Find Ubuntu Desktop Background image

I had an annoying issue in that I had forgotten where I had placed the image I was using for the background on my Ubuntu Gnome Desktop. For some God-forsaken reason I had set the image in a non standard place and simply couldn’t find it.

So here’s how to find the background image on Ubuntu, wherever that pesky image is.

Open a Terminal (ctrl+Alt+t)


Then at the prompt enter:

gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri

Usually the images are in either the main system repository of
or locally…

But you can put them anywhere (not a good idea imho) But if you want to…

Open the image you want by double-clicking it. Then right click on the image and select “set as wallpaper”. This will set the image as wallpaper BUT will NOT copy it into a sensible location (see above). So, if you forget where it is you really need the gsettings command to find it as I found out the hard way.

The best way to change or find the background image on Ubuntu is by either right clicking on an unused part of the desktop and selecting “Change background” which takes you directly to the setting GUI,
or by using the system-tools GUI under under main Applications menu at: Applications->System Tools->Preferences->Background to access the same GUI.

Here you can change the image and/or add new ones. Crucially if you add a new one the image you add is copied to the /home/username/.local/usr/share/background directory and is safe from accidental deletion.

The rest of my Ubuntu How-to’s and Gotch’s are here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>