Scroll to navigation

wmsetbg(1) General Commands Manual wmsetbg(1)


wmsetbg - sets the background on the X11 display


wmsetbg [-display display] [--update-domain domain|--update-wmaker] [options] [image]


wmsetbg reads the specified image (in any format supported by the WRaster library) and puts it on the root window. It can either scale the image or tile it to make it fit the root window. Window Maker uses this command internally to set the root window image on start up.


the specified color is used as the background color for the texture. Window Maker temporary sets the background to this color while loading and processing the texture. You can specify colors using their X11 names or as an RGB triplet (either as "rgb:RR/GG/BB" or "#RRGGBB") (reference to appropriate manpage should be here). In the later case color is a quoted string.
centers the image in the screen
limit the number of colors per channel to use for the image
connect to the X display
enable color dithering on image
scales the specified image to fill screen while preserving aspect ratio
print a help message with the list of options
use the best-matching-color algorithm when converting image to indexed color palette
scales the specified image to fit inside the screen preserving its aspect ratio
parses the specified texture as a proplist style texture
scales the specified image to fill the screen (default)
use a smooth scaling algorithm when resizing image
tiles the specified image
updates the specified domain database
updates the Window Maker defaults database
print the version of Window Maker from which the program comes
update background only for the specified workspace
stretch image across Xinerama heads


If your screen is not in a True Color configuration (generally sold as 16,777,216 colors) but in a indexed color mode (256 colors, 16 colors, ... which are based on a ColorMap) then Window Maker may need to process the image to convert it to a limited number of colors before using it for a background image.

There are two options to choose what algorithm you want to use:

Search for the closest matching color from the current colormap; this is the fastest algorithm but may lead to less good-looking result.
Use a more complex algorithm which modify surrounding pixels to get a closer-looking color on average; this is slower but provides better looking images.

If none is specified, then it is Window Maker's configuration choice that will be used.

You can also use the option --colors to reduce the total number of colors from the image before the algorithm is applied. The value specified with the option defines the number of possible values for each primary color (red, green and blue), for example 8 would reduce the image to use only 8*8*8=512 colors before applying the conversion algorithm.




This man page was written by Marcelo Magallon <>.

Window Maker was written by Alfredo K. Kojima <>. wmsetbg was written by Dan Pascu <>

April 2015