Use Animated GIF as Background in Ubuntu 12.04/12.10/11.10

I have written a tutorial about how to record Ubuntu desktop as animated GIFs using Byzanz. In this simple tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make animated .gif or avi/mpg video as desktop wallpaper in Ubuntu.

To get started:

1. First search for and install the required packages zenity, mplayer, unrar, rar, ubuntu-restricted-extras in Ubuntu Software Center.

2. Go to this page and click to download ad.tar.gz package.

3. Open Home Folder and navigate to the Downloads folder, right-click and extract the downloaded package.

4. Go into the extracted folder, double-click on a-desk.installer and choose Run, then choose one version to install (you can open System Monitor from the dash to check 32-bit or 64-bit).

While installing, two terminal windows will pop-up and prompt to input your user password.

5. After that, click OK. Right click on desktop and navigate to Scripts -> a-desktop

6. Select YOUR VIDEO, and click OK. Then navigate and choose your animated .gif or video file, and you’ll get it as desktop background.



  1. Kevin says:

    Hi, I followed instructions for this and it works for the included biohazard background, however my .gifs do not work. a single frame of the .gif shows but no movement. I was curious if you might have an idea why. thanks in advance

    • Kevin says:

      I have found much better things to use as background files than the previously mentioned .gifs but now my question is if there is a file size limit or certain dimensions the video has to be in order to work. I got some pretty good free ones at not having java makes the website hard to navigate but it is doable. most of the ones i got from there work (you must not delete the copyright .txt file or they will not} when experimenting with different files and types i found some of them say they loaded but did not. I only post this here as there seems to be very little or no discussion about a desk anywhere aside from this article.

  2. Daeshan says:

    the only i’ve found is that it covers ur icons

  3. mario says:

    I´m using OS4,an ubuntu derivative.
    When I clicked on install a-desk, no terminal popped up and therefore I couldn´t access the scripts.
    I right clicked on the desktop but there´s no scripts or a-desk on the context menu.

  4. Sean says:

    I’ve extracted the files and run the installer but every time I try whether its 32 or 64 bit when I right click the desktop, scripts doesn’t pop up. I’m using cinnamon but I’ve tried it on gnome and regular ubuntu.

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