Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

We already wrote about a wallpaper application for Linux which displays the current weather, moon phases and time of day based on your current location, in real time. This time, I'm going to tell you about a script created by Claudio Novais @ Ubuntued which displays a picture of the Earth, in real time, like so:

earth wallpaper

The script needs a permanent internet connection and uses just ~400kb of memory so don't worry about it eating system resources. Also, please note the the script tries to update every hour but if it fails, it tries to get the image from 5 to 5 seconds, for 5 minutes and if it still fails, it tries again in an hour. That's especially useful for when running the script at system start-up, because it takes some time until the internet connection is set up, or for when the internet connection goes down, etc.

How to use the real-time Earth wallpaper script for Linux

1. Download the script from HERE.

2. Create a new folder in your home partition, let's call it "earthwallpaper" and put the script you just downloaded into this folder.

3. Open a terminal, navigate to the folder you created at step 2 and make the script executable:
chmod +x changer.sh

4. Go to System > Preferences > Startup Applications and select "Add", in the name field enter "Earth Wallpaper" and in the command field, enter:

Changing /path/to with the path to were you copied the changer.sh file you downloaded at step 1.

Now, each time you start your computer, the script which updates your wallpaper will automatically run.

5. Log out and log back in! Running the script creates a new wallpaper called world_sunlight_Wallpaper.jpg in your ~/.gnome2 folder. We need to set this as your wallpaper. This picture is constantly updated by the script, thus making the image dynamic. To do this, open Nautilus, toggle the text-based address bar and type:
Which will open the hidden .gnome2 folder from your home directory. Now, on your desktop, right click and select "Change Desktop Background" which will open the Appearance dialog. Having both the Appearance dialog opened and the ~/.gnome2 folder, drag and drop the world_sunlight_Wallpaper.jpg file from Nautilus, into the Appearance dialog (Background tab). That's it. Now you just have to keep the terminal opened so that the script will continue to update the world_sunlight_Wallpaper.jpg wallpaper in real-time.


Please note that while I only tested the script in Ubuntu, it should work in any Linux distro.

If you are looking for a Windows alternative, try the Real Time Globe Wallpaper For Windows.