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Variety is an application that I have discussed in so many articles and it is the first thing I install on any distro.
Variety is standard installed on ArchLabs.

It is just the Rolls-Royce of wallpaper fetchers and wallpaper changers.

But that is just my personal opinion. You judge for yourself.
Variety is from Peter Levi. You can support his work.

A wallpaper is a a great way to embellish your desktop. It is not so surprising that many people use programs and/or websites to find new wallpapers to brighten their day.

Personally I combine the power of the website (and dropbox) to keep all my wallpapers safe and shareable for all.

Tip 1 scroll over the icon of variety

Get the next wallpaper         or previous wallpaper when you scroll over the icon of variety.

  • Or press ALT + N                     or ALT + P.
  • Or press ALT + arrow right      or ALT + arrow left.

Tip 2 trash the wallpaper or make it your favorite

If you do not like a wallpaper that variety provides you, you can go to the variety icon in the bottom/top right panel in tint2, click on it and delete to trash. But I do like a keyboard shortcut. If you like the wallpaper you can favorite it. In the preferences you can set where to put the wallpapers you like. I save them in the dropbox folder from desktoppr.

  • Trash the wallpaper – ALT + T
  • Favorite wallpaper – ALT + F

Tip 3 Keep the wallpaper or continue

You can choose the keep the wallpaper for now – assuming you set variety to change every 5 or 10 minutes.

  • Keep wallpaper – ALT + arrow up
  • Continue changing wallpaper  ALT + arrow down

Tip 4 Location of the wallpapers on your system

Any application has folders in which it operates. Variety will be working within the following directory.


The name and the path of the current wallpaper can be found in ~/.config/variety/wallpaper/wallpaper.jpg.txt.

Tip 5 Go to the source and save it there as favorite

When you start variety, you will see an icon in the bottom or top right panel (depends on tint2). You can explore the options we get when we press the variety icon.

I really like the option to go to the source website and to be able to login ( and save the pictures there as favorite by pressing on the cloud icon. Instantly the wallpaper is downloaded in my dropbox folder.

Tip 6 how to set a custom icon for variety

I thank Peter for making this option available. There are so many icon themes out there and if you want to have a desktop that is uniform in colouring or design you need sometimes to be able to change the icons. Not all applications provide this service out-of-the-box.

The location of the variety toolbar icons for Sardi is in


There are three variants present

  • Grey
  • Light
  • Dark

But you can as easily make them any colour you want.

Tip 7 Setting images to 100% of your screen resolution

You can also select that all wallpapers should be at least

  • 50 %
  • 80 %
  • 100 %

of the screen resolution. If you get often images that are (too) small and then become blurred (ugly) because they are zoomed or stretched, you can set they should be in width and height at least 80% of your current screen resolution. Hope we will get more choices in the future. These options have been set right for you.



Tip 8 Effects

Variety has an option to change your incoming wallpapers on-the-fly with some interesting filters. I like the grayscale filter. Do try it out with Sardi Mono icons.






Nitrogen is a straight forward application to set your wallpaper. It will however not fetch any new wallpapers like variety does.

You can add in preferences which folders contain your personal wallpapers so they will be added to the selection.

If you are on a dual screen, you have to tell nitrogen to either go full screen (you need to use a dual screen wallpaper then) or decide to put it on screen 1 or screen 2. You can have a different wallpaper per screen.

You have also the standard settings like zoomed fill etc.