Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

variety wallpaper changer

Variety is a wallpaper changer application that works with most desktop environments (KDE, LXDE, Xfce and Unity / GNOME Shell) and, besides being able to change your wallpaper automatically on an interval you set or on demand, the application can automatically download wallpapers from Flickr, Wallbase.cc, Wallpapers.net as well as NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Other Variety features:
  • Ubuntu appindicator support; you can scroll over the indicator icon to change the wallpaper
  • can apply fancy filters to the images: grayscale, heavy blur, oil painting, charcoal painting, pointilism, pixellate
  • option to display the time on the desktop, using a nice digital clock
  • clipboard support: can monitor the clipboard for image URLs and fetch them
  • more

There's also a cool preview feature in the style of Google Plus - when clicking on a wallpaper source, you get to see a preview of all the available wallpapers on the bottom of the desktop (see screenshot from the beginning of the post).

Variety 0.4.10 has been released recently, with new features, like support for RSS Feeds which means the application can now automatically download wallpapers from a lot more websites, including Picasa, deviantART and so on. 

The new version also brings a new wallpaper option: the world sunlight map, which changes throughout the day, an option to display current image source, see a list of recently downloaded images as well as command line options which is useful if you want to set up a script or use some custom keyboard shortcuts, etc.

Watch Variety in action in the video below:

(direct video link)

There are quite a few wallpaper changer apps out there, but Variety stands out with its impressive feature list and ease of use. It doesn't matter if you're going to use your own wallpapers or the online features, if you want a dynamic, fresh desktop each day, try Variety!

Install Variety wallpaper changer

variety wallpaper changer

Variety is available in the Ubuntu Software Center (for Ubuntu 12.04 / 12.10), but the version is quite old so to install the latest version, you can use its official PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install variety

The PPA packages should also work in Linux Mint.

Update: there is now an AUR package too so Arch Linux users can install Variety from HERE.

For other Linux distributions, download Variety from Launchpad.

thanks to Peter Levi for the tip!