How to Set Live Wallpapers and Animated Backgrounds on Linux


Video wallpapers are a fantastic way to accentuate the beauty of your Linux desktop. They surpass traditional wallpapers in terms of appeal and help your desktop stand out of the crowd with animated elements.

On most Linux desktops, there’s no default option to set live wallpapers. But this doesn’t mean you can’t add one. Here’s how you can create and set a video wallpaper on your Linux desktop.

Download Video Wallpapers for Your Desktop

Animated backgrounds are more resource-intensive than conventional wallpapers, so make sure you’ve got a computer with decent hardware that can handle the load.

You can download live wallpapers from free royalty-free video websites like Pixabay and Pexels. There are other dedicated websites for video wallpapers as well, and which one you go for is totally up to you.

We recommend downloading high-resolution videos (preferably full HD or 4K) to use as your wallpaper.

wallset is a command-line utility that lets you manage and set wallpapers from the comfort of your terminal. For terminal dwellers, it’s a lifesaver, but even if the command line scares you, don’t worry, as wallset is extremely easy to use and you’d only need a few options to get your work done.

How to Install wallset on Linux

For wallset to work properly, you’d need to install a few dependencies first:

 sudo apt install ffmpeg feh imagemagick x11-xserver-utils xdg-utils 

Then, clone the wallset GitHub repository using git:

 git clone https: 

Change the directory using the cd command:

 cd wallset 

Now, all that’s left is to install wallset using the script provided:

 sudo ./ 

If you come across an error stating any dependency isn’t installed, consider running the script with the –force flag:

 sudo ./  

Make sure you install all the necessary dependencies before executing the script, otherwise wallset may behave unexpectedly.

Using wallset to Set Video Wallpapers on Linux

wallset will only play the initial 10 seconds of the video, so it’s advised that you trim the video to a desired length (preferably under 10 seconds) beforehand. It only supports MP4 videos as of now, so ensure the file format is “.mp4.”

When you’re ready with the video, run the following command to set a live wallpaper:

 wallset -V /path/to/video.mp4 

wallset will prepare the video and trim it down to the first 10 seconds. On successful completion, switch to your desktop and check out the new wallpaper.

When you set a new wallpaper using the -V flag, it gets added to the wallset list. To view the list of previously used video wallpapers, run:

 wallset -L 

wallset assigns a unique numerical ID to each wallpaper. When you want to switch to a wallpaper you used earlier, find its ID using the -L flag then use the -I flag (uppercase “i”) to set the wallpaper:

 wallset -I wall-id 

Sometimes wallset glitches and keeps looping between the frames of multiple wallpapers. To fix that, you need to quit the wallpaper loop and set a wallpaper again using its ID or path. To do so, enter:

 wallset -q
wallset -I wall-id

Remember that when you boot into your desktop next time, the live wallpaper will get replaced with your old one. To fix this, you need to configure wallset to run automatically at boot. You can use crontab to do so.

Open the crontab file by typing:

 crontab -e 

Add the following line at the end of the file, then save and exit:

 @reboot env DISPLAY=:0 DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS=unix:path=/run/user/1000/bus /usr/local/bin/wallset -V /complete/path/to/video.mp4 

If you aren’t comfortable with the default crontab text editor, you can change it to your preferred editor using environment variables.

Customize Your Linux Desktop to Your Heart’s Content

wallset is the all-in-one wallpaper manager for your Linux desktop. You can set image wallpapers, add images to a list, loop multiple wallpapers, and best of all, create and set beautiful video wallpapers.

While you’re at it, why not take it a step further and configure your desktop wallpapers to change based on the current time? Dynamic Wallpaper, as the name suggests, lets you automatically switch between wallpapers by using cron jobs.


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