Prevent Xfce from darwing desktop background

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at
Wed May 13 21:09:41 CEST 2009

andreas at wrote:
> Hi again,
> I've got a hint which is waiting for approval (thanks to Jarno Suni)
> so I just quote myself to stay in the thread:  I now switched of the
> unwanted icons and I even tried to make xfce background "transparent"
> to enable xplanet rendering my backgound.  The result is in fact that
> xfce is not rendering the background any more but it just opens the
> view to what seems "random memory area on video memory".  I just see
> random stripes, sometimes shrinked and duplicated parts of previosely
> seen PFDs whatever might reside in invalid areas of memory.  Had
> anybody success in letting a third party program rendering the desktop
> background?

If you have compositing enabled, this won't work, as the compositor 
doesn't draw the real X root window.  You need to be running something 
*else* that draws a window behind xfdesktop for this to work.

If you're *not* running the compositor, then this just won't work at 
all, since the 'Transparent' option requires it.

I should just remove that option; it only works under a very restrictive 
set of circumstances (assuming it works at all) and isn't really 
generally useful anyway.

There isn't really a good way to do what you want anymore.  If you give 
xplanet xfdesktop's window ID, they'll both fight when drawing on the 
window and it'll look like crap.

I suppose I could implement a sort of "foreign mode" that tells 
xfdesktop to stop drawing anything on the desktop at all, and then other 
apps could draw on it.  This probably wouldn't be compatible with 
desktop icons, though the right- and middle-click menus would at least 
still work.

Your other option for xplanet is just to have it save to a regular png 
or jpg file and then set that as xfdesktop's wallpaper.  How to do so, 
and how to get it to update when the image changes, is an exercise left 
to the reader (and google).


More information about the Xfce mailing list