#wallpaper #heif #dynamic-wallpaper

app timewall

All-in-one tool for Apple dynamic HEIF wallpapers on GNU/Linux

6 releases (2 stable)

1.1.0 Jan 22, 2024
1.0.0 Jun 14, 2023
0.3.1 Jan 3, 2023
0.3.0 Nov 16, 2022
0.1.0 Oct 25, 2022

#104 in Images

Download history 9/week @ 2023-10-31 7/week @ 2023-11-07 3/week @ 2023-11-14 8/week @ 2023-11-21 13/week @ 2023-11-28 7/week @ 2023-12-05 6/week @ 2023-12-12 1/week @ 2023-12-19 14/week @ 2023-12-26 5/week @ 2024-01-02 6/week @ 2024-01-09 30/week @ 2024-01-16 7/week @ 2024-01-23 15/week @ 2024-01-30 2/week @ 2024-02-06 36/week @ 2024-02-13

90 downloads per month

MIT license

1.5K SLoC


CI test coverage license Crates.io

Apple dynamic HEIF wallpapers on GNU/Linux.



  • Support for original HEIF/HEIC dynamic wallpaper files used in MacOS.
  • Support for all schedule types: sun position based, time based, dark/light mode.
  • Set wallpaper once and continuously (daemon mode).
  • Preview wallpaper changes.
  • Display wallpaper metadata.
  • Extract all images and metadata as XML.



timewall depends on libheif for HEIF support, make sure you have it installed. If you're building it from source you may also need libheif-dev, depending on your distribution.

Arch Linux (AUR)

AUR packages are available: timewall and timewall-bin.


You can download tarball containing the latest prebuilt binary and shell completions from the releases page. The binary named timewall has to be placed in directory in your $PATH, e.g. /usr/local/bin.


cargo install timewall


Initial configuration

If you intend to use sun position based wallpapers, you need to provide timewall with your approximate location. To do this, create a config file $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/timewall/config.toml (probably ~/.config/timewall/config.toml if you're not sure). This file will be also written when you first run timewall set.

Put the following contents in the file, while changing lat (latitude) and lon (longitude) values to your needs:

lat = 51.11
lon = 17.02

Setting the wallpaper

One-time mode

To set the wallpaper just run:

timewall set path/to/wallpaper.heif

This will set your wallpaper to the correct image, taking into account current time or sun position, depending on the wallpaper schedule. Note that wallpaper set like this will not update with time. You can update it by repeating the command above, you can also shorten it to just timewall set - last used wallpaper is remembered.

See also: where to find the dynamic wallpapers.

Daemon mode

You probably don't want to update the wallpaper manually every time. To do this automatically you can use the daemon mode:

timewall set --daemon

This command will run continuously and update your wallpaper as time passes. It's a good idea to run it automatically at startup as a background process.

As you can see, the command above doesn't include the wallpaper to set. This is because the daemon mode by default uses the last set wallpaper. If you already ran timewall set manually, then daemon will use whatever wallpaper you set then. Moreover, if you ever want to change your wallpaper, it's enough to run timewall set path/to/new/wall.heif. The daemon will pick up the change and update the new wallpaper from now on.

Systemd service

One way to achieve this is using systemd service. Write the following contents to ~/.config/systemd/user/timewall.service:

Description=Dynamic wallpapers daemon

ExecStart=timewall set --daemon


And run:

systemctl --user enable --now timewall.service

After this timewall should start automatically on boot and update your wallpaper during the day.


To preview the wallpaper, run:

timewall preview path/to/wallpaper.heif

This will quickly cycle all images in the wallpaper to simulate changes throughout the day. Preview speed can be controlled by specifying the delay in milliseconds between consecutive wallpaper changes using the --delay option. You can also infinitely loop the preview using --repeat option.


To unpack all images stored in the wallpaper, as well as its metadata in XML format, run:

timewall unpack path/to/wallpaper.heif path/to/output/directory

Reading metadata

All metadata known to timewall can be displayed using:

timewall info path/to/wallpaper.heif


Custom wallpaper setting command

If the default wallpaper setting doesn't work in your case for some reason, or you just want to customize it, you can specify custom command to use. For instance, to set the wallpaper using feh, you could add the following to your ~/.config/timewall/config.toml:

command = ['feh', '--bg-fill', '%f']

%f is a placeholder which will be replaced with full absolute path to the image, which should be set as a wallpaper.

Where to find the dynamic wallpapers

  • Original MacOS dynamic wallpapers. If you have access to a computer running MacOS, you can just copy the dynamic wallpapers. You can also find those files online with a bit of effort. I'm not going to link any of them because of legal reasons.
  • Dynamic Wallpaper Club. A lot of user-created wallpapers. Unfortunately, many of them are of mediocre quality. Only a handful makes use of the sun position schedule (which is the best part of the whole concept to me), and those which do, usually do it poorly.
  • dynwalls.com. Some free, high quality walls.
  • Jetson Creative. Three free wallpapers and some bundles you can buy.
  • mczachurski/wallpaper. Two high quality custom made walls.

Resources / credits

The following resources helped me in timewall development:


~691K SLoC