Better Backgrounds

May 31, 2020 09:18

Better Backgrounds

…is an Cinnamon Desktop Applet to automatically change the desktop wallpaper. It is entirely written in JavaScript and also tries to minimze native system calls. It comes with various sources for images to download and display. Included are e.g. Unsplash, Bing or Picsum - at least while of writing this post.


Well, there is an other Applet out there (its purpose is just to display Bing Wallpapers), but I needed the ability to customize the downloaded image resolution (my monitor is kind of… HUGE). This caused me to investigae and understand how plugins and applets are written, and so I started to learn how the GNOME JS-Bindings work. And, after a while, I’ve started to drastically rewrite the initial copy of the Applet mentioned before. Better Backgrounds was born, because the refactoring started to escalate and slowly replace any original line of code.

Himawari 8

Is an other type of image source - it is a “live” picture of the earth, updated every 10 minutes. The way how his pictures with higher resolutions work, is that the sattelites server stores mutiple tiles, each with a qudratic size of 550px. Therefore Better Backgrounds has not only to download the image and apply it, it also has to merge all the different tiles together. This is done by using ImageMagick and this caused me to also include some effects - because why not?


This is archived by using the cutycapt package. It just renders the provided address into an image - which also can be displayed by Better Backgrounds. So, if you want your favourite news site as a background (like under goold ol’ Windows XP and IE times) - here you go.

Check it out!

…if you want to learn or… Whatever reason is out there to read code. 😁