Automatically Change the Desktop Wallpaper Using Variety on Ubuntu/Linux Mint

Windows OS users might have used Webshots desktop software which is used to change their desktop backgrounds at particular interval. The users don’t need to change the wallpapers manually, the Webshots desktop will do it for them. Unfortunately webshots are available only for Windows OS platforms. So if you want a similar tool on Linux particularly Ubuntu/Linux Mint desktops, yes there is a tool available called Variety.

Variety is a wallpaper changer for Ubuntu which is feature-full, yet slim and very easy to use. It can automatically download wallpapers from various online sources such as Flickr,, World sunlight map (a live wallpaper that changes as the day progresses),, NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, etc. It allows rotating them on a regular interval or on demand, and provides easy to use ways to separate the great images from the junk.

Install Variety on Ubuntu/Linux Mint

Add the variety PPA from terminal:

sk@sk:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa

Update the software source list:

sk@sk:~$ sudo apt-get update

And install it using the following command:

sk@sk:~$ sudo apt-get install variety 

Launch Variety

Launch Variety wallpaper changer from your Dash or Menu.

The Variety preferences window will look like below.

Variety Preferences_001

From here, you can define the time interval to change wallpaper, add source folder for the images. If you have a large collection of pictures in your local drive, specify the path by clicking on the Add button in the General tab. Specify the location of your image folder and you’re done. Now the images are automatically changed at a particular interval that you have defined in General tab section.

Apart from this, Variety will download the images automatically from online resources such as Flickr,, World sunlight map and more and organize them into your local folders. You can define the time interval to download the images from online, size of the picture to be downloaded from online and downloads directory where you want to put the downloaded images.

Once you installed and start the Variety application, it will place a app indicator on your Taskbar. Using this Taskbar app indicator, you can change the wallpaper immediately and you can quit the application as well.


This tool seems to be very cool and gives the similar usage of Webshots application in your Ubuntu/Linux Mint desktops. This tool will help you to make your Desktop much beautiful with variety of wallpapers.