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I've done a lot of googling but haven't been able to find a solution to my problem.

I am a teacher and I'm using Xubuntu on some student computers. I have everything locked down pretty good, but I can't figure out how to restrict users from changing the wallpaper without having to out the whole machine in Kiosk mode. I don't care if they change it during their work session, but I would like to create a crontab that resets back to the original .png at reboot.

I'm hoping for a simple cron entry but I'm willing to ease into the world of shell scripts if that's what it takes.

Any ideas?

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3 Answers 3

Don't use cron. Instead use the startup script. Although you can use cron but I don't prefer it in this situation because it is user specific.

Do it this way:

sudo vi /etc/rc.local

add the following at the end of file

sudo -u YOURUSERNAME -g $( id -g YOURUSERNAME ) xfconf-query --channel xfce4-desktop --property /backdrop/screen0/monitor0/image-path --set /usr/share/backgrounds/xfce/xfce-blue.jpg

and make sure you replace YOURUSERNAME with your current user. And replace /usr/share/backgrounds/xfce/xfce-blue.jpg by the real path of the new background image and make sure your user has permission to read the image

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In Xfce land, that's

xfconf-query --channel xfce4-desktop --property /backdrop/screen0/monitor0/image-path --set /usr/share/backgrounds/xfce/xfce-blue.jpg

(Substitute the file path you want, of course.)

xfconf-query --channel xfce4-desktop --list

lists all related properties, in case screen0/monitor0 isn't the one.

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When I run that in the command line, it works like a charm. When I try to add it to cron though, it doesn't do anything. Any ideas? ` –  John Nov 22 '13 at 4:10
    
How about enclosing the whole thing in a shell script and run the shell script using cron instead? –  Chester Nov 22 '13 at 5:21
    
Created the shell script and made it executable. It runs when double clicked and I can run it in the command line. I tried adding it to cron with @reboot as the time but it doesn't seem to be working. Do I need to add something to cron other than just the path to the script? –  John Nov 22 '13 at 12:28
    
@John It doesn't work in cron because cron work under root privilege and this is a user specific background. try changing the command to run as your user –  kamil Feb 13 at 17:06

Try

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:///your/picture/location.jpg

The file:// is required.

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I tried it without any luck. Since I'm running XFCE, do I even have gsettings? The syntax of the command makes sense to me, but I don't know how to make it apply to Xubuntu. –  John Nov 22 '13 at 1:50

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