Up until a couple months ago, if I changed my wallpaper/background image, I could choose between tile, zoom, centre, scale, fill or span. These options no longer appear in GUI for changing the background image.
I am using Ubuntu 17.10.


The default GUI option to change wallpaper (accessible from Settings application) doesn't offer these options. I believe the idea is that average users usually download (or crop) wallpapers that fit their desktop background perfectly (i.e. images with the correct aspect ratio based on the screen resolution).

As an alternative, you may use (GNOME) Tweaks to get those extra options. To install it first run

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Then launch Tweaks and go to the 'Appearance' section on Ubuntu 18.04 and later (or the 'Desktop' section on Ubuntu 17.10). You'll get options to adjust the background and lock screen images.

enter image description here

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  • 1
    thx, works also in Debian Stretchy – Alberto Apr 27 '19 at 11:33
  • 2
    For those like me who are looking for the "tile" option, it's called "Wallpaper." – Wildcard May 29 '19 at 2:36
  • this option is now available under appearance instead of desktop – maheshmnj Dec 2 '19 at 5:50
  • Yes, on Ubuntu 18.04 and later, as mentioned in the Q&A linked at the end of the answer. – pomsky Dec 2 '19 at 6:01

On Ubuntu 18.04 and later, the settings can be found under Tweak's 'Appearance' tab (instead of 'Desktop').


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You can use a terminal tool called gsettings.

  • gsettings list-schemas -- among others you will get,

    org.gnome.desktop.background : Option 1

    org.gnome.desktop.screensaver ( for lockscreen, just in case ) : Option 2

  • gsettings list-recursively org.gnome.desktop.background, must try!

    You will what different options are supported by the schemas with there default values, you'll get something like this,

    org.gnome.desktop.background picture-options 'zoom'

    now if you want to know what are the other values supported by the options, other than default, do, for example.,

  • gsettings range org.gnome.desktop.background picture-options

    And voilà:

    • 'none' (blank screen/ color black),
    • 'wallpaper',
    • 'centered',
    • 'scaled',
    • 'stretched',
    • 'zoom',
    • 'spanned'.
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