How-To Geek

Add a Real-Time Earth Wallpaper App to Ubuntu with xplanetFX

Are you tired of the same old wallpaper on your Ubuntu desktop? Now you can go from blah to literally spacious, real-time styled views of Earth with the xplanetFX Wallpaper App for Linux.

You can conveniently access the “file type” downloads, screenshots, and jump-to links all on the front page. For our example we downloaded the .deb setup file on our system.

The setup file will need to download three additional files to complete the setup process. After those are downloaded all dependencies will have been met and you can complete the installation process. Once that is done you can find xplanetFX by going to the Accessories Section of your Ubuntu Menu.

This is what the main control window looks like when you start xplanetFX for the first time. You should take a few moments to look through the various tabs and tweak the settings for items like location, screen resolution, timing, auto-start, etc. When you are done click on Execute and within a few moments your desktop will have a fresh new look!

Note: It took ~30 seconds for the display to activate on our system.

Have fun with xplanetFX!

xplanetFX Homepage [via OMG! Ubuntu!]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 02/17/11

Comments (12)

  1. notovny

    I’ve been using XPlanet and XPlanetBG for basically the same thing on Windows. Some of the desktops I’ve been cycling through:

  2. rob

    WOWWWWW! Thank you!!

  3. Ja5087

    Any for windows?

  4. notovny

    I’ve been using a combination of XPlanet (to draw the desktop) and XPlanetBG (to make configuration easier) on Windows. My current desktop’s a not-to-scale realtime image of the Earth-Moon system from a point above my city, butwhen the mood strikes me, I’ll switch to a realtime Mercator projection of Earth with day/night illumination, or a realtime image of Jupiter and its (10x magnified) Galilean moons as seen from Earth, with light-lag figured in.

  5. AsianAngel

    @Ja5087 – I did a little bit of looking around and found this…it appears that you need to install the Xplanet setup first then add winXPlanetBG in afterwards. Keep in mind that I have not tried a Windows setup version of this, but this does appear to be promising based on what I have read so far. ^_^


    winXPlanetBG for XPlanet 1.2.0 and above

    *This page will default to appearing in German unless you are using a Chromium-based browser of some sort to do the translation…

  6. yakoutte


  7. Jeremy

    Did something happen to your link to the xplanet page? It goes to a german page that says I have a virus (it’s a fake alert of course, but not a good sign regardless).

  8. AsianAngel

    @Jeremy – Um, which one of the 3 xplanet webpages mentioned in the links and comments gave you trouble? Wondering so that I can look deeper into it…

    I did make a quick visit to all three xplanet webpages linked up in the post and the comments but did not encounter anything unusual…

  9. a2warik

    I have installed xplanetFX on Ubuntu 8.04 using the CLI. An icon does appear on the menu which does make GUI interface start but nothing happens further.
    Later when i give instructions to load only single page using CLI, it works.

    Why GUI not working?

    Below is the link to CLI output for the command to xplanetFX –gui

  10. AsianAngel

    @a2warik – On that my best suggestion would be to contact the developer to get their feedback on the problem you are experiencing on your 8.04 installation. There may be an odd conflict of some sort occurring due to using an older system… :(

  11. a2warik

    @AsianAngel Thanks :)

  12. AsianAngel

    @a2warik – ^_^

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