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Old 03-21-2008, 01:09 AM   #1
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Where are the background images stored?

Just curious,
Where are the background images stored? It's interesting, since, when I click on 'desktop->change background', the dialog box doesn't show what the name of that image is, or where it is stored. I think it would have been nice had it done.

Last edited by concoran; 03-21-2008 at 01:11 AM.
Old 03-21-2008, 02:10 AM   #2
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You neglected to mention which desktop or window manager you are using. On most distros, the wallpaper is located in /usr/share/wallpapers, but other directories maybe the default.
Old 03-21-2008, 03:08 AM   #3
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On most Window Managers background files are located within /usr/share (among themes and icons etc). Where exactly within /usr/share can also be different among distributions even when they use the same Window Managers.

On RedHat/Fedora you will find the default backgrounds in /etc/share/wallpapers. Next to that one you will also find directories like xscreensaver, theme, gnome-background-properties, icons and a lot more.

Desktop backgrounds can actually be located anywhere on your system. A good choice for your own pictures is something like /home/your-user-name/Pictures.

Hope this helps,

Debian User

Last edited by simplicissimus; 04-02-2008 at 04:46 AM.
Old 03-22-2008, 01:44 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot folks. Now, here's a question.

I have been trying to make some of the photos I took as my wallpapers. So, in Windows, I made a zip file from 2 directories that I want as wallpapers. I copied those to Linux and unzipped them. Now, they are in /root/Download/wallpapers. In fact, They are two directories in wallpapers. How do I copy all those files to /usr/share/wallpapers?
And once they are copied, will I need to change the permissions so that each user can use them?

Last edited by concoran; 03-22-2008 at 01:45 AM.
Old 03-22-2008, 02:31 AM   #5
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The location of the wallpaper files indicates that you are operating as root instead of a regular user. Please don't do that. Only su to root on the shell or use sudo to perform administrative tasks. You will need to move the files as root however because A) only root can read files in the /root/ directory and B) only root can write to /usr/share/wallpapers.

It would be easier to change the permissions of the files before moving them. Afterwards they will be mixed up with the others. You didn't give us the names of the two directories in /root/Download/wallpapers/ so I will assume "dir1" and "dir2" for the example:

To change the permissions, you need to make sure the the "r" bit is set for "others".
sudo chmod o+r /root/Download/wallpapers/dir1/* /root/Download/wallpapers/dir2/*
sudo mv -vi /root/Download/wallpapers/dir1/* /root/Download/wallpapers/dir2/* /usr/share/wallpapers/

Please see the man pages for the "mv" and "sudo" commands. The "mv" command is described more in the "coreutils" info manual which is more comprehensive and contains information and examples for almost 100 of the most common commands.


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