Custom Transitioning Backgrounds In KDE3


My recent article about transitioning slide show backgrounds in GNOME garnered quite a bit of attention, so here's my first reminder of how to do the same thing in other desktop environments. This one will show you how to create a custom slide show backgrounds in KDE3.

First, right click the desktop and select "Configure Desktop".


Next, select "Slide Show" under "Background".


Choose "Add" to add backgrounds to add to your slide show.


Select the backgrounds that you'd like to add to your slide show. Hold the Control key while clicking to select multiple wallpapers from the same directory.


Choose the duration of each background in the slideshow, and click the "Show pictures in random order" check-box to randomize the backgrounds, or move the backgrounds into an order that you find appealing with the "Move Up" and "Move Down" buttons.


Click "OK" and enjoy your transitioning backgrounds in KDE 3.


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KDE3 Desktop Slideshows

Ted King's picture

I'm currently using KDE3.4 on SUSE 10 with a migration to Mepis 8 pending. The slideshow works well with two gotchas :
1) It uses a noticeable amount of CPU cycles;
2) It seems that the picture change is on the zero seconds mark.

I have tried to run two different slideshows each on its own virtual desktop (#5 + #6). My system would slam on the brakes while it changed pictures for both desktops even if I were on another desktop (e.g. #4). The designer(s) of that feature seem to have not considered the possibility of someone running multiple slideshows. They could have staggered the trigger times by an interval pegged to the number of desktops (e.g. sixty secs. / six desktops = ten sec. interval). Thus the slideshow on #5 would trigger at M+50 secs. and #6's would trigger at M+60 secs.

Also, they omitted a test tool / feature / link for the slideshow. So I have had a damaged image in my slideshow that I didn't detect for a couple of weeks. It can be difficult to spot a problem when one has a dozen images in one's slideshow.

Mandriva 2008

Xheralt's picture

Just looked at the article for Gnome, and that's exactly the technique Mandriva used. XML is desktop-neutral after all ;)

KDE3 still lives

Xheralt's picture

I specifically chose the two distros I currently use, SimplyMEPIS 8 (on my desktop) and PCLinuxOS 2009.2 (on my laptop) *because* they stayed with KDE3 -- my hardware is new enough to handle KDE4, but old enough to do so under protest, and with noticeable loss of nimbleness. And this I'd already discovered, but the other articles in this series (for XFCE and Gnome) interest me as well.

Mandriva Spring 2008 (their last KDE3 release, if you can find it...) did something interesting with their backgrounds, there was an XML file list set up that would transition between a color-shifted but otherwise matched set of wallpapers depending on the time of day.

This Works in KDE4 Just Fine

codermotor's picture

I was able to easily use this technique in KDE4 on Fedora 11. But one option which is lacking is the ability to explicitly force images to be chosen randomly.

KDE3 ????

Anonymous's picture

Are there even any Linux Distros that use KDE3 anymore?

KDE3 is like Windows 95 .. its History.

KDE3 = tried and true, and actually works

Sum Yung Gai's picture

Windows 95?? What are you, an MCSE stuck in a time warp? :-D

If KDE4 weren't so hopelessly broken, I might agree with you. But unfortunately, it is. And that is why KDE3 has lots of life left in it for several years going forward.

KDE3 is tried and true, it comes with CentOS/RHEL, and it Just Works (TM) without fuss or muss. If KDE4 ever starts actually becoming usable (it hasn't yet), then maybe I'll give it another try. But as of KDE 4.3, it's still far from feature-complete (maybe 4.4 will be better?). KDE 3.5x is much, much better for actual usability by actual users who don't have Computer Science degrees.


Author's Comment

Ross Larson's picture

This tip is decidedly old school, I'll give you that.

That being said, Suse Studio allows you to build custom KDE3 distros based on OpenSuse, and I recently put KDE3 in action for an custom internet kiosk build. It's been working well for the task. The great thing about Linux is that you have choice. Heck, I think that there are still people out there using the 2.2 and 2.4 Linux kernels.

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Thanks for that tip

Xyzzy's picture

Thank you for mentioning that Suse Studio can do that! I've been contemplating switching away from Ubuntu/GNOME to something more appropriate for my old 1.6GHz notebook, and returning to the environment that I loved as a newbie in '08 is an attractive option. (More attractive than trying to beat my head against LXDE or similar lightweight alternatives again, at least.)

How about movies in the bkground

Fast penguin's picture

This is pretty kool.

Well, maybe not movies, but.....

Ross Larson's picture

In the "advanced options" portion of the desktop settings window, you can choose to run a program as a background, but the refresh rate is listed in minutes(Default:one refresh every ten minutes), not multiple times per second, as videos typically run at 20-40 frames per second.

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