LiveWallpaper: animated backgrounds on Ubuntu

LiveWallpaper brings one of the most wanted features on the Linux desktop – animated background wallpapers. The software has rough edges but the rendering is flawless and adds a feel of awesomeness to the otherwise static desktop. There are glitches (discussed later) but the beauty it adds to your desktop outweighs those. That’s our opinion, of course.

LiveWallpaper comes with 6 different wallpapers which have their own settings:

  • Circles: a digital clock with seconds hands and Ubuntu-ish colour gradient
  • Galaxy: dark blue slowly moving shot of the galaxy
  • Gradient Clock: 3 clock hands rendered as 3 moving circular arcs
  • Nexus: beautiful moving colourful wide straight lines
  • Noise: small circles moving on a blue background
  • Photoslides: moving grid of wallpapers from a user-definable location

The software come with a tray indicator to change the wallpaper easily or even disable LiveWallpaper.

General settings include:

  • Run on log-in
  • Set a custom background
  • Adjusting the FPS (slower means less CPU usage)
  • Specify multi-monitor behaviour


  • High CPU usage of around 6% (from top output). With Circles it is about 16%.
  • No option to quit from the indicator! You have to kill the application using $ killall -9 livewallpaper
  • Desktop icons do not show. There is a Nautilus extension with settings to show desktop icons but on the computer we tested Nautilus is not the desktop manager and we can’t confirm if the option works.


Run the following commands to install LiveWallpaper on Ubuntu (12.04 to 15.04 at the time of writing):

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fyrmir/livewallpaper-daily
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install livewallpaper livewallpaper-config livewallpaper-indicator livewallpaper-nautilus

Webpage: LiveWallpaper


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