Monday, June 29, 2015

LMT #4: A Simple Desktop Background Slideshow

Linux Mint Tips #4: A Simple Desktop Background Slideshow

Linux Mint Tips series is a list of tricks I've picked up after having switched away from Windows for good in 2013, after dabbling for years. I'll do my best to go back and edit posts that contain any erroneous information, but keep in mind that I'm a relative newcomer to the Linux scene. I wrote this tutorial running the MATE desktop environment in Mint 17.1.

The desktop background is often one of the first things I customize after installing a fresh OS, and that's no exception in Mint. I have a couple of preferences: one, I like the image to change every so often, and two, I prefer landscapes. In other operating systems, setting up this sort of thing is a built-in, point-and-click affair. In Mint, it is possible, but there's a little more legwork (but not too much).

For the example provided here, download and save the following images to your Pictures folder. Please note that the tutorial uses the 1920x1080 resolution size. If you need to choose an alternate size, you'll have to tweak the image names in the .xml file. You'll also need to copy/paste them over into Pictures from the Downloads folder if you're using the default browser settings.

Once you have those, you'll need to grab the xml file that drives the slideshow.

I recommend putting this in the Pictures folder as well. You'll need to edit the file and change /home/harborpirate to substitute your own home folder name instead of harborpirate.

Right click on the desktop and click Change Desktop Background. Change the dropdown setting from Images to All Files. Choose Interface.xml.

What this xml file contains is the instructions for the locations of the files, what order they should be swapped, what transition to use, how long the transition lasts, and how much time between transitions.

I've kept this example relatively simple, but with enough detail to hopefully be useful. Enjoy.