xplanetFX renders high quality wallpapers of mother earth on your desktop. An extensive GUI (GTK) provides a lot of features and settings. Various templates place the planet inside different scenes and make shure your desktop never gets boring again. With realtime light, shadows and clouds!

traGtor is a graphical user interface for the awesome conversion tool ffmpeg. With multi streams, presets, multi language and a lot of other features traGtor is a handy tool for converting all audio and video formats through ffmpeg. traGtor is based on GTK and Python.

Calf studiogear is an extensive and high quality plugin pack for professional audio production under Linux. It provides a lot of synthesizers, effects and signal processing for the use with LV2 audio production suites (like Ardour) or as stand-alone through JACK.

Calf with all of its new features and processors isn't officially released by now so you have to grab the GIT-repository from sourceforge.net until we are ready for a stable release.

» calf.sourceforge.net

guess is a tool to launch (and kill) different setups of programs. It was invented to startup all needed synthesizers, audio suites, MIDI sequencers and stuff with the correct source files on the right desktop for a single audio production with just one click.

xplanetFX - series: Mit xplanetFX ganze Bilderserien erstellen

oRainge Theme: GTK-, GDM-, Metacity-, Icons-Theme

oRainge gDesklets: Sprechende Uhren, Kalender, System-Widgets (manual)

photogen:c SVG-Icons: Diverse High-Quality-Icons im SVG-Format

traffick: Serverumgebungen testen. Durch skalierbares Threading erzeugt traffick Unmengen an Suchanfragen und Webseitenaufrufen, um ein hohes Maß an Vorratsdaten Netzwerkauslastung zu simulieren.

GIMP Plug-In “Moderated Blur” for Tilt Shift and Depth-Of-Field Effects

stuff (de) guess calf traGtor xplanetFX

xplanetFX – HQ earth wallpapers

Create high quality renderings of mother earth with realistic clouding and lighting effects as your desktop wallpaper with „realtime“ capabilities.

xplanet (by Hari Nair) is a great piece of software capable of creating renderings inside our solar system. To raise the quality of it’s output adding some graphical effects, it was a great candidate to link with imagemagick.

The result is xplanetFX, a user-friendly piece of software to configure, run or daemonize xplanet with h/q capabilities to create wallpapers of mother earth on your desktop.

More realistic maps and backgrounds and a sophisticated graphics handling produce nearly photo realistic images of our mothership. It’s GTK GUI makes it really easy to use and provides a lot of settings and a user friendly access to xplanetFX. And even the templating capabilities give xplanetFX an individual and stylish touch.

Jump to…

Or visit this page in turkish @ Özgür Yazılım Rehberi (outdated)

The features of xplanetFX

xplanetFX features

  • Fluffy clouds with bumps and shadows floating above the earth
  • High quality earth map with bump, color corrections and subtle sea levels
  • Corona with realistic lighting
  • Atmospheric gleam towards the lit edge
  • Specular reflection of the sun on water, ice and clouds
  • Templates with online pool to download from
  • Post processing with contras and color correction and a subtle „washed out“ effect
  • Seamless wallpaper change in GNOME, KDE < 4.3, XFCE and XFCE4, Fluxbox and feh wallpaper changer (KDE > 4.3 with workaround)
  • Option to render to a specific file and invoke a command afterwards (change wallpaper of any other envrionment)
  • Startup delay to load desktop first
  • Creating single renderings for use in shell scripts
  • detailed logging
  • CLI Setup with customization depending on actual config (reconfigurable)
  • Small Toggle window for placing a starter in the panel
  • Daemon with nice value (less aggressive)
  • GTK user interface (english, russian, italian, french, spanish, japanese, dutch, czech, greek and german by now)
    • Different list views
    • Online theme pool
    • Extensive functionality in customization
    • Previews


See some screenshots of a desktop with default settings @ 1920×1200 (16:10) from different angles:

xplanetFX - screenshot 5xplanetFX - screenshot 6xplanetFX - screenshot 1xplanetFX - screenshot 2xplanetFX - screenshot 8xplanetFX - screenshot 7


xplanetFX is mainly a daemon to render and „pimp“ a wallpaper of planet earth with xplanet in intervals and to update your desktop background afterwards. The result is an image of our mothership displaying its appearance in realtime.

The image on the right displays the different steps or layers the final image is created from. A layer is normally based on a rendering of xplanet which is processed and composited by imagemagick.

All user data is stored in a hidden folder .xplanetFX. There you can find the actual configuration, all installed templates and all pre-processed images. This folder may grow very big if you install a lot of templates!

Daemon, GUI and CLI tools are all invoked with the command xplanetFX [option], have a look in the manual section of this page.


The DEB Packet and other formats are available in my repository:



Since there are no release cycles like alpha/beta/RC/final the repository always contains the latest „bleeding edge“ version which may produce some errors. Please report problems as soon as possible so fixes can be applied in 0 day. Thank you very much.

Get one of the packages directly:


The DEB can be installed by doubleclicking it or executing the following command as superuser in the terminal:

dpkg -i xplanetfx-[version].deb

Please Note! The DEB package will not install in the software center of Ubuntu 11.04 since they implemented a linthian check to the installation process and I only provide a signed DEB. Take a look here for a workaround until there are more comfortable ways to get back signed packages in Ubuntu.


The TAR.GZ is an archive containing all neccessary files relative to /. To untar use

tar -C / -xzf xplanetfx-[version].tar.gz

The TAR.GZ contains an icon in /usr/share/pixmaps and a starter for GNOME desktops in /usr/share/applications. For other environments you have to add a starter manually. Look in the usage section for the CLI for more information.


xplanetFX depends on xplanet, imagemagick and optionally perlmagick. All of them should be installed automatically with the DEB packet.

The complete list of dependencies is as follows:

xplanet imagemagick python python-gtk2 python-glade2 perlmagick librsvg2-common

Some command lines for different package managers below (please correct me if they’re wrong):

DEB (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, …)

sudo apt-get install -y --force-yes xplanet imagemagick perlmagick

RPM (Red Hat)

su -c "rpm -i xplanet ImageMagick ImageMagick-perl"

YUM (Fedora etc.)

su -c "yum install xplanet ImageMagick-perl ImageMagick"

Yast (older Suse)

su -c "yast --install xplanet ImageMagick perl-PerlMagick"

Yast2 (newer Suse)

su -c "yast2 --install xplanet ImageMagick perl-PerlMagick"


The CLI-setup (xplanetFX –setup) is able to install xplanet and imagemagick via APT, RPM or YAST.

To use the GUI you need to have python and py-gtk installed. The GUI is based on the GTK toolkit which has to be installed, too. That should be default in all GNOME and similar desktop environments.


Using the GUI or running

xplanetFX --setup

in the terminal gives the option to place a starter in autostart for GNOME, KDE and XFCE desktops. If you want to do it manually use the following command for a delayed desktop start:

xplanetFX --autostart

The delay is used to let your desktop load completely before firing up xplanetFX the first time and can be configured by CLI and GUI.

xplanetFX GTK-UI

xplanetFX comes with a GTK user interface. If you installed the TAR.GZ archive or aren’t on a GNOME desktop no starter was placed in your menu. To do it manually use the command

xplanetFX --gui

A neat image is located in /usr/share/pixmaps or /usr/share/xplanetFX.


To automate the download for always fetching the latest version (if you use installation routines for example) please use one of the following URL’s:

  • http://repository.mein-neues-blog.de:9000/latest/xplanetFX.deb
  • http://repository.mein-neues-blog.de:9000/latest/xplanetFX.rpm
  • http://repository.mein-neues-blog.de:9000/latest/xplanetFX.tar.gz

Uninstall and remove

To remove xplanetFX uninstall the package via your package manager. If you have installed the tar.gz you have to delete the following items (as root):

rm -r /usr/share/xplanetFX # the programs folder
rm /usr/bin/xplanetFX # the executable
rm /usr/share/pixmaps/xplanetFX.svg # the icon
rm /usr/share/applications/xplanetFX.desktop # the GNOME starter

In every case you have to remove the hidden folder in your home directory to get rid of all installed templates and other user data:

rm -r ~/.xplanetFX


Templates can be installed via CLI or the GUI. xplanetFX comes only with the default template so you can decide for yourself which one you want to install.

Since xplanetFX 2.0 themes can be downloaded, installed and upgraded via the themepool inside the GUI so no manual downloading is neccessary anymore.

Click on the image for a 1920×1200 preview (PNG).


If you want to have this in your blog or your website, just insert an iframe with the following code (and the right brackets):
{iframe src=’http://repository.mein-neues-blog.de:9001/‘ width=100% height=480 frameborder=0 border=0}{/iframe}



To use xplanetFX execute the following command:

xplanetFX [OPTION]

while [OPTION] is one of the following:

--help show the help.
--setup configure xplanetFX step by step if the GUI isn't available on your system
--start start in the background. A running script will be stopped.
--stop stop a running instance.
--toggle display a window asking for starting/stopping xplanetFX
--autostart start xplanetFX with the autostart delay
--tray start xplanetFX's tray applet
--single [file] create one single image and exit
--template [template] [style] activate an installed template
--random activate a randomly chosen template
--log show the latest log file.
--clearlog remove all log files
--gui open a GTK userinterface
--rclouds remove a corrupt clouds image
--install [file] install a template file (use absolute path)
--geometry [WIDTHxHEIGHT] set xplanetFX to specified size
--background [image] set a custom background image
--overlay [image] set a custom overlay image, "0" to disable, "1" to enable
--install-nbmc setup the NASA Blue Marble Collection service
--remove-nbmc remove the NASA Blue Marble Collection service
--update-templates convert all templates for version >= 1.1
Without any option xplanetFX will run in the terminal.

Please note! It’s not necessary to run xplanetFX –setup when the GUI is available on your system and you installed via DEB package (or handled dependencies manually). This function is more or less a GUI replacement.


The graphical user interface is multilanguage, whatever the screenshots may tell you ,) The interface is completely independent from a running xplanetFX – closing the window won’t stop a running xplanetFX-daemon.

The user interface comes with four tabs, Themes, Display, Settings and Tools. At the bottom of the window there are two buttons to handle the xplanetFX-daemon and one to close the user interface. If you want to restart a running instance of the xplanetFX daemon clicking the run-button is enough. The status of the daemon is displayed left of the buttons.

Stop: xplanetFX is completely inactive and will not render any image.

Pause: xplanetFX is waiting for the next render cycle. In this state it will not use any CPU and a minimal amount of memory.

Play: xplanetFX is just rendering an image. Have a look on the tools tab to see what it’s doing atm.

If a download is proceeding the status area will display the state along a little cancel button to abort the transfer and remove the processed data.


The main tab where you can select installed themes, install new ones or remove installed themes from your disk.

On top of the tab you can visit the online theme pool to download themes from there to your local hard drive. In the theme pool multiple themes can be selected and downloaded at once. The „apply“ button or a double click causes xplanetFX to start downloading. You’re able to remove themes from within the pool, too. Even multiple selection/deletion is possible.

On the right side next to the big theme pool button there are two buttons to select the list view of your locally installed themes.

  • Flip view: this view provides two lists of previews, one with a flip effect and bigger thumbnails and one below with very small sized images. Marking a style in one of those lists triggers the other lists to highlight it, too.
  • Thumb view: This view provides a list with medium sized thumbnails. Marking one of them causes the flip views to highlight it, too.

To select an installed theme select it with a single left click in the list and hit „activate“ afterwards. Alternatively double-click on the thumbnail to set the selection as the current theme. A running xplanetFX will be stopped and restarted. Please note that activating a theme may take a moment because there are some image conversions computed in the background.

You can install new themes by clicking „add“. In the file chooser select the *.tar.gz file you downloaded. Or you may simply drag’n’drop the packages into one of the lists to install or update. If you updated the actual selected theme you have to activate it again (by double click or the corresponding button) so the images xplanetFX is using are updated.

Removing themes with „remove“ always removes the complete theme with all of it’s styles! The current selected theme and the default theme can’t be removed.


Position: This tab provides a preview with the ability to place the earth with a mouse click or by drag’n’drop.

Alternatively the position can be set with the x/y spin buttons left to the preview.

The marker button bottom left to the canvas displays some marker lines for easier orientation.

The backgrounds and overlays are taken from the actual template and the earth gives a vague imagination of the activated effects. Please note that the background and overlay of the final wallpaper are affected by the post production f/x, too.

custom background / custom overlay: 2.2.27 introduces a new feature: custom backgrounds and overlays. There are three new buttons in the tab configuring the display of the earth giving you control over the images xplanetFX uses as background and final overlay.

Keep in mind that overlays have to be in PNG format to have transparency. The images you choose are converted directly to the working directory of xplanetFX and can be deleted afterwards.

Custom images are overwritten when a new template is chosen or when you change your display geometry in the settings tab.

Size: The fader sets the size of the earth. It is measured in percent of the screens height as the radiant of the globe. Some of the themes use overlay images so resizing could look very odd with these themes.

Corona size: This fader sets the size of the corona drawn below the planet. The lower values look more realistic while higher values could make some neat effects together with a high blur value. Setting the fader to 0 disables drawing of the corona and can save some CPU load. [ref]

Corona blur: The blurriness of the corona. Smaller values look way more realistic while a higher setting may produce a neat glow effect.

Cloud distance: If h/q clouds are enabled you can set a distance of the clouds layer to the surface of the earth. The value is the 1/1000 multiplier of the earth size added to it. Lower values look more realistic (about 10), themes with a small earth benefit from slightly higher values (about 20 or 30)

Stars FOV: Here you can tell xplanetFX to render the original star field on the background image, hidden by an overlay (if the style uses one). The fader sets the field of view of the map. Medium values look more realistic. Setting the fader to 0 disables drawing of the star field. The CPU load depends on the setting of the post f/x. If it is disabled the impact is really low, with post f/x enabled it produces a medium load and generates a subtle shine around the stars. The positions are taken from the bright stars catalogue.

  • Clouds: render h/q clouds with a distance to the eraths surface having some shadows below. Disabling the clouds result in flat projection of greyscale clouds on the surface. This setting has the greatest impact on render time. [ref]
  • Specular: This button toggles the specular spot generated by the suns reflection on seas, clouds and ice. It’s impact on rendering time is medium. [ref]
  • Atmosphere: The athmosphere f/x adds a subtle blue light at the lit edge of the planet. It smoothes the border between clouds, corona and planet a bit. [ref]
  • Post f/x: this button enables a post production where a special image-enhancing layer is rendered above the final image. It adds some contrast, color enhancement and a slight washed-out effect. The impact on rendering time is not as high as on the clouds effects but kind of high as well.

Save: All settings have to be saved first before they will take effect.

Reset: Clicking on the „reset“ button will load all settings of the chosen template without converting the images (like (re-)activating of a template would do).


This tab provides all settings related to the appearance of the earth.

Target: This section selects a target on the surface you will look at. The earth will stay static while the sun rotates around it. You will see the day/night border slip around the planet. Please note that choosing a position far away from the equator the result may not look as good since you’ll see a lot of the poles. This is made more clear with the colour of the target crosshair.

The little earth in the lower left corner of the world map shows exactly what view you will get with your actual settings. If there is a random button enabled the corresponding direction is randomized, too..

You can set latitude or longitude to random. If latitude is set to random, the target hits near the equator more often than far up in the north or down in the south. This is made more clear with the color, too.

The „search in a browser“ button opens a map in your preferred web browser where you can choose a position. In the bottom right corner you can see the position of your mouse pointer.

Choosing a city from the list sets the latitude/longitude to its position. You have to save the settings before they will take effect.

Orbit: Instead of viewing a static earth with a rotating sun (alternating day and night) you can enable this option with the button to the right. The view will then follow the suns orbit – you’ll always see the same day/night border while the earth is rotating underneath.

The fader sets the angle between the viewer and the sun which is displayed in the little widget that provides a top-view on the planet to set your day/night border.

The longitude set in the target section is shown at high noon (you should place it to where the UTC offset of your computers clock is located, normally at your home location), the latitude defines the vertical angle of the viewers position.

Activating the orbit automatically disables an eventually activated random setting on the longitude.

Date: xplanetFX always displays your local date. You can set a fixed date with this setting enabled on the right. This means earth and sun will remain static. The clouds are the actual ones in every case.

Save: All settings have to be saved first before they will take effect.


This tab contains the settings of xplanetFX. They are described in short words there. The settings must be explicitely saved with the corresponding button on the bottom before they will take effect.

Screensize: This setting is essential in saving render time. The default is 1920×1200 which is kind of large. For example: using 960×600 will take just the quarter of the overall time to render. The button on the right sets the size depending on your display resolution. Saving the settings with a differing screen size takes a moment since there are some images computed in the background. This should be your first setting on a fresh install of xplanetFX.

Output: select where xplanetFX should render the images to. If you are running one of the supported desktop environments or desktop changers it should be displayed on the button. If no known d/e was found, this is mentioned by the buttons label, too. You can toggle between your d/e or „file“ which means that xplanetFX will render the result to a file you can specify here. This is only needed for unknown desktop environments in conjunction with the next setting:

Script: You can execute a script before and/or after every render cycle. This could be essential if you’re running an unknown desktop environment and you need to call a custom command to update your background image. Another benefit of this setting could be an update of backgrounds on other machines after xplanetFX has created a new one. If you don’t need to run anything after a rendering cycle just leave this field empty.

Refresh: This fader sets the time between each rendering. It isn’t neccessary to update too often since an hour means a rotation of only 15 degrees. On a multicore system 20 minutes should be a good compromise, on slow machines an hour or more should be okay.

Delay: If xplanetFX is in your autostart or started with the option –autostart it waits for this delay until the first render cycle starts. It is used to let your desktop settle down before the first heavy load on your CPU.

Language: choose one of installed languages from the list. It will be used immediately and will remain for future use.

Notifications: If you have a GNOME desktop and libnotify, xplanetFX informs you about the render process with a little preview image.

System Tray: If your desktop environment provides a system tray, you may want to show a little icon displaying xplanetFX’s state. A left click on the icon disables or enables the xplanetFX daemon and a right click opens a menu with two entries: open (xplanetFX UI) and close (the tray applet).

Battery: If you’re on a notebook xplanetFX can check the battery state to skip a render cycle while on battery power. This feature needs the program „acpi“ to be installed on your machine which isn’t in the dependencies list to keep it optional.

Save: All settings have to be saved first before they will take effect.


xplanetclouds.com: If you have registered an account at Hari Nair’s frequently updating clouds service (new clouds every three hours), activate this section and enter your user data here. The Button on the lower right chooses the resolution of the images (i.e. the quality) you have registered for. If your username or password doesn’t fit xplanetFX falls back on the free clouds images renewed every 24 hours and informs the user in the log file (on the last tab) about.

Unregistered users will have free clouds images updated every 24 hours.

NASA Blue Marble Collection: If you want to have monthly updating images from the NASA on your planet, use this service. You have to install it first via the „install“ button on the right. Afterwards you can enable or disable this feature. Please note that the installation process takes a while which is visualized on the last „tools“ tab in the log view.

The images aren’t updated so reinstalling them frequently doesn’t have any effect apart from pissing off the providers.

Enabling or disabling this feature has to be saved to take effect.


On the last tab there are some neat functions apart from the log display.

The log displays some useful information about the xplanetFX daemon. You can see how much time every step takes. In the header of every render cycle there’s the verion number of your xplanetFX, please provide it along with your information when reporting a problem. Some lines from your log can be useful, too.

The last line of every block shows how long xplanetFX will go to take a nap until it will heat up your CPU again.

Refresh clouds: This function can remove a distorted clouds image. It may become neccessary if a download was corrupted. A new image will be fetched with the next rendering cycle of xplanetFX. To see the changes immediately please restart xplanetFX by hitting the run button at the bottom of the window. Since xplanetFX tries to validate downloaded clouds images automatically it shouldn’t be neccessary normally.

Save image: Make your settings and save them. Click on this button and choose a target file to render a single image to. It’s useful to create a view of a special date or something. Note that a running xplanetFX daemon will be stopped and isn’t restarted automatically afterwards.

Update templates: This one opens a little window which will check all themes in the online theme pool. It will show if there is some new stuff, themes you have installed that got updated and themes with a corrupt time stamp. Activate the desired sets of themes via the buttons and hit „apply“ afterwards. This will download and install all selected themes automatically.

Autostart: if you are running a desktop environment xplanetFX knows you can choose to autostart the daemon with your desktop automatically. Use the delay setting on the settings tab to choose how long xplanetFX should wait after a reboot until it will render the first image.


Here you find some useful stuff to use together with your xplanetFX

Image series with xplanetFX

If you wonder how the teaser in the top right corner of this article was made you should try this script. It is an easy tool to render single shots over a range of time with a defined delay.

NASA Blue Marble Collection

If you like more colourful textures and a brighter night image you may want to use the NASA Blue Marble Collection as textures. They also provide monthly changing pictures according to the seasons. To implement them easily in your xplanetFX you can use this script.

This feature is available in the xplanetFX user interface under „Services“.

Known issues

Slackware 14.0 x86_64 with multilibs and XFCE 4.10

KaMii stumbled over a problem and provided a fix for it in Slackware:

LWP::Simple is not a standard perl module, so you have to compile it yourself with this command:

FIRST: Let us check to see if it is installed
perl -MLWP::Simple -e 1

If you got an error message then it is not installed.

SECOND: open a root shell and run this command
perl -MCPAN -e’install “LWP::Simple”‘

This will ask you some questions (READ IT) then it will download, compile, and install the module. To check to see if it works run this:
cd ~/.xplanetFX/cache; cp clouds.jpg clouds.tmp.jpg; perl /usr/share/xplanetFX/clouds/verify_clouds.pl

The output should say:
Verifying image data…
Image “clouds.tmp.jpg” – seems to be downloaded successfully.

If not, go back and look through the steps above you may have missed something. Alternatively you can run these commands then re-run the perl /usr/share/xplanetFX/clouds/verify_clouds.pl command:
use lib ‘/usr/local/module’;
use LWP::Simple;

I hope this helps anyone who may be having these same issues.

Thanks a lot to KaMii!

malformed-deb-archive found 4 members instead of 3

Some distributions with a restrictive debian package check will throw this warning. You can just click it away because the fourth member in the package is a signature and is needed to get trustworthy packages from my repository. There’s no other way to sign packages by now than this. So instead of getting worried about the warning you should ask why there’s no trustworthy mechanism for signed debs in your distribution.

Wallpaper doesn’t show in newer XFCE

The reason may be an existing empty ~/.config/xfce4/mcs_settings/desktop.xml,
probably remaining from previous xfce4 versions running on the machine. Once removed,
problem solved:

using xfconf as backend.

Thanks to J. Esteban for investigating this one!

Wallpaper doesn’t show in 11.04

The new desktop environment of UBUNTU 11.04 seems to have problems with unknown wallpapers. If xplanetFX seems to work like a charm but the wallpaper doesn’t change try to add ~/.xplanetFX/output/xplanetfx1.png and ~/.xplanetFX/output/xplanetfx1.png to the list of „known“ wallpapers manually via the GUI.

Thanks to LinuxNut for investigating!

X freezes on wallpaper change in GNOME

If you’re experiencing freezes while the desktop environment switches the wallpaper, please try one of the following workarounds:

KDE > 4.3

KDE has stripped the dcop service and replaced it with dbus. The new interface doesn’t have any option to switch the wallpaper to a specific one by now so these versions are unsupported at the moment until I found a workaround or KDE implements this (webwide heavily demanded) feature again.

Sebastian added a cool trick to get around this issue – thanx dude!

Here’s a short workaround for enjoying xplanetfx on KDE4.x :

  1. create a new directory somewhere in your home folder (hidden, if you want)
  2. configure xplanetfx to export single image in this directory (menu Settings, Output, File); don’t use the KDE feature of xplanetfx which is broken in KDE4
  3. configure KDE to use “slideshow” (instead of a single image) as wallpaper and reference the created directory; the slideshow should refresh frequently

Another KDE4 solution…

Chris pointed out another solution in the comments (german). Thanks for that!

Moon slips behind earth

As you can see on the layer model of xplanetFX earth and moon are rendered on the same layer which makes it impossible to let the corona or the clouds get in between them. This becomes a visible problem when the moon is slipping behind the earth as the screenshot on the right shows. To work around this issue the overall render time would increase way to much which bis not an option for this rare issue.

Version history

If you want to have this in your blog or your website, just insert an iframe with the following code (and the right brackets):
{iframe src=“http://repository.mein-neues-blog.de:9000/archive/xplanetFX.html‘ width=100% height=480 frameborder=0 border=0}{/iframe}


  • SteveH: maintainance for Arch Linux
  • Chrischi: my personal pocket calculator for freaky calculations. Works perfectly! .)
  • Виталий Камелин (Vitaliy Kamelin): Russian language file
  • ZoSo Moon: Spanish language file
  • Greg Drouin: French language file
  • Lino Fantasia: Italian language file
  • bigriver9: Japanese language file
  • Tim van der Kodde: Dutch language file
  • Martin Pavlík: Czech language file
  • vagrale13: Greek language file
  • Anielius: Lithuanian language file
  • Péter Gábor: Hungarian language file

Thank you very much guys!!


This program was originally inspired by xplanetconfig, a german project, and some ideas around the net about xplanet. The project xplanetconfig has some more features in settings compared to the limitations of xplanetFX, try it if you prefer other constellations rather than the earth in HQ with themeing and GUI.

Another inspiration was the documentary „Global Brain“ by Peter Russel [de] [en] every human being should have watched (I know that there’s a lot of scientific incorrect assumption in there but that’s not the point).


xplanetFX is released under the custom F4A-License. Its main context:

Once again – licensing is completely overrated – my wiener is long enough to give a shit for. Instead of asking for donation or something like that please spend some bucks to the next best rough sleeper you’ll meet or to some of the guys our governments, banks and corporations have beaten the shit out of all over the world – confirmed, paid and legitimated by us. Thank you.

  1. 621 comments on “xplanetFX – HQ earth wallpapers”

  2. Markus

    Hey vic,

    xplanetFX has bump maps but not at an extreme level like your example image. To change the amount of bump mapping in the actual selected template edit ~/.xplanetFX/config/xplanet-final an change the line 28 „bump_scale=0.3“ to your favorized setting. Was the bump mapping stuff the kernel of your resolution question? ImageShack provides some 1280 images I can’t see a lot of difference in the details in.

    As I said, the mounting worked but I can’t open any of the images. To compare the resolution on your computer: xplanetFX uses maps @ 2500×1250 pixels by default.

    Greetings, markus.

  3. vic

    Hi and thanks a lot! I changed “bump_scale=0.3″ to “bump_scale=0.9″ and got that 3D Landscape Texture – and it is really beautiful. You should add this option to GUI.

    So, at the end, i could without any problem use some another images (i prefer vivid colors) and achieve the same effects as under mac os. The images from osxplanet are 4096×2048, but they have only 800-900KB, and if you look them they aren´t better then the default images in xplanetfx – only the colors are more intensive. As said, “bump_scale=“ makes the image to have this 3D effect…

    But i wonder how you can´t browse and view the mac os pictures… i am total amateur but i can do it… Maybe you should brose it with gksudo nautilus? (at my computer i found them in /mnt/OSXplanet.app/Contents/Resources/OSXplanet/images/)

    Thanks for helping!

  4. Markus

    Hey vic,

    you’re very welcome. Unfortunately it’s not that easy to add options from the xplanet config files to the gui if the files have to be editable by human beings with all the possible constellations xplanet can take (which is one of my goals – I hate infantilizing user interfaces). I would have to write a parser for them I don’t have the time for atm :/

    To change the resolution of the basic images all templates have to be reworked which is a huge effort. For the moment it seems to work for you so I’ll think about if there are more complaints about it.

    Cheers, markus.

  5. vic

    Well, as said, i am not sure if the picture resolution here really important is-i see no different in output quality on 21″ 1900×1080 Display.
    Here same theme with two differen images (“bump_scale=0.6″)

    Thanks again and regards!

  6. vic

    Just little update: i reboot computer in MacOS to compare osxplanet output, and, unfortunately, the output in mac os from the same image has more details. So, i use the same size picture (4096×2048) but the output is different.

    Still, i am happy with my xplanetfx output, but would like to know is it possible to achieve the same output as in mac os with adjusting of some .conf files?

  7. Chris

    Hallo Markus

    Ich habe mich dazu entschlossen meine Sache (erweitert) hier auch hier zu veröffentlichen also dann mal los:

    Wie geschrieben war die Installationsroutine unter Fedora 15 diese: yum install xplanet ImageMagick-perl ImageMagick (xplanet sollte auch aufgenommen werden denn dies Programm ist unter Fedora 15 nicht (mehr) dabei.

    Weiter die Änderungen in der /usr/bin/xplanetFX from gconftool-2 zu GConf sehen wie folgt aus in den Linien 1614 – 1616::
    Linien 1614 – 1616) :

    # GNOME 2!
    if [ „`which GConf`“ != „“ ]; then gconf=“GConf“
    else gconf=“GConf“; fi
    $gconf -t str -s /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename „$FINAL“
    Angemerkt muss hier werden, dass Fedora GNOME 3 nutzt – aber für meine Zwecke habe ich die Hilfslinien nicht geändert. 😉

    Weiter wie in der Anleitung für KDE 4.* habe ich ein wenig mehr herum gespielt da mir die Lösung mit einem separaten Ordner nicht gefallen hatte.

    Erst habe ich versucht den Output Nummer zwei zu löschen, was allerdings keine Ausgabe des Wallpapers zu Folge hatte also habe ich die Ausgabe wie folgt geändert, wobei jeweils das alte vom neuen überschrieben wird (Zeile 59 und 60):

    MAPSIZE=“2500×1250″ # do not change except all base maps are resized, too
    BASEIMAGE=$USERDIR“/base/canvas.png“ # overall background, must be png
    CONFIG=$USERDIR“/config/xplanet-final“ # config for xplanet used in final rendering
    FINAL=“$USERDIR/Desktop/xplanetFX.png“ # default output if SINGLE is set to 1

    So läuft dein Programm wenn als Diashow eingerichtet auch vom ./home/user/.xplanetFX/output/ aus wunderbar wenn in der KDE-Arbeitsflächen-Einstellung das ganze als Diashow eingerichtet wird. Wichtig ist, dass der Haken bei „System-Hintergrundbilder“ bei diese Einstellung automatisch steht herausgenommen wird.

    So, ich hoffe dass ich Dir damit weiterhelfen konnte.


    Ps. Jetzt fehlt mir eigentlich nur noch ein Bild mit ner zerstörten/kurz vor der Explosion stehenden Erde um vollends glücklich zu sein 😀

  8. Markus

    Hey vic,

    thanks a lot for the new screenshots. Since I don’t own any apple anymore there’s no chance for testing. But I don’t do any magic to xplanet while rendering and feed the maps delivered with a template directly into it without any conversion. So if you have overwritten the maps with HiRes images and the output doesn’t get more detailed there possibly is nothing I can do about. To proof it you could use xplanet on your machines directly on the command line to have a /real/ comparation. You can use the same configs and maps on both systems.

    The other problem is odd – seems that telling gnome which background to use doesn’t work in 11.04 anymore. I have to take a deeper look into – it’s soothing that you have a workaround atm.

    Cheers, markus.

  9. Markus

    Hey Chris,

    wow, vielen Dank, Mann! Ich habe das für Fedora gleich mal eingebaut, ist soeben als 2.2.24 online gegangen. Den Edit in xplanetFX für KDE4 kann man umgehen, da man in den Einstellungen eine feste Datei angeben kann, in die gerendert werden soll, dann bleibt xplanetFX updatefähig. Und die Yum-Zeile habe ich oben in die Installationsanleitung aufgenommen – vielen Dank dafür (im Namen der Fedora-User .)!

    Zu Deinem Theme-Wunsch: wird Zeit für ein Theme namens „Eschaton“ ^^ ein Freund hatte sich eine Erde gewünscht, die vor lauter Satellitenschrott nicht mehr zu sehen ist, passt ja ganz gut in die Reihe – „Eschaton“ mit den Styles „Covered“, „Screwed“ und „Fucked“ .D

    Also nochmal fetten Dank für die Forschungsreisen und den ausführlichen Report! Viele Grüße, markus.

  10. Chris

    Hey nochmals 🙂

    Du hast Recht, er kann umgangen werden nur sehe ich die Möglichkeit als einfacher an, die in deinem Programm genutzte Integrität zu nutzen und einfach die Ausgabe in nur eine Bilddatei aus zu werfen – Habe dann einfach dieses Bild genommen und im Intervall von 2min ein refresh – klappt so wunderbar;)

    Also kann man es vergessen Programm-Intern manuell zu schalten sondern kann einfach auf KDE lassen 😉

    Ich bin mal gespannt auf die Walls 😀 Tönt ja mal „sau-gut“…

    Danke für die ehre des genannten Credit 🙂
    Wenn du willst, kann ich mal an nem Fedora .repo rumdoktoren – So etwas mache ich aber nicht ohne dein Einverständnis!

    Ich verbleibe
    mit freundlichen Grüssen


  11. Markus

    Hey Chris,

    jawoll, Vielfalt der Möglichkeiten ist immer noch die Beste Wahl. Ich linke Deinen Comment mal oben in die Known Issues für diejenigen, die damit Probleme haben.

    Ein Fedora-Repository wäre natürlich ein Kracher! Habe mit RPM keine Erfahrungen und auch kein System, was diese nutzt, daher ist das Thema hier echt stiefmütterlich behandelt. Es würde aber bestimmt eine Menge Leute glücklich machen, über RPM’s regelmäßige Updates zu erhalten.

    Da ich das Ding letztens unter die F4A-Lizenz gestellt habe, kannst Du damit auch eh machen, was Du willst .)

    cat /usr/share/xplanetFX/LICENSE

    Die Themes werden leider noch etwas auf sich warten lassen, da ich momentan mitten im nächsten kranken OpenSource-Brainfuck hänge und da jetzt erstmal nach vorne kommen will. Aber sowas ist ja immer gerne mal als Sonntagnachmittag-Entspannung genommen .)

    Viele Grüße, markus.

  12. vic

    endlich-ich habe es geschafft!!! Habe zuerst alle xplanetfx Bilder durch Bilder von osxplanet ersetzt, dann .config file von mac mit linux verglichen und einige Werte dann geändert. Ich poste dann hier xplanet.0.config (MAcOS) und xlinuxFX config File:
    Endergebnis (Wolkenintensität habe ich mit cloud_gamma= geändert). Ich kann jetzt keinen Unterschied zwischen MacOS und Linux Wallpaper sehen.


    Danke und LG!!!

    „#Config File created by OSXplanet Version 1.0


    color={255,255,255} # fallback color in case an image map isn’t found
    draw_orbit=false # draw this body’s orbit about its primary
    magnify=1 # draw the body as if its radius were magnified by this factor
    max_radius_for_label=3 # don’t draw a label if the body’s radius in pixels is more than this
    min_radius_for_label=.01 # don’t draw a label if the body’s radius in pixels is less than this
    min_radius_for_markers=40 # don’t draw markers if the body’s radius in pixels is less than this
    orbit={-.5,.5,2} # extent of orbit to draw, {start, end, delta}, where
    # start and end are in units of period of revolution
    # and delta is angular increment to evaluate position
    orbit_color={255,255,255} # color for the orbit
    random_origin=true # Can this body be considered if -origin random is used?
    random_target=true # Can this body be considered if -target random is used?
    shade=30 # 0 = black, 100 = same as dayside
    text_color={255,0,0} # color for text (markers & body label)
    max_radius_for_label=0 # never draw a label for the sun
    color={100, 100, 100}
    min_radius_for_label=0 # always draw a label
    color={161, 129, 70}
    color={100, 100, 100}
    color={172, 123, 67}
    color={204, 163, 133}
    color={212, 182, 52}
    color={140, 140, 140}
    color={150, 150, 150}
    color={70, 70, 70}
    color={244, 199, 134}
    color={105, 197, 238}
    color={95, 133, 232}
    color={206, 180, 153}


    orbit_color={40,40,40} # color for the orbit

    color={28, 82, 110}

    ### the following section is generated by script – do not change! ###
    ### or change in xplanetFX also 2 times! ###
    ### end of script generated section ###


    color={100, 100, 100}


  13. vic

    P.S. Ich hätte noch eine Frage- da ich die Erde ziemlich vergrössert habe, könnte ich evtl. Mondbahn um die Erde evtl. verkürzen?

  14. vic

    EDIT: kannst meine letzte Frage ignorieren. Habe im xplanet-final.conf magnify-Wert geändert:


  15. vic

    Und ich bin zurück-habe gerade gemerkt-links scheint die Erde gerade geschnitten zu sein. Ist es möglich das Bild so einstellen, dass es ganz rund ist?

    Ich habe versucht corona Ausblenden-Option zu ändern, aber es hilft nicht…

  16. Sebastian C


    seit kurzen läd planetFX ein anderes Satellitenbild als sonst. – Es ist grüner.
    Ist es möglich, dass das alte Satellitenbild wieder geladen wird, das war um längen schöner.


    OS: Archlinux
    Version xplanetFX: 2.2.23-1

  17. Alphydan

    Hi There,

    First of all, thank you so much for putting this together. I already had xplanet on my desktop, but this makes customizing and playing with it much easier.

    On Ubuntu 11.04, when installing xplanetFX.deb (double click), version, 2.2.24 (xplanetfx) I get the error:

    Lintian check results for /home/avo/Desktop/xplanetFX.deb:
    E: xplanetfx: malformed-deb-archive found 4 members instead of 3


  18. Markus

    Hey Alphydan,

    thank you very much for the detailed report!

    Ubuntu decided to implement Lintian, a package checking tool, to the software center. It struggles over the _gpgorigin file inside the package which is the basic recommendation for signed packages. Since it is only 11.04 by now giving a shite on signed debs, here is a work around until the situation gets more clear (a lot of maintainers and developers have the same problem atm):


    I’ll add this to the installation instructions of the manual.

    Thanks, markus.

  19. Markus

    Hey Sebastian!

    Vielen Dank für den Report, doch leider werde ich da nicht richtig schlau daraus. Was genau meinst Du mit Satellitenbild? Die Wolken oder die Textur der Erde? Ein Screenshot wäre riesig!

    Viele Grüße, Markus.

  20. Markus

    Hey vic,

    bäh, das sieht mal mies aus. Verschwindet das mit dem Abschalten von Corona oder Atmosphäre? Die Suche nach dem Problem könnte sich etwas ziehen, da sowas gerne mal imagemagick-Spacks sind, die mit manchen Versionen auftreten. Deswegen nur step-by-step. Vllt. über Mail? besser für Screenshots etc.

    Viele Grüße, Markus.

  21. vic

    ja-hast du Recht-das hat irgendwas mit Corona zu tun-sobald ich Corona ausschalte, das Bild ist schön, wie es sein soll. Ich würde vorschlagen, dass du dir keine Sorge um dieses Problem machst-ich habe selbst viele Änderungen in .conf file gemacht und wahrscheinlich liegt das Problem nur bei meinem (bearbeiteten) Thema. Ohne Corona schaut bei mir xplanetFX auch wunderschön…
    E-Mail – kein Problem auch, falls ich irgendwie helfen kann-gerne.
    Danke und LG

  22. Ubuntu 11.04 Tips : Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    […] update sudo apt-get install xplanetFX If you want to download a .deb or a .rpm please go to: http://mein-neues-blog.de/xplanetFX/#install Early Feb 2011 there was a new release with many improvements. Some of these include: […]

  23. Maisondouf

    Hi, as I want to update from 2.2.23 to 2.2.24, I decided to create a repository for your .deb version.

    So you can access it with this APT line :

    deb http://maisondouf.homeip.net/distrib/xplanetfx/ all main

    NB: I run also with 11.04 😆

  24. Markus

    Hey Maisondouf,

    sorry, but when the „Crazy Hacker’s Family“ offers a repository on a home IP connection with upspeed @ 50kBit I personally become suspicious.

    No offense, cheers, markus.

  25. Phyllinux

    Hi Markus,
    First of all, I want to tell you that your job is really great !!!
    I used XPlanet before I found your version that is really fine !!!
    With my experience of XPlanet, I improved a little bit XPlanetFX with some points that could be added in a future version… Why not ?
    These modifications are just concerning the aspect, not at all the soft.
    Even if our earth is called ‚The Blue Planet‘, I think that your base picture of earth is a little bit too blue.
    So I am using pictures from NASA Blue Marble Next Generation collection.
    I say pictures instead of picture, because the aspect of earth is not the same from 1st of January till 31st of december. Snow, ice and vegetation coverages are different.
    It’s why I use the monthly pictures of Blue Marble Next Generation.
    The earth is also less blue but more brown and green !!!
    I think that it is possible to write a script in order to change automaticaly the picture of the month according to the date. But I dont know how to, so I change manually every new month, using the picture of the month after having been renamed.
    I also changed the night picture, because the one of BM NG has more lights than the one you are using and is a little bit lighter.
    I find that visually the result is more ‚attractive‘ than the original version using your pictures in the base directory.
    But, your job is really great, and thanks a lot once more for that !!!

  26. Markus

    Hey Phyllinux,

    thank you very much for your appreciation and you suggestions. I had a short look for the images and they’re pleasing my eyes on the first sight. So I will try them later in xplanetFX (don’t have the time right now..) and will post the results. At least there will be a shell script you can add to crontab I think. So please be patient until I find the time. Thanks for helping improving OSS!

    Cheers Markus.

Write a comment / Schreibe einen Kommentar (xplanetFX – HQ earth wallpapers)

Please note that comments are moderated and don't appear immediately. If you're reporting a problem or a bug I'll publish them when I started processing your request.

Bitte beachte: Kommentare sind moderiert und erscheinen nicht sofort. Ich veröffentliche Bugreports und Hilferequests erst, sobald ich mich eines Problems oder Bugs angenommen habe.

You're reporting a bug? click here!

Thank you very much!! You're doing an essential job for the development of open source software! The following points aren't meant as dogmas but as a clue, decide for yourself what you think could be useful in troubleshooting.

  • Please...
  • ...state name and version of your operating system / desktop environment
  • ...state the version of the program you're using
  • ...be detailed in what is happening and what you expected to happen
  • ...try to provide some deeper information (like xplanetFX logs or the output of the program when started in a terminal window)
  • ...speak to me as a human being, don't think I'm a bot.

Du möchtest einen Fehler melden? klick hier!

Herzlichen Dank!! Fehlerberichte sind essentiell für die Entwicklung von Open-Source-Software! Die folgenden Punkte sind keine Dogmen, sondern sollen eher Anhaltspunkte darstellen; entscheide selbst, ob sie für die Fehlersuche hilfreich sein könnten.

  • Bitte...
  • ...nenne den Namen und die Version Deines Betriebssystems / Deiner Desktopumgebung
  • ...nenne die Version des von Dir benutzten Programms
  • ...beschreibe möglichst genau, was passiert und was Du erwartest, was passieren sollte
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