I'm using standard Ubuntu 20.04

I have a folder of backgrounds (all public domain) that I use on my (necessary and unavoidable) Windows 10 partition, as a slideshow, for my desktop background.

I want to use the same backgrounds on my Ubuntu 20.04 partition, but I cannot find a way to keep the folder inside e.g. my Pictures folder, and then set them to rotate as a slideshow for my ubuntu background.

I got fed up and attempted to put them inside my /usr/share/backgrounds/ folder, and deleted the entire contents, replacing everything with just the images.

This was obviously a mistake, as now I cannot select anything in Backgrounds in the Settings app.

Could someone perhaps help me, either with a way to use the folder as a slideshow, or send me the contents of your /usr/share/backgrounds/ folder so that I can at least have the standard backgrounds back, or perhaps you have a third option?

Thanks kindly in advance


2 Answers 2


You have to simply use the power of APT to restore folder contents:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall \
$(dpkg -S /usr/share/backgrounds/ | sed "s/,//g" | sed "s|: /usr/share/backgrounds||")
  • 1
    Good one but wont work if he did what he said: " /usr/share/backgrounds/ folder, and deleted the entire contents" :)
    – Rinzwind
    Jul 4, 2020 at 12:25
  • The files are still listed/saved in dpkg database. Just tested the method - it works.
    – N0rbert
    Jul 4, 2020 at 12:26
  • Thank you, N0rbert. That worked! Thank you for your kind help!
    – etsnyman
    Jul 4, 2020 at 12:40
  • Looks more like the power of dpkg+sed than APT... Anyway, the two sed calls can be golfed into a single one: sed -e "s@,\|: /usr/share/backgrounds@@g"
    – Ruslan
    Jul 4, 2020 at 21:11
sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-wallpapers-focal

reinstalls the wallpapers from focal. Change focal to another name for that release. Like so for 19:10:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-wallpapers-eoan

Could someone perhaps help me, either with a way to use the folder as a slideshow

Easiest method: use a tool for it Wallch or Slidewall or Drapes (kde tool), or Wallpaper-tray.

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