue-8.png  c8-hue-9.png  c8.png

You can manipulate this somewhat using "gsettings", for example:

$ gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri

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