News about Variety Wallpaper Changer

Variety 0.4.15 is here


Variety 0.4.15 was released a couple of days ago (after a very short-lived 0.4.14 before it that had an erroneous dependency listed).

This is again a release focusing preliminary on fixing existing bugs, with only a couple of new features added.

Lots of bugs fixed

The full list can be seen here.

Support for the newest MATE and Cinnamon editions

MATE 1.6 and Cinnamon 1.8 both changed their ways for setting the wallpaper. Variety 0.4.15’s set_wallpaper script is updated to reflect these changes so Variety works with these out of the box.

LightDM support

As most of you know, the login manager in Ubuntu – LightDM, has a feature to display the user’s wallpaper when selecting a username. However, for this to work there are a load of requirements that need to be met, mainly related to file permissions, so in practice images downloaded by Variety or simply placed in some random folder were not displayed in LightDM.

Variety now has an option to make LightDM “happy” – you can find it in the Customize tab. If this setting does not work for you, please read carefully here before reporting bugs.

More easily themeable icon

This is targeted mainly at distribution maintainers and icon theme creators. Variety’s indicator icon can now be themed in the standard XDG way – just provide an icon named “variety-indicator” in the theme and if the icon option is left at the default “Light” value, Variety will use it instead of the default.


  1. I really like Variety, thank you very much for your work.

    1) Is it possible to add our own custom URLs for quote feeds? QuotesDaddy pretty much blows. I prefer the following website: It also supports random quotes.

    2) Is it possible to add a folder/text file of our own quotes and have Variety pull from there?

    Again, thanks a lot.

    • Pluginnable quote sources is a feature I am currently working on. I also understood quite soon after releasing the quotes feature that QuotesDaddy won’t cut it. The Quotations Page is actually one of the new sources I’d like to add. Reading from a custom file will be possible to achieve with some simple python scripting. Here is the bugreport: If you are interesting in beta testing this feature – I just uploaded there a deb with the current state of the things – additional sources are enabled, but there’s yet no user-friendly way to disable plugins.

      • Thanks for this. I tried to get it to work but when I installed it (Ubuntu 13.04) it installs without errors using the Software Center program but it won’t start at all. It doesn’t even crash, it just doesn’t start. It does list that it is successfully installed in the Software Center. Looking forward to future versions.

        • Please run from the command line to see what exactly happens: “/opt/ -v”

          • Hi, looks Chris don’t answer for you…
            I also decided to test the beta release, but the program did not start.
            Here is list:

            alex@my-ubuntu:~$ /opt/ -v
            Traceback (most recent call last):
            File “/opt/”, line 45, in
            import variety
            File “/opt/”, line 31, in
            from variety import VarietyWindow
            File “/opt/”, line 62, in
            from variety.QuotesEngine import QuotesEngine
            File “/opt/”, line 28, in
            locale.bindtextdomain(‘variety’, ‘/opt/’)
            NameError: name ‘locale’ is not defined

  2. hi,

    I am really liking variety. Its awesome.
    Is there any way to blacklist images I dont like (as there is ‘favorite’ option). certain images keep coming back despite these being not to my taste.


    • When you move to trash images downloaded by Variety, they go into a blacklist and Variety does not download them again (but keep in mind there are often close duplicates on the wallpaper sites, that Variety can’t know about, e.g. same image in slightly different resolution, etc.). For local images – it’s up to you to delete them…

  3. I’ve been using Variety for a while and really like it.

    I also use Reddit. Some subreddits have good wallpaper-style images, with user-generated approval (in the form of upvotes). It would be cool if there was some way to get these well-upvoted images into Variety, from Reddit.

    One example is

    You could use Reddit’s API, or an RSS feed (just append “.rss” to the URL above to get an RSS feed for the subreddit). There’s also JSON (“.json”), and probably some others.

  4. Thanks for inventing variety. I started using it.
    What I have is probably a newbee question, but I can’t find an answer.
    On the general tab I’m trying to add a or rule, but in the add page it gives ?no images found” or could not find wallpapers there for
    Am I doing something wrong?

    • You’re not doing anything wrong. Both Wallbase and updated their sites recently and I haven’t yet updated Variety to work with the new sites. I was actually informed of the problem with Wallbase two days ago and you are the first to note the problem with Please use the other sources for now, I will publish an updated version when it is ready.

      • Thanks Peter,
        For your quick response.
        It’s looking very good, so far.
        I have been using webilder for quite some time, but that seems to be broken and hasn’t been updated for some time now.

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