I've seen an article describing how to use VLC as a live wallpaper for the desktop, however the options mentioned there only refer to Windows.

What would I need to do to achieve the same result?


2 Answers 2


VLC does support video as background. Simply run the cvlc command:

cvlc --video-wallpaper --no-audio /your/videofile

There are other helpful options to cvlc such as aspect ratio etc. You can find them using

vlc --help

If you still want icons on your desktop you may need to take a look at xwinwrap, but it requires a little digging. There is an option to set movies as background. I dont know how to do it with VLC but it has been done with mplayer.

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    Simply add --no-video-title-show to your command line. Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 21:41
  • Is there a way to show the video wallpaper on all Ubuntu Unity desktops? I use the standard 4 desktops, but vlc shows only on one of them.
    – Socrates
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 9:38

vlc does not work on either windows or Linux for the backdrop. The only thing it does is play full screen with no controls. It does NOT place the video in the background. I have been working with it for over two years and that is the best I can get out of it!

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