Add Variety to your desktop

Color and Size

The images used by Variety as wallpaper do not necessarily have to have the same resolution as the monitor. The software lets you define different selection criteria for the images to be displayed in the Color and size tab of the Preferences dialog.

You will usually want images in landscape format, but Variety also supports the use of images in portrait format. For low-resolution images, which are often found on the Internet, specify a minimum size, which is based on the screen resolution. This prevents images with too low a resolution from becoming blurred when over-magnified.

Basically Variety adjusts the image to the current resolution of the screen by cropping. The program avoids unsightly bars at the edges or distorting of images. Unlike many other desktop background applications, Variety does not display content in a stretched or compressed form. You can also make the software display only those images that contain a high percentage of a certain color.


In the Tips and Tricks tab, you will find more detailed information about the application, for example, how to use it on the command line. In addition, developer Peter Levi provides a detailed changelog. In this tab you can also access the program's website directly, contact the developer, and find a link to a donation option.

The software automatically adds itself to the system tray at startup time. You can also use the program as an image viewer. In the corresponding context menu, which can be opened by right-clicking on the Variety icon, you can also open the Preferences dialog at any time and modify various options. The selection function is a special feature: After checking Wallpaper Selection, the program will show a reduced view of all image files in the current folder. If you have downloaded images off the Internet, the images stored on the clipboard will also appear here. Click on one of the reduced images to enable it as a new wallpaper (Figure 3).

Figure 3: The picture-in-picture option lets you select your wallpaper with a single mouse click.

There are two options Previous and Next with which you can influence the image sequence manually. To make modifications in the image file folder, click on the file path shown in the context menu. The routine now opens the file manager with the target path and closes Variety. You can add new images to the folder or delete old ones without causing problems with the background image display.


Variety currently offers what is probably the most flexible solution for customizing your desktop background. Regardless of the distribution and desktop environment you use, the software is very stable and avoids excessive resource consumption. By cropping the backgrounds to ensure they display correctly, Variety eliminates the need to adjust desktop backgrounds to the screen resolution. The software is therefore perfectly suited for creative users who expect more from their desktops.


  1. Variety homepage:
  2. Variety GitHub project page:

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More