Home > python, ubuntu > Wallpaper Downloader and Rotator for Gnome

Wallpaper Downloader and Rotator for Gnome

Update (20110915): The project has changed a lot since its first release, thus the original post here got completely outdated. I rewrote this blog entry to reflect the current state of the project.


The goal of this project is twofold. First, download images from a wallpaper site. Second, rotate the downloaded images as wallpapers.

Here is the list of changes that I added to the original version:

  • New! XML support is dropped. For setting the images as wallpapers, use the script 02_wallpaper_rotator.py.
  • New! Support for 4walled.org is added!
  • New! Support for wallbase.cc is added!
  • Large images can be resized to fit your screen resolution. By default, the maximum width of images can be 1920 pixels. You can customize it in the config file. It’s recommended, this way the images will occupy much less space on your hard drive.
  • You can specify several categories and the downloader will grab images from all these sites. The same is true for rotator: you can specify several categories and it will pick a random image from the whole list. See the config file for more details.
  • The project includes an automatic wallpaper changer script called 02_wallpaper_rotator.py. You don’t need any third-party managers anymore.
  • You can choose from several categories. You can also specify your favorite category.
  • Screen scraping is done with the BeautifulSoup library.
  • The most important change is the filtering of images that are unsuitable as wallpapers, i.e. small images, portrait images, and images with strange ratio are removed from the list.
  • Support for Flickr images (zioyero’s patch).
  • The URLs of the downloaded images are strored in an SQLite database. This way an already fetched image (either good or bad) won’t be downloaded again.

Supported wallpaper sites

  1. http://www.reddit.com
  2. http://wallbase.cc
  3. http://4walled.org


First, you might want to customize some settings in the config.py file. The most important thing is the PHOTO_DIR directory, i.e. where to store the downloaded images. Create this directory if it doesn’t exist. Then, simply launch the script:


You can also add it to your crontab:

$ crontab -e 
10 */2 * * * /absolute_path_to/01_wallpaper_downloader.py

Add the second line to the end of the crontab list. Here the script is called at every two hours (at 0h10, 2h10, etc.).

For setting the images as wallpapers:

./02_wallpaper_rotator.py & 

That is, just launch it in the background. It uses the same config file as the wallpaper downloader. I put it among my startup applications, thus it starts automatically.


You can download the script from https://github.com/jabbalaci/Wallpaper-Downloader-and-Rotator-for-Gnome.

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