Announcing Chwall, an automatic wallpaper changer for gtk desktops

Some time ago (since the Variety hiatus) I began to write for myself a light wallpaper changer. My primary goal was to have something usable from the terminal, able to use my own wallpaper collection, but also to fetch new ones from well known sources (like bing, national geographic…). And after a lot of work it starts to look like something interesting.

So, now it's the day I take the risk to show my creature to the world 😉 I would be grateful for any comments, feature requests or issues: feel free to try it and say what you think of it.

At some point I differed from my initial goal and now, Chwall (as I call it, see the README for the reason) has 3 different interface: command line client, a status icon for your system tray (Mate…) or a standalone app (Gnome…). Moreover, its launcher has actions to allow one to switch to the next or previous wallpaper (for exemple if you put the launcher in the Gnome dash). It can use systemd or classical xdg behavior to autostart the background daemon when your user session start in order to change you wallpaper from time to time.

It currently supports the following sources: local folders, bing pictures of the day, National Geographic pictures of the day, NASA astronomical pictures of the day, deviantart RSS feeds, Unsplash random API (this requires a free account to access their API) and Reddit. There is a preferences window to easily customize all of that.

To answer the most important question: it currently works well (as far as I know) on Mate desktop, Gnome, Budgie or light wm like awesome or i3 by relying on nitrogen to set the wallpaper. You can also indicate a shared place on your system to let LightDM or any other login manager access the current wallpaper and bring some continuity to your desktop experience. See the Archlinux documentation on LightDM to have insight of where to put the shared wallpaper.

The source code is hosted on my own server, but mirrors exist on github or Framagit (a gitlab instance hosted by a well known french free software advocacy association), if you already have an account there. I'm open to contributons, thus don't hesitate. If you are an Archlinux user and want to test it, I've already pushed an AUR package.

Chwall can be translated to your language too! I use my own weblate instance to translate it, thus again don't hesitate to register there to help me release chwall in various languages (for now, only french and english are supported).1 Thank you in advance for your help!

Some mandatory screenshots:

Screenshot of the main app
Figure 1: Screenshot of the main app
Screenshot of the systray icon
Figure 2: Screenshot of the systray icon


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[2020-11-03 mar.] I removed my instance of weblate, thus translations can only be made through classical gettext files edition.