Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Wallch is a wallpaper changer which aims to make it easy to get cool new wallpapers each day. With version 4.x (Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17 only!), Wallch got support for Wallpaper Clocks as well as a Live Website feature, along with more configuration options and support for a few more desktop environments.

Wallch wallpaper changer

Wallch 4 features:
  • Supports the following desktop environments: Gnome 3 (with or without Unity), Xfce, LXDE and Mate;
  • Wallpaper changer: place some wallpapers in a folder on your system and Wallch will automatically change the wallpaper at the interval you want
  • Live Earth wallpaper (changes throughout the day);
  • Picture of the day (automatically downloads and sets the picture of the day from Wikipedia as your wallpaper);
  • Wallpaper Clocks (allows you to use the beautiful Wallpaper Clocks from VladStudio on your desktop; Wallpaper Clocks are wallpapers which come with a functional clock, updated every minute);
  • Live Website (displays a website - automatically updated at a given interval -, on your desktop);

From the Wallch preferences, you can set the app to display notifications on wallpaper change, keep a history of wallpapers changed, select to start Wallch at startup, rotate image based on Exif data, set a keyboard shortcut for changing the wallpaper along with many other options:

Wallch wallpaper changer

Wallch wallpaper changer

Wallch wallpaper changer

Compared to Variety (a popular wallpaper changer for Linux), Wallch has some extra features: wallpaper clocks support, live website and picture of the day, but there are also some features present in Variety which aren't available in Wallch: Wallch can't automatically download wallpapers from all the sources supported by Variety, such as desktoppr.co, wallpapers.net, Flickr, wallbase and so on and there are no effects or quotes features available in Wallch.

So while they share some features, there are quite a few differences between Wallch and Variety. Use the one that best suits your needs.

Install Wallch wallpaper changer in Ubuntu 14.04

Wallch 4 has been available in the Ubuntu 14.04 repositories for a while but it had some bugs (the "Start" button would crash the app which made the main app feature unusable, the Live Website wallpaper wasn't starting on startup and Wallch was crashing under Cinnamon) so I preferred to wait until these bugs were fixed before posting about it. That's why I recommend using the PPA (which has the extra bug fixes) instead of using the official Ubuntu 14.04 package and why the screenshots in the article are more than a month old.

To add the Wallch 4 PPA and install the application in Ubuntu 14.04, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wallch/wallch-4.0
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wallch

Unfortunately Wallch 4 can't be installed in older Ubuntu versions because it depends on Qt5 (and the packages from the Ubuntu SDK PPA are not enough). For older Ubuntu versions, I recommend Variety instead (it doesn't support Wallpaper Clocks though, at least not yet).

Note: Wallch may fail to autodetect the desktop environment you're using. To select the proper desktop environment, from the Wallch appindicator/tray icon select Preferences and on the Integration tab, under "Current Desktop Environment", select your current desktop environment, then restart Wallch.
    Wallch doesn't start automatically on login - to enable this, from the Wallch preferences, on the General tab, select "Start Wallch on System startup".

    Other Linux distributions: grab the source code via Sourceforge or the latest code via BZR.

    If you encounter bugs, report them @ Launchpad.