Variety is a lightweight freeware wallpaper changer that officially supports Ubuntu but runs on any Linux desktop environments like KDE, GNOME, LXDE, Xfce and Unity. Variety was created by Peter Levi, for the Ubuntu App Showdown 2012. Variety wallpaper changer works both in offline (local wallpaper sources like saved image folders) and online (online image sources like Flickr) environment.

Variety can automatically rotate wallpapers based on your preferences on a regular interval or on demand. The application supports some unique features like Media RSS support and World Sunlight Map. More about the application after the break.

variety-wallpaper-changer

Variety Wallpaper Changer: Features at a glance

If you are wondering about what Media RSS is all about? Media RSS (MRSS) is an RSS extension which is useful to syndicated multimedia files (such as audio, video and images) and it works as “regular” RSS feeds. With Media RSS support, Variety wallpaper changer lets you download images from Picasa, SmugMug, deviantART, InterfaceLIFT, etc and set them as your desktop wallpaper. In addition to Media RSS support, the application also supports many popular wallpaper sources like Flickr, Wallbase.cc, Wallpapers.net, NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, Desktoppr.co.

configure-mediarss-variety-wallpaper-change

The application also supports World Sunlight Map which lets you set a live wallpaper of the world map that changes as the day progresses. Thus you can watch the sun rise and set all over the world in real-time. The world map also shows clouds which is updated every 3 hours with the current weather satellite imagery. To set the live wallpaper of the world map, navigate to Variety Appindicator > Preferences > General > Enable the type earth from Images sources list > Use > Save.

world-sunlight-map

Other notable features of the application are:

  • Ubuntu appindicator support which lets you access all features of Variety. Keeping your mouse pointer on the appindicator, you can scroll and easily change wallpaper.
  • You can also apply fancy filters to the wallpapers like grayscale, heavy blur, oil painting, charcoal painting, pointilism, pixellate.
    variety-wallpaper-changer-effects
  • On top of the wallpaper, you can display the time using a nice digital clock.
  • The application lets you watch the clipboard for image URLs and manually download them.
  • You can also preview all available wallpapers in a cool way (see video below/screenshot above) when you open Preferences and click on a wallpaper source.
  • Variety comes with command-line support. Type variety --help in a terminal to see all available commands.

Variety Wallpaper Changer Video Demo

How to install Variety Wallpaper Changer?

To install Variety on Ubuntu 12.04 or later, and on most Ubuntu variants and derivatives like Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Linux Mint, and others, you first need to add its official PPA. Open a terminal and type the following commands one after another and press Enter after each command to execute it.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install variety

If you want to install Variety on any other Linux distributions, download it from Launchpad.

Conclusion

We have earlier seen a few wallpaper changer applications but we haven’t come across to what Variety offers. Variety wallpaper changer stands out in the crowd and wins the top place with its impressive long list of unique features and its ease of use. Definitely worth downloading and giving Variety a try!

Image sources: Variety official website

Author

SK Mezanul Haque is the founder of MyTechGuide.org (popularly known as My Technology Guide). Passionate about all things in tech. Let's meet: Google Plus.

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