2 stable releases

1.0.1 Apr 18, 2024
1.0.0 Apr 17, 2024

#4 in Multimedia

Download history 95/week @ 2024-04-11 175/week @ 2024-04-18

270 downloads per month




GitHub's release (latest by date) GitHub license GitHub Workflow Status

wpaperd is the modern wallpaper daemon for Wayland. It dynamically changes the current wallpaper, either after a certain amount of time or via a command-line interface. It uses OpenGL ES to render the images and have beautiful hardware-accelerated transitions, while being easy on resources.

Notice: wpaperd uses wlr_layer_shell wayland protocol, which is available on all wlroots based compositors (sway, hyprland, ...) and on KDE. Therefore it won't work on GNOME.


  • Different wallpaper for each display
  • Pick a wallpaper from a directory
  • Change the wallpaper after a set time
  • Multiple sorting methods (random or ordered)
  • Flexible TOML configuration file
  • Hot config reloading for all settings
  • Easy to use command line interface
  • Hardware-accelerated configurable transitions
  • Multiple background modes (center, fit, fill)
  • Easy on resources (low CPU and memory usage)

Getting started


wpaperd is written in Rust and requires a working Cargo installation. It also depends on:

  • mesa
  • wayland-client
  • wayland-egl
  • rinstall (optional for installing wpaperd)


To install wpaperd, clone the repository and build the project:

$ git clone https://github.com/danyspin97/wpaperd
$ cd wpaperd
$ cargo build --release

Generate the man pages by running scdoc:

$ scdoc < man/wpaperd-output.5.scd > man/wpaperd-output.5


You can install both the daemon (wpaperd) and cli (wpaperctl) using rinstall:

$ rinstall --yes

To run wpaperd, run the daemon:

$ wpaperd

If you want to automatically run it at startup, add this line to your sway configuration (located in $HOME/.config/sway/config):

# Assuming it has been installed in ~/.local/bin/wpaperd
exec ~/.local/bin/wpaperd -d

Or in Hyprland:

exec-once=~/.local/bin/wpaperd -d

Image formats support

loading and dislaying images. Have a look on its documentation for the supported formats.

Cycling images

When path is set to a directory, you can cycle the images by running the commands next and previous using wpaperctl:

$ wpaperctl next
$ wpaperctl previous

When sorting is set to asceding and desceding, wpaperd will use the wallpaper name to calculate the next wallpaper accordingly. When sorting is set to random, it will store all the wallpapers shown in a queue, so that the commands next and previous can work as intended.

Wallpaper Configuration

The configuration file for wpaperd is located in XDG_CONFIG_HOME/wpaperd/config.toml (which defaults to ~/.config/wpaperd/config.toml). Each section represents a different display and can contain the following keys:

  • path, path to the image to use as wallpaper or to a directory to pick the wallpaper from
  • duration, how much time the image should be displayed until it is changed with a new one. It supports a human format for declaring the duration (e.g. 30s or 10m), described here. This is only valid when path points to a directory. (Optional)
  • sorting, choose the sorting order. Valid options are ascending, descending, and random, with the default being random. This is only valid when path points to a directory. (Optional)
  • mode, choose how to display the wallpaper when the size is different than the display resolution:
    • fit shows the entire image with black corners covering the empty space left
    • center centers the image on the screen, leaving out the corners of the image that couldn't fit
    • stretch shows the entire image stretching it to fit the entire screen without leaving any black corner, changing the aspect ratio
    • tile shows the image multiple times horizontally and vertically to fill the screen
  • transition_time, how many milliseconds should the transition run. (Optional, 300 by default).
  • queue_size, decide how big the queue should be when path is set a directory and sorting is set to random. (Optional, 10 by default)

The section default will be used as base for the all the display configuration; the section any will be used for all the displays that are not explictly listed. This allows to have a flexible configuration without repeating any settings. wpaperd will check the configuration at startup and each time it changes and provide help when it is incorrect.

This is the simplest configuration:

path = "/home/danyspin97/github_octupus.png"

path = "/home/danyspin97/Wallpapers"
duration = "30m"

This is a more complex configuration:

duration = "30m"
mode = "center"
sorting = "ascending"

path = "/home/danyspin97/default_wallpaper.png"

path = "/home/danyspin97/Wallpapers"

If you're running sway, you can look for the available outputs and their ID by running:

$ swaymsg -t get_outputs

On Hyprland you can run:

$ hyprctl monitors


  • The wallpapers are slow to load: wpaperd uses the image crate to load and decode the image. However, when built in debug mode the loading and decoding time takes from half a second to a couple, even on modern hardware. Try building wpaperd in release mode:
$ cargo build --release


wpaperd is licensed under the GPL-3.0+ license.


~465K SLoC