Animated desktop: For ubuntu 13.04 Raring /ubuntu 13.10 Saucy

An animated desktop looks amazing, and what can be more cooler than having the ability to setup an animated desktop with a video of your own choice??
This post will give the detailed steps to setup an animated desktop on Ubuntu 13.04 and 13.10 . The procedure works completely fine with older versions as well (but the older versions have an easier method). So to get the background live with a video of your choice , a few requirements have to be met. Few software have to be downloaded and installed. And  for videos which you have chosen to work , they must be in the .wmv video format.

Check out the video below to see how the animated desktop looks like. And follow the procedure below to make your desktop look like that. The link to the animations shown in the video is given at the end of this post. But remember this video is for Ubuntu 12.04 so the procedure for 13.04 and 13.10 is not this easy!!!

procedure for Ubuntu 13.04/13.10:–

step 1:
install the following software to support and play your video as a background. Copy paste these following lines one by one in the terminal :

  • sudo apt-get install mplayer
  • sudo apt-get install rar
  • sudo apt-get install unrar
  • sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
  • sudo apt-get install zenity

so this will install all the prerequisites that were needed. Since Zenity has some error, the installation cannot be done correctly on Ubuntu 13.04 and 13.10 which is why a different procedure has to be followed.

step 2:
Here we use the a-desk script for installation. the a-desk is a shell script that automates all the work that has to be done to set the desktop. So go ahead and download the a-desk zip folder from HERE .
Once downloaded extract it to get a folder named “ad” and place it where you want it to be. Now open the terminal and go to the location where you have stored the “ad” folder.
For example. if you have put he folder under /Home then use the command :
cd /home/ad

Once you are in the folder, run the shell script a-desk.installer using the following command:

sudo sh a-desk.installer

This will run the script and give you the options to select your language and the version. That is you can choose to get the 32bit version and 64 bit version .Once you select it it will start installing and once it is done  The “OK” button on the installer window will be highlighted. Click on it to finish the installation.

step 3:
Now go to the terminal and type the command :

~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/a-desk
This will open a window and you have to select the option atomic city. This will load the video atomic city to the background. Atomic city is a video that comes by default with he a-desk script.So thats it.. now you will have an animated desktop.

In my next post I will give the procedure to use customised videos as your animation for the desktop and also to change the animation to the videos present in the link given below!!

More amazing videos to setup from the background can be found from : HERE
Go to that website and download any video that you like and make it your animated desktop.

Disclaimer: When the animated desktop is setup , it doesn’t stay after the bootup. That is , this procedure doesn’t work on startup and you would have to repeat the procedure all over again to set it up. This is something I am working on and as soon as I find a solution, I will post it.

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Enabling exFAT file system on Ubuntu

exFAT (extended file allocation table) is a Microsoft file system that was developed specifically for large storage flash media,for example , an external  USB drive. It was introduced  into Windows vista and Windows 7 initially. It is much faster than other filesystems like FAT32 when it comes to managing files  with large size and at a good speed.

However, even though Ubuntu can recognize many filesystems it doesn’t have the support to recognize exFAT system by default  and hence it has to be downloaded from a 3rd party PPA (a repository where developers upload latest versions of software and patches). I have tried it on Ubuntu 13.04 and 14.04 and it works perfectly. I am sure it works with some of the previous versions as well.  So to install the package , In your terminal use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:relan/exfat
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fuse fuse-exfat exfat-utils

These commands get the packages from the 3rd party PPA , update to the latest versions and install them on your system.Once installed the system automatically recognizes any hard drives with exFAT format and mounts it. In case where mounting is not done automatically you can always do it manually using the following commands in the terminal:

sudo mkdir /media/exfat</strong>
sudo mount -t exfat <PATH> /media/exfat

remember to change the <PATH> with the path of the external drive.For example if the connected device has the path /dev/sdc then replace <PATH> with /dev/sdc.

Similarly, the device can be unmounted manually using the command:

sudo umount /media/exfat  </strong></li>

The operations that can be performed on ubuntu with exFAT device  is restricted to read or write and cannot be used to format them and the only way to format it  is using windows.