How to Change Desktop Wallpaper in Ubuntu

By Nick Peers

Although it is not entirely different from the Windows or Mac OS X user interface, the Ubuntu user interface can be intimidating to new users. Changing the desktop wallpaper in Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is not a difficult task if you know where you find the settings. You can select one of the native wallpapers or use your own custom wallpaper. Furthermore, you can use a gradient as wallpaper. If you have two monitors, you can span the wallpaper across both of them.

Step 1

Click the "**System Settings**" icon in the Launcher to display the System Settings window.

Step 2

Click "**Appearance**" in the Personal section to view all settings related to the look of the desktop.

Step 3

Select a different wallpaper from the **Wallpapers** list on the Look tab if you want to use one of the native wallpapers.

Step 4

Select "**Pictures Folder**" instead of Wallpapers to use a custom wallpaper and then click the "**+**" button.

Step 5

Select the image from the Pictures folder and click "**Open**" to use it. You can select a different folder from the left pane if you stored the wallpaper elsewhere on the hard drive. You can use any JPG, PNG or GIF image as wallpaper.

Step 6

Select "**Colors and Gradients**" instead of "Pictures Folder" to use a gradient, and then select one of the available gradients from the list. Change the gradient colors by clicking each of the colors and picking different colors from the list.

Tips & Warnings

  • To change the Ubuntu theme, select a different theme from the "Theme" drop-down box.
  • To increase the size of the icons in the Launcher, drag the "Launcher icon size" slider to the right; to decrease the size, drag the slider to the left.
  • To set up panoramic wallpapers stretching across two monitors, select "Pictures Folder" and then select a wallpaper large enough to fit both screens. Select "Span" instead of "Zoom" from the drop-down box below the wallpaper name.
  • Various third-party wallpaper choosers or switchers, such as Wallch or Variety, automatically cycle through a preset list of wallpapers. Furthermore, Wallch can use a live website as wallpaper.
  • Only custom wallpapers can span across multiple monitors; native wallpapers don't have the Span option.