How to Automatically Change Ubuntu Desktop Wallpaper to Bing’s Photo of the Day

While it’s arguably true that your choice of computer operating system (Windows, Linux, or Mac OS) says a lot about you, there’s something else computer-related that reflects your personality: your desktop wallpaper. For example, having a photo of your parents, wife, or baby on your desktop conveys that family comes first for you, while that of a beautiful landscape reveals your love of nature.

Personally, I don’t use Microsoft’s Bing search engine a lot. But one thing I do like about Bing is the ever-changing background of the website, which in most cases is a beautifully captured real-life image. I am sure many of you would like to have these images as your desktop wallpapers but would agree that it’s a bit cumbersome to download a new image daily and then set it as wallpaper.

What if I told you there is a way to make the whole process automated? Yes, your desktop wallpaper will change to the Bing photo of the day, every day, without you doing any hard work. In this article we will discuss how you can do this.

Note: all the commands and steps mentioned in this article have been tested on Ubuntu 16.04.

The tool that automatically sets the Bing photo of the day as your Ubuntu desktop wallpaper is basically a Python script developed by Mr. Utkarsh Gupta. The script – which is compatible with Linux distributions running the Gnome desktop environment – can be set in a way that it runs automatically at the startup, making sure you always get to see the latest Bing photo on your desktop.

Downloading and installation of the script is easy – all you have to do is to head to the project’s official web page and download the package in .tar or .zip format. Once downloaded, just extract the archive and run the main.py script.

However, before you go ahead and execute the script, you have to make sure that all the dependencies are installed on your system. For that, run the following two commands:

sudo apt-get install python-bs4
sudo apt-get install python-lxml

If the above commands are successful, you can launch the tool by running the following command in the directory where the main.py script is kept.

./main.py

Although this works, our aim is to make the process completely automated. So for that, execute the following command:

gnome-session-properties

In the window that appears, click the “Add” button to add the script as a startup application.

bing-desktop-wallpaper-auto

That’s it. Once you’re done with this, you’ll see that your desktop wallpaper will change to the Bing photo of the day every day.

In my case, after I was through with all the above-mentioned steps, I executed the script manually to quickly see if it worked. Unsurprisingly, it did and my desktop wallpaper was changed.

bing-wallpaper-changed

I even cross-verified that it is actually the Bing photo of the day by quickly opening the Bing home page.

bing-wallpaper-my-locale

An important thing worth mentioning here is that the script is written in a way that it tries to match your locale to one of the supported Bing Market areas, falling back to “en-US” if it fails to do so. However, if you know Python basics, you can easily override the current Bing market detection by setting your preferred market in the script.

From what I experienced, the script is easy to install and use, and more importantly does what is promises. Of course, you can extend it to add more features provided you know the Python language. The project’s GitHub page contains a list of To Do points towards the end, so you can take a look at that as well to get an idea about what else may be added to the script in the future.

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