VDesk - Visual Desktop
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Description:

VDesk - Visual Desktop

See VDesk in action @ YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16YSnSnCg5I
New Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm3I1ra6at8
Youtube screwed up my video during encoding for the first 15 seconds.

Introduction

VDesk is a frontend for xwinwrap which allows you to have a screensaver
or video as a desktop wallpaper. Others may refer to this as animated
desktop, animated background or video desktop. The use of VDesk depends
on zenity, xwinwrap, mplayer and screensavers. I hope that you will find
VDesk a suitable frontend for xwinwrap, containing all the features that
you would hope to find. We have strived to make VDesk user friendly and
highly configurable.

I have decided that VDesk - Visual Desktop will be free of charge. I've earned a total of $3.67 from sales so woot woot. If you want to make a donation, I would totally appreciate it. If not, that's fine just be sure to vote and comment :)

I may or may not release updated versions. If there is a feature you would like added, just ask. Some have requested a live stream feature. It is easy enough to do... I'll add it if enough people request it.

Installation

Unzip VDesk_1.3.zip

- Open a terminal window in the directory where you unzipped
VDesk_1.3.zip and type:

sudo sh installer

- The installer will take care of everything from there.


The first time you run VDesk, you will be greeted with a message letting
you know that the configuration file has been created for you. After that,
your VDesk is all set up. You might want to select the Configuration tab
first so that you can set your Video directory. There are some other neat
features in there as well :) so feel free to configure VDesk to your liking.



VDesk Usage


A. Play Video
|-> - Select a video to use as your Visual Desktop Background from one of the
available videos in the list.


B. Screen Saver
|-> - Select a Screen Saver to use as your Visual Desktop Background from one
of the available screen savers in the list.


C. Stop
|-> - Stop VDesk


D. Video Options
|-> - These are in-play settings that apply only to video playback.

1. Set Volume
|-> - Set in-play volume

2. Mute / Unmute
|-> - Mute / Unmute current video playback

3. Pause / Unpause
|-> - Pause / Unpause current video playback

4. Change Track
|-> - Cycle through available audio tracks for the current video


E. Configuration

1. Video Directory
|-> - Select a directory to load videos from. The default directory is ~/Videos

2. Screen Saver Directory
|-> - Select a directory to load videos from. The default directory is /usr/lib/xscreensaver

3. Video Transparency
|-> - Set the transparency for video playback. The default value is 100,
or no transparency. This offers the best picture quality but obfuscates
all desktop icons. Be sure to test optimal settings and remember that
when you set a transparency, your desktop wallpaper (image or solid color)
will effect the video appearance.
|---> - This is not an in-play option

4. Screen Saver Transparency
|-> - Set the transparency for screen saver background. The default value
is 100, or no transparency. This offers the best picture quality but can
obfuscate all desktop icons. Some screen savers have totally transparent
backgrounds and others do not. Be sure to test optimal settings and remember
that when you set a transparency, your desktop wallpaper (image or solid
color) will effect the screen saver appearance. Play around with various
screen saver / wallpaper combinations as there will undoubtedly be some
combinations that work very well together, and some that are awful.
|---> - This is not an in-play option

5. Mplayer Profile
|-> Enter the desired profile name as it appears in your Mplayer config
file. Be sure to leave out the [] from the name. This option allows you
to use a configuration that is hardware accelerated. Consult Mplayer
docs for instructions on creating a profile.

6. Default Volume
|-> - Set a default volume for video playback

7. Auto Start
|-> - Starts selected background at user login
|---> a) Activate
|---> - Select a Video or Screen Saver to initiate at login. To
change the directory you are selecting files from, you must
use the Configuration Option for directory selection.
|---> b) Deactivate
|---> - Turns off the auto start function

8. Reset to Defaults
|-> - Reset all configuration settings to default values. This is helpful if
something goes wrong. I believe that I have worked out all of the bugs in this
release, but it is possible that something was missed.
Last changelog:

6 years ago

Version 0.9
- Released May 13 2011
- BETA Version

Version 1.0
- Released May 19 2011
- Added Auto Start feature
- Added installer
- Fixed Bug that closed VDesk after background selection

Version 1.1
- Released May 20 2011
- Bug Fix ~ Setting transparency below 10% caused breakage

Version 1.2 Free Trial
- Released May 25 2011
- Remove timeout from main dialog
- Include timeout on exit thank you
- Fixed bug that caused black screen between each iteration of video playback
- Same bug fix resolved volume bug
~ Thanks to Kris LeMeilleur
- Create Desktop Icon
- Restructure File Paths
- Get rid of the nautilus scripts approach and make it an actual app in the menu
- Create /usr/share/applications/VDesk
- Added ability to view README file from VDesk console
- Option only present in Free Version

Version 1.3
- Released June 1 2011
- Rewrote installer
- Added uninstall
- Remove radio buttons from Video Options
- Added Mplayer Profile support
- Fixed bug that caused transparency local variable mismatch

leeznon

5 years ago

This app doesn't work well with Unity (default Ubuntu 11.10)

Your icons and top panel will disappear, unless you use a keyboard command. VERY ANNOYING!

Not recommended on Unity, but if you use Gnome 3 then it works great.


Can you please find a way for this to work better with Unity?! I want to use it so badly, but the problem makes it unusable.

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AnthonyAMC

5 years ago

Your top panel should not disappear, but desktop icons might be obfuscated. Please check out http://www.noobslab.com/2011/10/vdesk-animation-wallpapers-for-ubuntu.html#comment-form as it shows that VDesk does work with Ubuntu 11.10 and Unity.

Side note: To be able to still have use of desktop icons, you need a compositing window manager. So if you're running Unity in 2D mode, it'll probably not give the desired effect.

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leeznon

5 years ago

I am using Unity not Unity 2D.

My top panel, desktop icons, and dock will disappear when no windows are open (must minimize windows instead of close them). This is very annoying. Yes, it works on Unity but not well enough to use.

And what do you mean by "you need a compositing window manager" for using desktop icons?

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AnthonyAMC

5 years ago

You need a compositing window manager like Compiz or Unity 3D that will handle transparency. Try setting the transparency in VDesk way low and using the GlMatrix screensaver. You will need xscreensaver to be installed (it's in the repos). The Unity Dock and top panel may be autohiding.

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leeznon

5 years ago

I don't understand what you mean.
I am using Compiz. I don't know how to "handle transparency".

I lowered my VDesk transparancy and used the glmatrix screensaver using xscreensaver, but that doesn't help me. It just makes the animated wallpaper more transparent and gives me a transparent screensaver.

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leeznon

5 years ago

Anytime I click on the animated wallpaper, it will just maximize and hide my icons/dock/top panel.

Is there any fix? Can I disable clicking on the wallpaper?

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kabob

5 years ago

The extra videos are at megaupload, which has been seized, and is no longer available.

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AnthonyAMC

5 years ago

Thanks for reminding me. I removed that link. Many videos can be found at http://dreamscene.org/gallery.php

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rivetrik

6 years ago

is this compatible with 11.10? for some reason it will not show the videos in my background, idk if i dont have the rights codecs or libs or what? is the away to fix this?

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rivetrik

6 years ago

nm i figured it out!

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AnthonyAMC

6 years ago

What was the issue?

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rivetrik

6 years ago

i had installed it before i installed shantz-xwinwrap_0.3-1_i386.deb, i think it was because the program loaded and wasnt looking for the files from the deb , so i just uninstalled everything and did in the proper order and it worked just fine! btw this really is amazing! it bring a whole new flair to my desktop!

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AnthonyAMC

6 years ago

Thank you, I'm glad you like VDesk! Spread the word ;)
So you say that something wasn't installed in the right order? Is there an issue with my installer that i need to fix?

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rivetrik

6 years ago

oh no your installer works perfect it just that i installed vdesk before i installed the deb file and i guess that didn't register with it , so when i uninstalled everything i installed the deb file first and then re installed vdesk, it was just a screw up on my part

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kabob

5 years ago

I can't get the videos to work. I have installed using the installer. So I uninstalled per readme and then /tried/ to install the shantz-xwinwrap first (it opens ubuntu software center but doesn't install - just hangs with the throbber spinning.) I'm using Ubuntu 11.10.

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kabob

5 years ago

I don't know how to edit or reply to my comments, so I'm adding it here, sorry if confusing. Anyway, I have manually installed MPlayer and the video works.

Although the installer asked if I wanted to install MPlayer, it seems it did not. I have installed mplayer via Ubuntu Software Center, then simply ran the installer again, configured the video directory and all seems well.

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l300lvl

6 years ago

SWEET! I just had to say thanks, can't believe you're giving it away and I caught it just in time. Can't wait to finally check it out, thanks a lot!

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AnthonyAMC

6 years ago

Thanks for your good comment :)
Let us know what you think of VDesk!

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l300lvl

6 years ago

Just got to playing around with it and for some reason after I restarted the menu entry for VDesk was gone? I can still open it from the original directory so thats fine though

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AnthonyAMC

6 years ago

I will help you solve this problem. Please contact me directly.

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mhancoc7

6 years ago

Awesome product. Great support. I have already had a conversation with developer on ways to make it even better. Can't beat that for a dollar!

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terminhell

6 years ago

Seems like more of a waste of cpu. Also, doesn't VLC have an option to set videos as a wallpaper?

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AnthonyAMC

6 years ago

Yes, VLC does have a --video-wallpaper cli option. Mplayer also has a rootwin option. VDesk offers an easy to use GUI for video selection. VDesk also offers a way to control the overlay such that you can still have use of your desktop icons. When I run VDesk, I have screensaver/video over top of the normal wallpaper. I set the transparency so that you can still see the desktop wallpaper and pick a combination that works well together. For example, when I use the Atlantis screensaver, I pick a desktop wallpaper that is an underwater backdrop. As far as a waste of CPU... it depends on your system and what you are trying to do. My HTPC with a cheap GT240... the CPU doesn't even go above 3% usage when using a video. Some screensavers are more demanding but the choice is yours.

Thank you for your interest in VDesk :)

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ameron32

6 years ago

I've been looking for a way to get video working in my ubuntu box for a long time. I stumbled across this program much by chance when I had given up on a simple solution. A few brief conversations with the programmer and I knew that I'd found what I had been looking for.

It does exactly what I needed it to do and did it with VERY little effort, which is not what I can say about the youtube videos I've watched to set this up myself. I figure "I'll pay a buck for an android app of a monkey clashing symbols for a laugh. Why not something for my linux box I use all day?"

Support a programmer, simple or otherwise. They gotta eat, too. At least the price is very reasonable!

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ameron32

6 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKtAMQj9Ceg

By the way, here is an example of how it looks and what it looks like, for those of you who think it looks cool. (YouTube 1080p HD)
Plays WMV, AVI, MPG, FLV (although I haven't found one that looked great), DIVX, just of what has worked for me.

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6 years ago

Version 0.9
- Released May 13 2011
- BETA Version

Version 1.0
- Released May 19 2011
- Added Auto Start feature
- Added installer
- Fixed Bug that closed VDesk after background selection

Version 1.1
- Released May 20 2011
- Bug Fix ~ Setting transparency below 10% caused breakage

Version 1.2 Free Trial
- Released May 25 2011
- Remove timeout from main dialog
- Include timeout on exit thank you
- Fixed bug that caused black screen between each iteration of video playback
- Same bug fix resolved volume bug
~ Thanks to Kris LeMeilleur
- Create Desktop Icon
- Restructure File Paths
- Get rid of the nautilus scripts approach and make it an actual app in the menu
- Create /usr/share/applications/VDesk
- Added ability to view README file from VDesk console
- Option only present in Free Version

Version 1.3
- Released June 1 2011
- Rewrote installer
- Added uninstall
- Remove radio buttons from Video Options
- Added Mplayer Profile support
- Fixed bug that caused transparency local variable mismatch

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File (click to download) Version Description Filetype Packagetype License Downloads Date Filesize OCS-Install DL
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version
1.3.1
updated Feb 06 2012
added May 13 2011
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