Variety Indicator When Using KDE

Asked by Roy Gilby on 2015-06-11

I've been using Variety on the Unity Desktop for a year or so now, and enjoy the images that the application delivers. However, recently I migrated to Kubuntu 15.04, and immediately discovered KDE's limitations when it comes to using Variety.....

Anyway, I've managed to get Variety sort of working by using the "Nasty Workaround".

Variety is regularly changing the /home/####/Pictures/variety-wallpaper/wallpaper-kde.jpg. However, KDE seems to only re-read this file at each login.

Is this a known problem with the latest version of Kubuntu (Plasma Desktop 5.3.1 I think), or is there some extra workaround that I need to do ?

Additionally - should the Variety Indicator be appearing in the KDE Status & Notifications area, or do I have to use some other process to access the options normally accessed by right clicking the Variety Indicator ?



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Peter Levi
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Best Peter Levi (peterlevi) said : #1

I haven't yet tested using Variety with Plasma 5, and it is officially unsupported at the moment.

There are a couple of suggested even nastier workarounds to get Variety to change the wallpaper on Plasma 5 - check this comment for example
I haven't yet tried them myself so I can't comment how well they work and if there is a simpler way. Please give them a try and comment back.

The indicator - it used to work ok on KDE4, maybe it doesn't work on Plasma 5. As I said, I haven't yet tested myself, but generally KDE's support for scripting the wallpaper went from terrible to abysmal with Plasma 5 so I'd rather officially drop support for KDE than spend more effort there.

Roy Gilby (roy-gilbys) said : #2

Thanks Peter.

Before I received your response, I tried my own workaround. I tried adding one more image into the ~/Pictures/variety-wallpaper folder. Once I did this, the KDE Desktop background slide show started changing the background photograph. Unfortunately, this workaround isn't really satisfactory, as it results in every second desktop background being the same extra image that I added to the folder.

I'll give your suggested workaround a trial run soon and get back to you with the results.

Many thanks,


Peter Levi (peterlevi) said : #3

Ok, it seems KDE wants to have a "new" filename in the folder to switch to.
Another possible workaround will be this - in set_wallpaper append $RANDOM to the wallpaper-kde filename to make it different from the other files. Touch the file to make it the most current file. Delete all wallpaper-kde* files but the two with the most recent dates. This should leave just two files - the current wallpaper and the new one you put there. KDE will in a couple of seconds pick the new one (as there are only 2 files there and it won't use the current), and on the next wallpaper change set_wallpaper will delete the previous one when copying a new file in there.

Roy Gilby (roy-gilbys) said : #4

The Variety Indicator started working in the Plasma 5 notifications area after I had done a reboot - so as far as the Variety Indicator is concerned - that part of the problem is resolved.


Roy Gilby (roy-gilbys) said : #5


The even nastier workaround that you pointed me to T does work on KDE Plasma 5. I had the background set to change at 10 second intervals for testing, and all went well. I've now set both the KDE Desktop Slideshow and the Variety Interval to 10minutes, and will do further testing.

For the moment, it looks like a suitable workaround for now.

Many thanks,


Roy Gilby (roy-gilbys) said : #6

Thanks Peter Levi, that solved my question.