I have a crontab job set. It is a script to change the Desktop background wallpaper every 3 minutes. It was perfectly working before upgrading from Hardy to Lucid. When upgraded to Lucid, the wallpaper changes only when I login. It shows new wallpaper everytime I logout and login again or after restarting. It shows the same wallpapers which were set as the cron job script path.

Is crontab feature changed in Lucid? What is happening? Please help.

  • Do the commands contained in the crontab work if you enter them in a terminal? The change may be with nautilus (that handles the desktop background) rather than with cron. – 8128 Feb 9 '11 at 17:29
  • Yes the command perfectly works in the terminal. – Manohar Bhattarai Feb 9 '11 at 18:11

Does your script include a call to gconftool-2 to set the wallpaper? This relies on certain gnome / dbus environment variables being set, and they won't be set in the environment in which cron runs.

For a workaround see here:

For a bug report on this, see here:


I found an interesting post about that 'problem' give it a try here hope its help cheers!

  • The link you gave was a good one. I followed the suggested answer but it dint work for me. – Manohar Bhattarai Feb 10 '11 at 16:26
  • Damn well you can try deleting using other script instead? Try this one maybe? webupd8.org/2009/11/3-lines-script-to-automatically-change.html – Javier Gonzalez Feb 10 '11 at 16:46
  • I have the same script which is given in three lines as a single line script. I tried scheduler (GUI) for cron too before asking this question here. Its not working either. My cron is running fine. I checked using status cron command. But the job is not performed. – Manohar Bhattarai Feb 11 '11 at 5:12

Another option (does not solve your problem..... just avoids having it ;) ):

I had a quite bunch of images (over 300) I wanted to rotate on my screen.... so I made this script. It goes through all of them (jpg's only in may case, but can be modified if there are other types) and creates an xml file (called bg.xml). You can chose this latest file, bg.xml, as a rotating wallpaper.

You can set INTERVAL to 180 (seconds) and TRANSITION according to your preferences (and any other thing you like, of course).

Hope it helps :)

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