I am looking for a way to display a permanent text on the desktop (xfce/gnome but if I found a way on another window manager, I catch). I was asked to show a version number on the desktop in a permanent way, so I have to display it on opening session, and I have to update it if our software is updated. How can I do this?


It should be possible to run any Xwindow application in the root window, however a simpler solution would be to use a wallpaper and set up a cron job to update the wallpaper file from a template using a script. You can add text (for example) using the imagemagick toolkit or using the GD extension with PHP.

It's possible to force XFCE to reload the wallpaper.


in gnome you can set a global background using

gconftool-2 --direct \
--config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/opt/gnome/gconf/gconf.xml.mandatory \
--type string --set /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename 


You could use convert to generate the wallpaper at login as explained here Remove the option to change the wallpaper

You could then use a script like

version= `uname -a`
convert -pointsize 10 -fill blue -draw 'text 800,6000 "version" ' basewallpaper.jpg usr/share/wallpapers/default-1600x1200.jpg

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