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wallpaper from unity in ubuntu 14.04

asked 2014-10-06 20:16:18 +0000

Danny gravatar image


I would like to set the i3 wallpaper the same as in Unity. Sadly some of the unity settings are not transfered to i3. Is it possible to use those without installing feh or other tools to further customize i3?

Maybe some other Ubuntu user can share his experiences here since I started on i3 just a few days ago.

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answered 2014-10-07 05:20:33 +0000

Adaephon gravatar image

updated 2014-10-08 07:31:52 +0000

i3 does not (and probably never will) provide its own way to set a wallpaper. External tools, like feh or nitrogen, are the intended way to do this in i3.

Also, any settings that seem to be transfered from unity to i3 are not specific to Unity at all. For example, themes and fonts used by applications may be changed by Unity but the configuration files do not belong to Unity (much like the wallpaper can be set by Unity but also by other programs).

Example nitrogen:

  1. Install the package nitrogen: sudo apt-get install nitrogen
  2. Start nitrogen
  3. Set directories containing wallpapers in Preferences
  4. Select wallpaper and Apply
  5. Add exec --no-startup-id nitrogen --restore to ~/.i3/config in order to restore wallpaper on i3 restart.
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Nitrogen was used in Ubuntu, but its not on my LTS. Do you know how to turn that on?

Danny gravatar imageDanny ( 2014-10-07 15:38:14 +0000 )edit

answered 2015-05-02 22:28:35 +0000

han gravatar image

updated 2015-05-02 22:30:30 +0000

I'd like to suggest a one more option for feh background way of configuring the i3 background. I've found that --bg-fill option of feh is more elastic, because if another output is connected, the background image scaling will be more predictable on all outputs regardless of outputs config (for example those exec statements for xrandr with output settings)


exec --no-startup-id feh --bg-fill /path/to/image.png

in ~/.i3/config


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answered 2014-10-07 05:15:48 +0000

cee gravatar image

I guess to install feh is the easiest solution. And with 185KB it probably won't take up too much space on your disk.

With following line added to your ~/.i3/config file your done;

exec --no-startup-id feh --bg-scale ~/PATH/TO/YOUR/IMAGE
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Asked: 2014-10-06 20:16:18 +0000

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Last updated: May 02