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How to get Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

With each Ubuntu Linux release, the developers add in new, unique, and fresh wallpapers. The Ubuntu community contributes a lot of these wallpapers to the project, and thanks to that, users have something to look forward to with each new version of the OS.

Recently, Ubuntu 19.04 (AKA Disco Dingo) was released. In this new release, some new cool wallpapers shipped. Sadly, these new wallpapers are only available to Disco Dingo users, so if you’re an 18.04 LTS user, you won’t get to take them for a spin.

If you plan to stay on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS till 20.04 LTS, but want to try out the new Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers, you’ll have to download them manually from Launchpad.

Download Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers package

To gain access to the new Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers, we must download the DEB release of “ubuntu-wallpapers.” The reason we need to download it, instead of just using the Ubuntu package manager to install it, is that 18.04 has its wallpaper package, and it’s not possible to have both at the same time.

Getting access to the Ubuntu wallpaper package for 19.04 can be done in several ways. However, the most straightforward method is to ignore the source code files in favor of the pre-compiled Debian package available online.

To get your hands on the latest Ubuntu 19.04 wallpaper package, open up a terminal window, press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard and use the wget tool to download it.

wget https://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/u/ubuntu-wallpapers/ubuntu-wallpapers-disco_19.04.2-0ubuntu1_all.deb

With the wallpaper package done downloading on your Ubuntu 18.04 LTS PC, move on to the conversion stage in the guide.

Convert Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers package

Getting Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers working on Ubuntu 18.04 doesn’t seem too complicated, right? After all, they’re just PNG files, what could go wrong? Well, a lot. As it turns out, the “ubuntu-wallpaper-disco” package conflict’s with Ubuntu 18.04’s default wallpaper package, and if you switch it with the one we downloaded, bad things can happen.

An easy way around the package conflicts problem is to take the DEB package we downloaded and use the Alien package converter to convert it to a TarGZ file so that we can manually place in the wallpaper files without breaking anything.

Install Alien on Ubuntu

To use the Alien package converter, it needs to first be installed on Ubuntu. To do this, open up a terminal and use the Apt package manager to load it up.

sudo apt install alien -y

With the Alien application installed, we can use it to convert the package from a DEB to a generic TarGZ file using the alien -tvc command.

sudo alien -tvc ubuntu-wallpapers-disco_19.04.2-0ubuntu1_all.deb

Conversion should take a couple of seconds. When the process is done, you’ll see a file labeled “ubuntu-wallpapers-disco-19.04.2.tgz” in your home directory (~/).

Install Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers

With the Alien package conversion tool done converting the Ubuntu 19.04 wallpaper package to a TarGZ archive, it’s time to use the Tar command to extract all of the files, so that they may be accessable to the system.

Open up a terminal window and use the tar command to extract the “ubuntu-wallpapers-disco-19.04.2.tgz” file.

tar xvf ubuntu-wallpapers-disco-19.04.2.tgz

Upon extracting the Disco Dingo wallpaper Tar archive, a folder labeled “usr” will appear in your home directory In this folder, the 19.04 wallpaper pictures are stored. However, there are other files in this directory too, and they must be dealt with before installing the wallpapers. Using the rm command, delete the unnecessary folders.

cd ~/usr/share/

rm -rf doc
rm -rf gnome-background-properties

After removing the unnecessary folders from the Disco wallpaper folder, it’s finally time to install the Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers on Ubuntu 18.04. Using the cp command, copy the extracted “usr” directory into your “Pictures” folder. Keep in mind that the files must go here, or Ubuntu will not see your Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers.

cd ~/usr/share/backgrounds/ 

cp *.png ~/Pictures

cp *.jpg ~/Pictures

Once the files are in the “Pictures” directory on your Linux PC, you’ll be able to set any of them as the default wallpaper by going to the customization settings on your desktop.

Finishing up

Now that the wallpaper files are in the “Pictures” directory on your Ubuntu Linux PC, finish up by deleting the remaining files (the DEB package, TarGZ archive and “usr” folder that is no longer needed.)

Deleting files is best done with the rm command. In a terminal, enter the following commands.

rm ubuntu-wallpapers-disco_19.04.2-0ubuntu1_all.deb

rm  ubuntu-wallpapers-disco-19.04.2.tgz
rm -rf ~/usr/

Set Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers on various desktops

Need help setting the newly installed 19.04 wallpapers on your Ubuntu 18.04 PC? Check out the links in the list below to learn how to change the default wallpaper on all of the major Linux desktop environments.

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