Looking for a wallpaper changer, picture slideshow, automatic downloader and manager for desktop backgrounds for Linux Mint? If so in this article you can find several options how to achieve that.

Video - Keep your Desktop fresh by automatic change of backgrounds

Step #1: Automatic Change of Desktop Backgrounds in Cinnamon

By default Linux Mint Cinnamon includes a background slideshow and collection of fancy images. In order to use default wallpaper changer you need to follow:

  • Right click on Desktop
  • Change Desktop Background
  • Select folder for the slide show
    • or import new one from the plus sign
  • Tab - Settings
  • Play backgrounds as a slideshow - enable it
  • Select - optional:
    • time delay
    • random order
  • Select Picture Aspect - optional
    • Zoom
    • Stretched

Step #2: Change Wallpaper in Linux Mint 19 Mate

Mate edition doesn't support automatic change of wallpapers. If you like to have this feature you need to install additional software which is described in the next steps. You need to choose one of them or a combination - depending on what you like to have.

Changing the Wallpaper picture can be done by:

  • right click
  • Settings
  • Select picture for Desktop Background

Step #3: Variety - Automatic Downloader and manager for Wallpapers

Variety is an advanced wallpaper changer, downloader, and manager which can be used in Linux Mint. It supports a variety of sources for wallpapers, including local files, media RSS feeds (Picasa, deviantART, etc.) and online services:

  • Flickr
  • Wallhaven.cc
  • NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day - I really like this one

Works well in both Cinnamon and Mate. This software has many options and features which makes it best choice for automatic background manager and changer.

The package is available from the Software Manager. Once the package is installed you can use it to setup automatic download and change for wallpapers.

  • Start Variety Preferences - from the menu or the status bar
  • Tab General
    • Change wallpaper every - select time for image rotation
    • Images - select which sources to be used for images or add new ones like comics from reddit.com or Wallhaven.cc
    • Download a wallpaper every - select folder and time interval for downloading
  • Tab Effects
    • Apply Filters like: Oil painting, Pencil sketch, Grayscale etc
    • Random quotes - simple and customizable. If you like to use another way for quotes in Linux Mint you can check this article: Linux Mint and Quotes Desklet
  • Color and Size - additional customization for the orientation and the colors gama

Step #4: Shotwell - Picture organizer and Wallpaper changer

Shotwell is a digital photo organizer designed for the GNOME desktop environment which can be used in Mate and Cinnamon. Images are imported and organized in collections in different ways.

It can be installed with package manager or by using next commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yg-jensge/shotwell
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install shotwell

If you want to set automatic wallpaper change by using Shotwell you need to follow:

  • Open Shotwell
  • Import pictures for the Picture Slideshow
  • Select the imported pictures
  • File - from the menu
  • Set as Desktop Slideshow
  • Last step is to select
    • time for the picture rotation
    • Home and/or Lock Screen


Step #5: Wallch - Wallpaper changer for Linux Mint

Wallch is another automatic background changer for keeping your desktop fresh and new. It has basic features related to desktop background management.

In 2020 the package seems discontinued and different users report problems related to crashes or no change of the background. The package is available in software manager: