Customizing Your Gnome Desktop: Wallpaper

This week during our “Customizing Your Gnome Desktop” series, we are going to look at customizing your desktop background, better known as the wallpaper. This is probably the easiest thing to customize on a Gnome (or Linux) desktop. It is about the same level of simplicity that is required to change the desktop wallpaper in Windows.

There are a couple of ways that a user can change the wallpaper on their desktop. The first is if you find an image that you like when browsing the internet, you can right click on it and select the “Set as Desktop Background” option. This will set it to your desktop background without any fuss or muss. The other method is to download a wallpaper from one of the places we talked about in our introduction to this series. Over at Gnome-Look or Gnome Art, you can select and download from a wide selection of wallpapers. Once you have downloaded a wallpaper, you have two options. The first is to keep it in your own home folder so that you are the only user on the computer that can use it, or you can copy it to a location where others can access it and use it for their desktops as well. On Ubuntu the command would look something like the following

sudo cp desktop_background_image_file /usr/share/backgrounds/

Once the image is on your computer, you can right click anywhere on your current desktop and select  “Change Desktop Background” from the menu that pops up.  This will bring up a window with a list of already available wallpapers.  If you downloaded the wallpaper and decided to keep it for yourself or if you moved your wallpaper using the command above and it is not available you will need to click on the “Add Wallpaper” button.  This will bring up a file selection dialog.  Find the file you want to use and click the “Open” button on the dialog.  This will both add the file to you list of available wallpapers and select it.  Once you have the wallpaper you desire selected, click the “Finish” button.

That is it.  You have just customized your desktop background (wallpaper).  Next week we are going to look at the window borders and buttons on your desktop.  So be sure to come back next week for that.

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