1

xstarfish is a command that generates a random wallpaper. I am attempting to use it with Ubuntu 14.04 and Unity.

Anyways, I've set all of the following gsettings to false, but I still just have a black wallpaper, the xstarfish one becomes visible sometimes just as I log out.

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.background false
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons false
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background draw-background false

I have no idea where to go from there. It just seems to me as if xstarfish doesn't want to draw the desktop background, not a problem with something else drawing on top of it.

2

I just stumbled across this page, and thought I should point out that I just (like, tonight!) released an HTML5/JavaScript port of Starfish/xstarfish at http://micah.cowan.name/starfishjs/, fulfilling my personal desired to have an easy-to-use cross-platform version of Starfish (though, sadly, it of course can't automatically set your desktop background - you have to right-click the image to save it and do that yourself!)

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1

The program does not seem to work with modern desktops.

As you say, it generates an image. By default, it generates a pattern with a size of 256x256.

I do not know if there is a better way, but you could do the following:

  • Install ImageMagick (for the composite command):

    sudo apt-get install imagemagick
    
  • Create a new pattern with this command:

    xstarfish --outfile wallpaper_tile.png
    
  • Create a new wallpaper (e.g. 1920x1200)

    composite -tile wallpaper_tile.png -size 1920x1200  xc:none wallpaper_out.png
    
  • Set the new wallpaper (change this: <your_absolute_image_path>):

    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file://<your_absolute_image_path>/wallpaper_out.png
    

Here is a small script. It creates a 1920x1200 image (change the dimensions in the script). Place the code in a new file (e.g. "set_wallpaper").

#!/bin/bash

size="1920x1200"

xstarfish --outfile "$HOME"/wallpaper_tile.png
composite -tile "$HOME"/wallpaper_tile.png -size "$size"  xc:none "$HOME"/wallpaper_out.png
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file://"$HOME"/wallpaper_out.png

exit 0

Save file and make it executable:

chmod +x set_wallpaper

and start it for a test.

So that the image is changed after a time, you can create a new CRON job:

crontab -e

and add a line like this:

15 * * * *       <script_path>

eg:

15 * * * *       myapps/set_wallpaper

That your wallpaper is changed every 15 minutes.

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  • Your solution helped, but I found a simpler way to do it(you inspired me though). And I've posted an answer too. – Carsen Daniel Yates Apr 20 '15 at 19:31
1

I fixed this by telling xstarfish to create an output file

xstarfish --outfile /location/of/file.png -d 60

This tells xstarfish to update the background file every 60 seconds.

Then I just set the background to that file in the unity menus, when xstarfish updates the background, the wallpaper also updates(for some reason).

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