#866 Can't Set Wallpaper On Second Screen

pcmanfm (128)

pcmanfm and libfm 1.2.0 running on Ubuntu 14.04

Since upgrading from Ubuntu 13 to 14 pcmanfm will no longer draw a desktop on my second monitor. There are no icons and I can't change the wallpaper with pcmanfm -w for the second screen (it does, however, change the wallpaper on the first screen.) The only way I can updat the second monitor's wallpaper is to edit desktop-items-1.conf in the profile directory (~/.config/pcmanfm/lubuntu/) and then restarting pcmanfm (generally with a kill -USR1 <pid>)

Is there some way to have the second screen background mirror the first, or some way from the command line (other than using sed to edit the config file) to set the desktop background on the second monitor?


  • Lonely Stranger

    Lonely Stranger - 2014-05-16

    Do you want to set it exactly from command line? I believe it should work just fine if you right-click on the desktop (at least it should do fine now, after few latest fixes). Thank you.

  • Lonely Stranger

    Lonely Stranger - 2014-05-16
    • labels: --> pcmanfm
  • Charles Tassell

    Charles Tassell - 2014-05-18

    Yeah, I have a little script that runs every few minutes and rotates the desktop wallpaper, so I need a CLI way to change the background image. It would be nice if pcmanfm -w worked for both screens, but in the meantime I use this:

    for path in "$profDir"/desktop-items-*.conf ; do
        cat "$path" |sed 's|wallpaper=.*|wallpaper='"$wpPath"'|' >/tmp/wp.$$
        cp /tmp/wp.$$ "$path"
        rm /tmp/wp.$$
    #killall -USR1 pcmanfm
    pcmanfm --desktop-off
    sleep 0.5s
    pcmanfm --desktop --profile lubuntu &
  • Lonely Stranger

    Lonely Stranger - 2014-05-18

    Since all monitors are handled separately, it will never change wallpapers on all supported monitors at once. In regards of screen - if you meant exactly X screen then I believe it can be set for any other than first one by just setting DISPLAY environment variable appropriately (:0.1 for example), at least with latest fix in the pcmanfm GIT sources. If you meant another monitor of single X screen then it cannot be handled currently, it always choose first monitor if called from command line. Probably we can add another runtime option (--monitor for example) to select another one from command line but that cannot be added before next feature release (1.3). Tell us if you need this behavior. Thank you.

  • Charles Tassell

    Charles Tassell - 2014-05-19

    I tried the DISPLAY trick, but it only seems to work on the first monitor. Using DISPLAY=:0.1 or 0.2 or :1.0 gives me a "Cannot open display" error. I'm good with my little shell script hack, but the --monitor option sounds like a great idea.

  • Lonely Stranger

    Lonely Stranger - 2014-06-09
    • Group: 1.2 --> 1.3
    • Priority: 5 --> 3
    • Paul Tan

      Paul Tan - 2014-11-18

      Please do add the --monitor or similar fix. I am also interested in this solution, as Charles' shell script hack forces a flicker during the switchover. Thanks!

  • Ben

    Ben - 2015-03-25

    I'd like to add my support to this as well. I'm also trying to get my desktops to rotate wallpapers. I was a little surprised to see that there's no GUI way to do it. Thanks!

  • stoatwblr

    stoatwblr - 2016-10-12

    Please add my vote for a switch to allow the monitor to be specified.

    Having this would allow Variety to be tweaked to set wallpapers fairly easily.


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