UBUNTU DEBIAN LINUX minihowto howto set / put an animated background wallpaper with a video, mpg, avi, gif, flash, etc using xwinwrap mplayer and gnash

Set a animated background wallpaper in our desktop using Ubuntu – Intrepid and mplayer xwinwrap and gnash is a very simple task (with a little modification you can set it for using them on any *NIX based OS, including any Linux and *BSD).

**Am pretty sure that am not the first person to tell you how to do this, remember use Google for better solutions.


Become root and:

apt-get install build-essential libx11-dev x11proto-xext-dev libxrender-dev libxext-dev cvs
mkdir cvs
cd cvs
cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.freedesktop.org:/cvs/xapps co xwinwrap
cd xwinwrap
cp xwinwrap /usr/bin

Thats it!, here some Examples:
xwinwrap -ni -fs -s -st -sp -b -nf -- mplayer -wid WID -nosound "your.movie" -loop 0

Replace “your-movie” with whatever movie you like to play.
In the above example, supress ‘-nosound’ to heard sound and if you wish to loop it, change ‘ -loop 0 ‘ with the number of times you wish to replay such file.

To set a “screensaver” as desktop background:

nice -n 15 xwinwrap -ni -o 0.20 -fs -s -sp -st -b -nf -- /usr/lib/xscreensaver/glmatrix -root -window-id WID

Replace ‘glmatrix’ with whatever screensaver you like, and please note -root parameter there!


xwinwrap -ni -o 0.6 -fs -s -st -sp -b -nf -- mplayer -wid WID -quiet movie.mpg mplayer -nosound -loop 0 -fixed-vo -wid 0 YOUR.gif

Note: Replace YOUR.gif with your .gif file (do the same with movie.mpg)

To set a flash file to be desktop background (this is insane partly because Flash uses a LOT of resources!!).
For fun try to install gnash
apt-get install gnash

Here some examples using a external link from a existing random URI (website):

xwinwrap -ni -fs -s -st -sp -b -nf -- gnash --fullscreen http://www.crazyimages.com/ganjascope.swf xwinwrap -ni -fs -s -st -sp -b -nf -- gnash --fullscreen http://www.phong.com/cover/flower.of.phong00.swf xwinwrap -ni -fs -s -st -sp -b -nf -- gnash --fullscreen http://www.crazyimages.com/intro1.swf xwinwrap -ni -fs -s -st -sp -b -nf -- gnash --fullscreen http://www.crazyimages.com/digiflex.swf xwinwrap -ni -fs -s -st -sp -b -nf -- gnash --fullscreen http://www.crazyimages.com/engine.swf

TIP: add & at the end of line to force run as background process.
To set an existing flash file in your box, replace the link (URI) with /path/to/flash.swf
To stop you can kill the process like this:

killall gtk-gnash

Like I said before …there is LOTS of ways to do this, use Google be happy :).

(Is possible to use VLC alone because VLC had the opcion to play as a background build-in already, read VLC manual)


6 comentarios

  1. I read ur tutorial it is good thnx
    it would be more good if u explain it, i used .gif to set as my bg but it played only once and said exiting, i tied various looping 0,5,10, to -wid also still the same result can u solve this problem
    i thing this is happening due to exiting of xwinwrap or mplayer dont know why
    if possible help me.

  2. Muchas gracias por tu howto, me ha sido de gran utilidad. Yo no pondria minihowto, ya que es una gran explicación de cómo hacerlo. Ya tenia varias busquedas pero sin exito, hasta que entre a esta pagina y encontre realmente la explicación a lo que estaba buscando. Cabe mencionar que al seguir tus recomendaciones no he tenido ningun error. Ahora si no es mucho pedir podrias explicar como hacer un scrip para que la sentencia de configurar un protector de pantalla “como fondo de escritorio” sea ejecutada desde el inicio (al prender la maquina), para que con esto no tenga que estarla escribiendo en una terminal caada vez que arranque la computadora.

    De antemano te doy las gracias por compartir tus conocimientos.

  3. Segiero ver
    man init

  4. Thanks for commenting, whats your distro?

  5. Hi,
    It’s 2016 now and I like to know if this is still working on actual
    ubuntu (15.10), or if something has changed since the creation
    of this howto.
    I searched the web but most tips require a lot of additional SW
    to install or manual work and/or scripts etc.
    But its also amazing to see how something simple as putting an
    animated gif on a screen is so complicated in linux 😦
    I remember in Win I just drag n’ drop it on the desktop and thats it !
    Wasn’t a computer (in general) invented to make things easier ???
    Sometines I’m not shure anymore…
    anyway… if this solution is still valid, pls confirm, THX 😉

    Salu2 a to2

  6. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a really good
    article? but what can I say? I hesitate a whole lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.


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