How to Automatically Change WallPaper based on time of day in Ubuntu with Wallch

Wallpapers are one of the ways we can customize the look and feel of an operating system according to our aesthetic needs. There are even options when you can choose to use dynamic wallpapers that change automatically throughout the day; keeping the working environment more interesting for you.

In this article, we will explain how to automatically change wallpapers depending on the time of the day. For this purpose, we will make use of a very helpful software called Wallch. Another thing that you need is a set of wallpapers that you will configure to change automatically after a specific time interval.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

Step 1: Install the Wallch application

For a person who does not want to open the Command Line much, installing software present in the Ubuntu repository through the UI is very simple. On your Ubuntu desktop Activities toolbar, click the Ubuntu Software icon.

Open Ubuntu Software Center

In the following view, click on the search icon and enter Wallch in the search bar. The search results will display the wallpaper changing application result as follows:

Select Wallch application

The secondary entry in the above image is what we are looking for. Wallch is a wallpaper changer for keeping your desktop fresh and new. It supports the following Desktop Environments: Gnome (with or without Unity integration), LXDE, XFCE, and Mate.

This is the package maintained by Ubuntu Bionic Universe repository. Click on the Wallch search entry to open the following view:

Install Wallch

Click the Install button to begin the installation process. The following authentication dialog will display for you to provide your authentication details as only an authorized user can install software on Ubuntu.

Authenticate as admin

Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the installation process will begin, displaying a progress bar as follows.

Installing Wallch

Wallch will then be installed to your system and you will get the following message after a successful installation:

Launch Wallpaper Changer

Through the above dialog, you can choose to directly launch Wallch and even Remove it immediately for whatever reason.

Step 2: Keep a set of wallpapers ready

Let us suppose you want your wallpapers to be automatically changed every two hours. That means you need 12 different wallpapers to be displayed on your system one by one. If you want your wallpapers to be changed every 4 hours, you need 6 of them.

Ideally, when setting up wallpapers like these, you are looking for a landscape or something that changes according to the progression of the sun. One such set of wallpapers is BitDay Wallpaper Set 4K that can be found at the following link:

Scroll down the post and click on the options button alongside the social media icons.

Then click on the Download Post link as follows:

Download Wallpaper

Then save the file by selecting the Save File option from the following dialog:

Save file

This will save a .zip file on your system to your desired location. Now open the folder where you saved the file and extract the zip file. You can do so by selecting the file, and choosing extract here from the right-click menu. Now you have 12 .png files saved on your system and ready to be used by the Wallch application.

Unpack Wallpaper Archive

Step 3: Set up customized wallpapers to be changed automatically

Now we will see how to use the Wallch application to set up wallpapers and the time interval after which they will be changed.

Open the application either through the application launcher bar as follows or directly through the Application listing.

Wallch Icon

This is the default view of the application:

Wallch application started

Click the Browse button in order to specify the Pictures location of your time-of-day related wallpapers. When you do so, all the wallpapers on your specified location will be loaded in the application as follows:

Browse Wallpapers

The next step is to specify the time Interval after which the wallpaper will be automatically changed to the next one in the list, and so on.

You can also specify which wallpaper to begin with. For example, I wanted to begin with the one having the sun at the highest point in the sky, as I was setting up the wallpaper app at around 12 noon. In order to set up a specific wallpaper to be displayed first, select it, right-click, and then select “start from this image” from the menu.

Now, click the Start button in order to make the application start displaying your wallpapers one by one according to the specified time interval. You can now close the Wallch application.

This is my new desktop wallpaper after performing all the steps described above.

Wallpaper Changer active

You can, of course, download and use wallpapers of your choice to be displayed at different times of the day.