Want to display a different wallpaper on dual monitors you use with Ubuntu 17.10 (or any GNOME-based Linux distro)?
The GNOME desktop doesn’t (currently) support multi-monitor wallpapers natively Linux users who want to set a different wallpaper for each monitor currently to use a third-party app or extension.
One such app is HydraPaper.
Set Different Wallpapers on Dual Monitors in GNOME
HydraPaper is a new, free, and entirely open-source utility designed specifically for the GNOME desktop.
The app lets you quickly set two different backgrounds on monitors connected to your Ubuntu (or other Linux) machine.
So, for example, you could have a cute kitten closeup on your internal laptop display, but something garishly geeky set on your FHD monitor.
AndI if you’re particularly creative you could even use this app to create a “spanned” wallpaper effect by setting two or more wallpapers from same series for each monitor.
HydraPaper allows you pick any wallpaper folder you have, so you’re not limited to the backgrounds that ship with your distro by default.
Install HydraPaper on Ubuntu
You can install HydraPaper on Ubuntu 17.10 or later — but you’ll first need to install Flatpak and a few dependencies:
sudo apt install flatpak python-pil
Then add the Flathub repo (skip if you already have it set up)
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Next, download the following Flatpak installer:
When the download is fully complete you may be able to double-click on the file to trigger installation through the Ubuntu/GNOME Software app. However, this fails on my system.
You can also try to install the app using the following command, running it from the directory you downloaded the Flatpak file to:
flatpak --user install ~/Downloads/hydrapaper-1.1.2.flatpak
Once the app is installed, you should be able to launch it from the Applications screen by searching for it by name.
Using Arch or an Arch-based Linux distro like Manjaro? You can install this app from AUR.
Can Handle 3+ Monitors Too
HydraPaper works great with dual monitor wallpaper configurations but it also supports more monitors (I know some of you rock three monitor set-ups).
Obviously this is not the only tool you can use to get different wallpaper on dual monitors. Similar apps to this include Nitrogen and (the much older) SyncWall.
Note: If you want to use a different wallpaper on a different workspace, rather than on a separate monitor, you need to use a GNOME extension like Walkpaper.