Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS, and other Ubuntu derivatives
Variety can be installed on Ubuntu and its variants and derivatives from its official PPA by running these commands in a terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install variety
This has been tested to work out of the box on the latest LTS and non-LTS versions of Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu (but see notes below for KDE), Linux Mint MATE and Cinnamon, elementary OS.
Running Variety after installation
After the installation Variety can be run from the application menus or the dash search. Or launch it from a terminal with
Debian and other Debian-based systems
You can install the DEB file using GDebi or some other tool that will automatically resolve and install the missing dependencies.
Variety is in the Community repository – https://www.archlinux.org/packages/community/any/variety/.
On openSUSE Tumbleweed and Leap install Variety from the official openSUSE repository either through yast or with
zypper in variety. The same packages are available for older versions of openSUSE from https://software.opensuse.org/package/variety?search_term=variety.
There are now packages for RPM-based distributions, you can find them on rpmfind.
KDE provides no ways to set the wallpaper from inside a program. To use Variety in KDE you have to make some configurations or it will not work. Please read and follow the instructions here.
GNOME and XFCE
Variety uses an indicator icon. You will have to install the AppIndicator Support extension in GNOME or add the indicator plugin to the panel in XFCE.
Please load the modules Modules/System/DBus Extension and Modules/Systray.
Openbox, Fluxbox, i3, xmonad and other window managers
Many of the lighter window managers do not have native desktop-drawing capabilities but rely on feh to draw the desktop. To make Variety run there, install feh, then edit the file
~/.config/variety/scripts/set_wallpaper and uncomment this line by removing the # at the front:
# feh --bg-scale "$WP" 2> /dev/null
Other distributions / running from source
Variety runs on Python 2 (2.7.3+).
1. Download the source archive in tar.gz and unpack it to some directory. Or, alternatively, install Bazaar and run
bzr branch lp:variety – this means you will be running from the latest trunk development version (which I try to keep stable).
2. Install the dependencies:
gir1.2-notify-0.7, python-configobj, python-pyexiv2, python-pycurl, gir1.2-gtk-3.0, python-dbus, gir1.2-pango-1.0, gir1.2-glib-2.0, python-imaging, python-cairo, gir1.2-gdkpixbuf-.0, python-bs4, gir1.2-webkit-3.0, yelp, imagemagick, python-lxml, gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1.
gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1 is optional – don’t worry if it is not present in your distribution, it is for Variety’s indicator icon, but Variety will fallback to a classic Gnome status icon if it is not present.
3. Now simply run it. No building or installing is necessary:
cd <folder with Variety's sources>
Raspbian (Raspberry Pi)
Users are reporting Variety works well under Raspbian. The process is the same as when running from source:
1. Install dependencies:
sudo apt-get install gir1.2-notify-0.7 python-configobj python-pyexiv2 python-pycurl gir1.2-gtk-3.0 python-dbus gir1.2-pango-1.0 gir1.2-glib-2.0 python-imaging python-cairo gir1.2-gdkpixbuf-2.0 python-bs4 gir1.2-webkit-3.0 yelp imagemagick python-lxml gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1
2. Install bzr:
sudo apt-get install bzr
3. Checkout from the repository:
bzr branch lp:variety
If you are using the Raspberry Pi as a photo slideshow PC, you may also add and run unclutter to hide the mouse cursor:
sudo apt-get install unclutter
NOTE: If you have managed to install and use Variety on other systems, please contact me so I can put the instructions on this page. Thank you.
Alternative modes for positioning the wallpaper on screen
Variety adheres to the global setting for positioning the wallpaper on the screen and does not provide an in-app setting for this. On Ubuntu/Unity this is a combobox in the Appearance settings, the default value is “Zoom”. In other distributions this setting is wherever the wallpaper/desktop background settings are.
For example use Scale instead of Zoom, if you prefer the images to be fully displayed on the screen and not cropped.
On dual-monitor machines, you probably want to open Ubuntu’s Appearance settings (or whatever is the place for changing wallpaper settings on your distribution) and change the wallpaper display mode from the default Zoom to Span. You may then also want to spend some time customizing the image sources in Variety so that it fetches images with the proper resolution to cover both monitors.