Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

SyncWall, a Qt wallpaper changer with multi-monitor support, was updated to version 2.0.0 recently and the new version is now available in the main WebUpd8 PPA for all supported Ubuntu versions.

SyncWall 2.0

SyncWall doesn't support downloading wallpapers automatically, like Variety Wallpaper Changer for instance, but it has some interesting features that aren't available in other similar apps (that I know of anyway): for instance, SyncWall can span a single wallpaper over multiple monitors (you can do this with a single wallpaper from the Appearance settings, but that doesn't work when using a wallpaper changer).

Also, the application can synchronize your current wallpaper across your local network.

Here's a quick list of the most important SyncWall features:
  • change wallpapers automatically / manually (optionally, this can be done via keyboard shortcuts);
  • multi-monitor support - for instance, it can span a single wallpaper over multiple monitors;
  • synchronize wallpaper between workstations;
  • configurable wallpaper change interval / time of day;
  • supports special effects for the wallpapers (blur, sharpen, desaturate, glow and so on);
  • several resizing methods and background filling;
  • available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X;
  • should work with most Linux desktop environments: KDE 3/4, GNOME / GNOME 3 (includes Unity), Xfce, LXDE, Enlightenment, Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, Blackbox, WindowMaker and FVWM (it doesn't support Cinnamon and MATE though).

What's new in SyncWall 2.0 compared to the previous version available in the main WebUpd8 PPA:
  • added option to start SyncWall automatically on Linux;
  • direct synchronization of wallpapers across network (sharing the same file is not used any more);
  • display name of current wallpaper in window header;
  • change layout for better handling on small screens (laptops);
  • global keyboard shortcuts to change wallpaper, open main interface or change image offset (you enable these in the SyncWall preferences);
  • images can now be rated - images with higher rating are displayed more often;
  • addition of a simple database backend for image data to speed up display;
  • addition of image alignment defined graphically by user (in order to display best part of images);
  • addition of an horizontal alignment parameter;
  • addition of several resampling methods;
  • updated app icons;
  • many bug fixes (for instance, the invisible tooltips bug should be fixed, among many others).

Please note that SyncWall tries to automatically detect the desktop environment, but this can fail sometimes. If the wallpaper doesn't change, manually select the desktop environment in the SyncWall Preferences, on the Startup tab. For Unity, select GNOME 3 as the DE.

To span a single wallpaper across multiple monitors, in SyncWall select Preferences > Display Parameters and on the "Basic" tab, check the "Multi monitor support" box, then in the "Multi monitor" display drop-down, select "Extend image (one file for all monitors)":

SyncWall multiple monitors

Install SyncWall in Ubuntu

Ubuntu users can install SyncWall by using the main WebUpd8 PPA. Add the PPA and install SyncWall using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install syncwall
If you don't want to add the main WebUpd8 PPA, you can manually download the latest SyncWall 2.0.0 deb from HERE.

Arch Linux users can install the latest SyncWall via AUR.

For other Linux distributions, Windows and Mac OS X, see the SyncWall downloads page.

thanks to lffl.org for the SyncWall 2.0 update news