How to Install an Ubuntu Linux Background Theme

ubuntu themeUbuntu is the most popular distribution of Linux with more than 12 million desktop users around the world. It is also the most popular free operating system for personal computers and is based on the Debian Linux distribution. The first release of the Ubuntu Operating System was on 20 October 2004 and since then new versions of Ubuntu have been released almost every six months. Ubuntu is sponsored by the UK based company Canonical Ltd. owned by South African billionaire Mark Shuttleworth. Ubuntu is distributed as a free and open source operating system and the latest Ubuntu release was Natty Narwhal which was released on 28th of April, 2010. The latest released focused on making the interface quite easy for users of the Windows Operating System too and it has gained mixed yet overwhelming reactions throughout the globe. One of the problems with Ubuntu Linux is that the backgrounds inbuilt into the Operating System are not that great and there are not many great backgrounds available either. So, in this tutorial we will provide details on how to install great background themes on your Ubuntu Linux operating system where the wallpapers change at regular intervals.

You can at first download the backgrounds from any Gnome Art background site. Ubuntu Themes are also regularly released at with high quality backgrounds and you can also download it from there. The themes work without any major modification to the Ubuntu Linux system and are safe to be installed. The themes would work on any Linux distribution which supports Gnome Art backgrounds in addition to Ubuntu OS.

At first download the Ubuntu Theme to your computer and decompress it in your Ubuntu OS. You would then need to move the theme to folder to the /usr/share/backgrounds in your Ubuntu/Linux system. But for that you also require root privileges and so open the terminal and type:

sudo cp -R /home/YOURUSERNAME/PathToYourThemeFolder /usr/share/backgrounds

Replace YOURUSERNAME and PathToYourThemeFolder with the ones that are relevant to the Ubuntu installation on your system. In case you are not sure about the location of the folder then you can also right-click and check properties to get an idea about the same. When you transfer the theme you would be prompted for the administrative password and you can type it and press enter. Thereafter, you need to browse to the /usr/share/backgrounds folder where you should see the new theme folder present if you have transferred it correctly. If you see cross mark on the images or the folder and permission is denied then please type the following command on your terminal:

sudo chmod 777 -R /usr/share/backgrounds/ThemeFolder

Replace ThemeFolder with the name of the extracted theme folder name as you did previously.

Now go to System > Preferences > Appearance and click on Appearance to open the Appearance dialog box. You can also open Appearance Preference by right-clicking on the desktop screen of Ubuntu and selecting "Change Desktop Background" from the right-click menu. You would then require to select the Background tab in that box if it is not selected already. Now click on "Add" near the bottom right side of that tab to add the new theme. A new window named "Add Wallpaper" would pop up where you need to browse to the "/usr/share/backgrounds/ThemeFolder/" and select the themefile.xml inside the ThemeFolder. You might need to change the file type at the bottom right of the "Add Wallpaper" window from "images" to "all files" in order to view the xml file. Replace ThemeFolder and themefile.xml name with the actual theme folder name and theme file name. You should now see the new background and then on your computer and it will change every 15 minutes. The installation is complete and once you get the hang of it, you should be able to install new Ubuntu themes in less than a minute.

The author owns the website Ubuntu Theme where you can download Ubuntu Themes free of cost. He is also a tech addict and likes to work on various platforms including Windows, Linux, Servers and Gadgets.

Author: Ron Hopkins
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Ron Hopkins