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How to make DVD slideshows on Linux with Imagination

The best way to make DVD slideshows on Linux is with Imagination. With this program, anyone can easily add multiple pictures, audio tracks, on-screen text, and even cool animation transitions!

In this tutorial, we’ll cover how to create your very own slideshow, step-by-step. We’ll also go over how to burn it to a DVD video disk to watch, and how to make a video DVD from the Linux terminal.

Install Imagination

The Imagination DVD software is available in most modern Linux software repositories. In this section of the tutorial, we’ll go over how to install it on Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. Launch a terminal window and follow along with the instructions that match your operating system to get Imagination installed.


sudo apt install imagination


sudo apt-get install imagination

Arch Linux

The Imagination slideshow creation tool is available for installation to Arch Linux users thanks to the AUR. To install it, follow the step-by-step instructions below!

Step 1: Install the Base-devel and Git packages, so that your Arch Linux system can interact with the AUR and the Imagination PKGBUILD snapshot.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

Step 2: Clone the latest Imagination AUR snapshot to your computer using the git command.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/imagination.git

Step 3: Move your terminal session from the home directory to the newly cloned imagination folder.

cd imagination

Step 4: Generate a new Arch Linux package with the makepkg command.

makepkg -sri


Fedora users have access to the Imagination DVD slideshow software if they enable the RPM Fusion software sources.

To get RPM Fusion, go to the terminal and install these RPM files.

Note: please replace the X in the commands with the release of Fedora Linux you are currently running.

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-X.noarch.rpm

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-X.noarch.rpm

With RPM Fusion working, it’s safe to install Imagination on your Fedora Linux PC.

sudo dnf install imagination -y


The Imagination DVD slideshow tool is available to OpenSUSE Linux users via the Packman All software repository. Open up a terminal and enter the command below to set up the Packman All software repository.

LEAP 15.0

sudo zypper addrepo https://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Leap_15.0/ packman

LEAP 42.3

sudo zypper addrepo https://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Leap_42.3/ packman


sudo zypper addrepo https://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ packman

Install Imagination with:

sudo zypper install imagination

Generic Linux

The Imagination source code is on GitHub. Go to the page, download the code and read the included “README” file to learn how to get it working.

Make a slideshow with Imagination

Open up Imagination and click the “Slideshow” menu button. Inside of the “Slideshow” menu, look for “New” and select it with the mouse to create a new project.

When you click the “new” button in Imagination to start a new slideshow, you’ll see a “create a new slideshow” window. The “create a new slideshow” area allows the user to adjust the technical specifications of the DVD slideshow, with everything from the video format (DVD/VOB, FLV or 3GP), the screen resolution (480p, 576p, 720p, 1080p) and background color.

To start, look to the “Video Format” section and click on the drop-down menu. Look through the different video formats available and select the “DVD” option. Then, after the format is set for the new project, move on to the “Video Size” section.

Click on the drop-down menu under “Video Size” and choose the best resolution for the TV you’d like to play it on. Ideally, pick either 1080p or 720p, as that’s what most modern television sets can handle these days.

With the format and resolution set, all that’s left in the setup stage is to set the slideshow background color. The default is black, but if that color isn’t fitting for your project, you can change it. To change it, click the black color square and choose a new color. When all the project settings are set to your liking, click the “OK” button.

Adding photos

Add photos to your Imagination DVD slideshow project by clicking “Slideshow,” then “Import Pictures.” Clicking the import button brings up a file browser window. Use it to add your pictures the slideshow project.

Note: to add multiple pictures at once, navigate to a folder in the file browser, then press Ctrl + A to select all. Import by clicking the “open” button.

Let the pictures import into Imagination. When the importing process is complete, go through imagination, select each photo and set the transition settings (located in the Video tab).

Adding text to the slideshow

Imagination lets the user add text to slideshow projects. To do it, select a picture in the project timeline. Then, go to the “Video” tab and write your text into the “slide text” box.

With your message written in the “slide text” box, you’re free to start customizing. Go through and choose a font, color, size, animation, etc., by using the customization options below the slide-text box.

Adding background music

You may want to add some music to your project, to make it more interesting. To do it, click the “Slideshow” menu, then select the “Import Music” button to open up the import browser. Use the import browser menu to add music to your slideshow project.

To customize when the music plays, select the “audio” tab.

Finalizing your slideshow

Now that the slideshow is done, the time has come to burn it to a disk. To export, click the “Slideshow” menu button, then select the “Export” option. Save your slideshow as a VOB file on the desktop.

When your slideshow is fully exported, put a blank DVD in the disc drive. Then, install K3b or Brasero on your Linux PC and burn the VOB slideshow file to a disk! Be sure to select the “video DVD” option!

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for suggesting “Imagination” for this task. Funny note though, I compiled an hour long slideshow. It took 12 hours for this lowly Acer Cloudbook to turn it into a .VOB file. (It kind of took a lot longer because my wife closed the lid on the laptop…)

    I also used the DVD authouring tool “DeVeDee NG” to create a usable, playable disc out of the .VOB file. (I didn’t want to risk the time seeing if K3B could do the job.) In any case, it’s very easy to use “Imagination” as the learning curve is almost flat, or at least it was for me.

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