Set This Real Time Live Photo of Earth as Your Linux Desktop Wallpaper

real earth live wallpaper for Linux

Are you bored of looking at the same desktop background all the time? There’s something that is likely to do away with your boredom.

Himawaripy‘ is a small Python 3 script that fetches a near-real time picture of Earth taken by the Japanese Himawari 8 weather satellite and automatically sets it as your desktop background wallpaper.

The app will run as a cron job every 10 minutes (in the background, naturally) as soon as it is installed in order for it to be able to fetch and set a live picture of Earth as your desktop’s wallpaper.

You will only be getting images of the earth as seen from above Australasia because Himawari-8 is a geostationary satellite – but with real-time weather patterns, cloud formations, and lighting, you will still have a spectacular scene.

You can use advanced settings to configure the quality of the images pulled from the satellite while keeping in mind that any increase in quality will result in an increased file size.

Get Himawaripy

The Himawaripy app has been tested on a range of desktop environments including Unity, LXDE, i3, MATE among other desktop environments. It is a free and open-source software that is not completely straightforward to set up and configure but you can find all the necessary instructions on the project’s GitHub page.

Install & Use

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 16.46.13

Below is a line-by-line guide demonstrating how to use the app

1. Download & Extract Himawaripy

The easiest step – grab the latest build of the script and then extract it to your Downloads folder.

2. Install python3-setuptools

You’ll need to manually install this package since it does not come pre-installed on Ubuntu:

sudo apt install python3-setuptools

3. Install Himawaripy

In the Terminal app navigate using ‘cd’ into the folder you extracted earlier and run the below install command:

cd ~/Downloads/himawaripy-master
sudo python3 install

4. Check to make sure it’s running and then download the latest real-time image by running:


5. Set up a cron job

This step is required if you would like the script to run and update automatically in the background (you can choose to update it manually by running ‘himarwaripy’ at any time)

In the terminal run:

crontab -e

Add the following new line (default is every 10 minutes)

*/10 * * * * /usr/local/bin/himawaripy

The Ubuntu Wiki has detailed information on configuring cron.

There will be no need to keep running once you’ve made sure that the app is installed. It will run automatically every 10-minutes or so in the background.

You can just get the one-click installer on the GitHub page.

About The Author
Martins Okoi
Computer Science enthusiasts with a passion for learning new things. In my spare time, I listen to music, read like a compiler, and learn like an A.I algorithm.

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