HOWTO: Set Background Wallpaper in Fluxbox?

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Mon, Oct 31 - 7:35 pm EDT | 12 years ago by
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Flux box isn’t like KDE or Gnome in the sense that there’s a ‘desktop configuration tool’. To change the desktop wallpaper, for example. you’ll have to drop into a terminal window. It’s not hard, just different.

  1. Get the image you’d like to use as your desktop wallpaper downloaded or otherwise saved somewhere on your sytem
  2. Open a terminal window and use your favorite text editor to open your ~/.fluxbox/startup file.
  3. Look for a line that starts with the command fbsetbg. If you see one, edit it to reflect the path to your new background image. If you don’t see such a line, make a new one as such (note: depending on your screen size you may see this as two lines, this should be one line in your startup file:

    fbsetbg -f /home/jon/.fluxbox/backgrounds/my_background.jpg

Who said Fluxbox wasn’t friendly?

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  • komaton

    if you use feh as background image handler there is another way to set an new wallpaper

    open your fluxbox menufile and insert the following lines

    [submenu] (Wallpaper)
    [wallpapers] (/path/to/your/wallpapers) {feh –bg-scale}

    so you can change your desktop wallpaper in seconds without editing your initscript…

  • Fluxbox rocks

    I agree with kornation, his way is a lot better…

  • sg

    I tried what he said

    In the menu, I see all the wallpaper files, but i’m unable to click on any..Well like i can but nothing happens.


  • marc

    I did different syntax then komaton, here’s mine

    [submenu] (Backgrounds)
    [exec] (BSD Swirl) {feh –bg-scale /usr/home/marc/path_to_file.jpg}

  • Ernestas

    First of all, you need to install feh.
    After you install it, you must be able to run command:
    feh wall.jpg
    And then you must see the image. If you don’t see, anything you’ll do further won’t help.

  • FifthDoctor

    as another fun tip, I put ‘fbsetbg -r /path/to/favorite/wallpapers/’ in my init file, so now I get a new random wallpaper at every startup.

    you can also set up a cron job to reset a new wallpaper whenever you want. like every ten minutes for example.

  • basilisk

    The command you have specified has a little mistake. I should be {feh –bg-scale} rather than {feh -bg-scale}.

    Great help though.

  • Clair


    Noted. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Valli

    Hi guys, nice thread.
    The textformating on this page makes for me of the – - (double-minus) an — (a longer -). Which is also copied if marked and ctrl-c’d.
    Thant is only a little confusing.


  • Jonas

    Thanks, marc, I used your syntax whit another program:

    [submenu] (something)
    [exec] (something) {fbsetbg -f /…/path_to_file.jpg}

    where “fbsetbg -f” calls for for a program such as feh (i have eset) and strechess the picture (-f).

  • lurre


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