set wallpapers in CLI with new xfdesktop?

killermoehre killermoehre at
Tue Oct 15 20:50:57 CEST 2013

Am Di 15 Okt 2013 19:38:24 CEST schrieb Paul Johnson:
> I noticed the new xfdesktop 4.11 introduces the ability to put
> different wallpapers on different workspaces.  Great, that inability
> has been the reason I was running WindowMaker, Enlightenment, or Compiz.
> So I built xfdesktop 4.11, leaving in place the other XFCE4.10
> packages from Debian Jessie. It seems to work fine, I can open the
> xfdesktop gui configurator and set the background directory and choose
> one. The setup is not recursive into the subdirectories, that's not
> handy.  But, it does work.
> I've got too many backgrounds in too many subdirectories for this
> pointy-clicky system. I have a Perl program that can randomly choose
> images and assign to workspaces.  I've used that in several window
> managers over the years.
> I don't know how to talk to XFCE from the command line, though. Can
> you help?
> In compiz, the CLI interface has me build an image array and then tell
> the compiz to draw it, I could write out the details if you need to
> see. In WindowMaker, it was a little easier, there was a simple shell
> script with a syntax like this:
> # wmsetbg  -a -u -w 2 image.jpg
> where w 2 chooses the workspace. Enlightenment had a script called
> Esetroot (which wmsetbg was based on).
> I need similar CLI way to tell xfdesktop how to put a particular image
> on a particular background.
> Suggestions?
> pj
> --
> Paul E. Johnson

Hi Paul,

To talk with the Xfce configuration from the CLI, you need 
xfconf-query. To set the background in 4.10, you have to run the 
command »xfconf-query -c xfce4-desktop -p 
/backdrop/screen0/monitor0/image-path -s "FULL_PATH_TO_THE IMAGE"«. I 
think in 4.11 it should be similar. You can either use xfconf-query or 
xfce4-settings-editor to analyze the structure of this config. See 
»xfconf-query --help« and »man 3pm Xfce4::Xfconf«.


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