Wallpaper Slideshow With Nitrogen

less than 1 minute read

To automatically change wallpapers after a period of time.

1. Nitrogen Command:

/usr/bin/nitrogen --set-zoom-fill --random /wallpaper/folder --save


  • --save: create a saved /home/user/.config/nitrogen/bg-saved.cfg file for nitrogen to --restore when the system is rebooted.

  • --set-zoom-fill: the style to which the wallpaper is set.

  • --random: pick randomly from a specific folder. Please note that it picks recursively (even wallpapers in sub-folder). I have tried to add the --no-recursebut it has no effect when using the --random flag.

Please go to the man page for more detail: man nitrogen

2. Add a cron task

Use crontab -e to edit the user account crontab file.

Add this line to the bottom of the file:

*/20 * * * * (export DISPLAY=:0.0 && /bin/date && /usr/bin/nitrogen --set-zoom-fill --random /wallpapers/folder/ --save) > /tmp/myNitrogen.log 2>&1
  • Note: Please change /wallpapers/folder/ to your wallpaper directory.

This cron task will change wallpaper to one picked randomly in a folder every 20 minutes.

The export DISPLAY=:0.0 is to specify the command to run in which display.

The log of this cron task will be found at /tmp/myNitrogen.log in case something goes wrong.

3. Reload cron service after edit

sudo service cron restart

Check for its status:

sudo service cron restart

Leave a comment