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Nitrogen on the MATE Desktop

Nitrogen on the MATE Desktop Posted on December 9, 20164 Comments

Freedom Penguin’s founder & talking head – Matt has over a decade working with Linux desktops, his operating system experience consists of both Windows and Linux operating platforms. In addition to writing articles on Linux and open source technology for Datamation.com and OpenLogic.com/wazi, Matt also once served as a co-host for a popular Linux-centric podcast.

Matt has written about various software titles, such as Moodle, Joomla, WordPress, openCRX, Alfresco, Liferay and more. He also has additional Linux experience working with Debian based distributions, openSUSE, CentOS, and Arch Linux.

(Last Updated On: December 8, 2016)

Today Kai writes:

Hi there,

Maybe you can help me. I’m running Linux mint mate 18 and very new user. I downloaded nitrogen to change wallpapers on dual screens. Every time I try to change wallpaper, nothing happens. the old wall paper is still there. but when i turn off my system, I see a glimpse of the wallpapers I changed. went on the forums and they told me to run this gsettings set org.mate.background draw-background false

I ran it and nothing happens…usually it would prompt some kind of execution message. went on the forums again and they said it turned off caja background draw. I’m sure it did..but nitrogen still is not changing wallpaper. do u have any suggestions on what to do?..

Hi Kai,

As you’ve found out, setting up draw-background to false does absolutely nothing of value in this instance. What does however, is a sleep timer and xrefresh -none in a startup script.

Nitrogen

Here’s what you’re going to want to do. From Preferences (Preferences>Personal>Startup Applications on Ubuntu MATE), you’ll want to add the following script as follows:

sh nitrogen-fix.sh

Notice that I added ‘sh’ to the command in Startup Applications. I’ve tested it with and without absolute paths. The above approach works and other approaches don’t.

The script itself needs to contain the following:

#!/bin/bash
sleep 30
nitrogen --restore
xrefresh -none

The sleep timer allows the desktop to fully load up, then Nitrogen can run and override the desktop drawing with xrefresh. If you have x11-xserver-utils installed, xrefresh is installed already.

Once your nitrogen-fix.sh file is created in your text editor, save it to your home directory using that file name (nitrogen-fix.sh). Now open a terminal and let’s make it executable. You can also do this by right clicking on the file, going to the permissions tab and making it executable. Otherwise, just do this in a terminal:

chmod +x nitrogen-fix.sh

Now that the file is executable, you can test things out by rebooting your PC. Remember, you setup the script to run previously. Just reboot the computer, wait the 30-something seconds post-boot and then you’ll see the desktop revert to the Nitrogen set choices.

Do you have Linux questions you’d like Matt to help with? Hit the link here and perhaps you too, can Just Ask Matt!

More great Linux goodness!

Matt Hartley

Freedom Penguin’s founder & talking head – Matt has over a decade working with Linux desktops, his operating system experience consists of both Windows and Linux operating platforms. In addition to writing articles on Linux and open source technology for Datamation.com and OpenLogic.com/wazi, Matt also once served as a co-host for a popular Linux-centric podcast.


Matt has written about various software titles, such as Moodle, Joomla, WordPress, openCRX, Alfresco, Liferay and more. He also has additional Linux experience working with Debian based distributions, openSUSE, CentOS, and Arch Linux.


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