Oxygen Team Unveils Wallpaper Collection for KDE 4.0

The Oxygen team is happy to present the final selection of 15 wallpapers that will be released with KDE 4.0. It took longer than expected to manage the
contest due to the large number of entries (around 2000), but it was our first time organising such a contest. Read on for details of the winning entries.

The Oxygen team are overjoyed at the response and want to thank everyone who took part.
Every wallpaper will be available in several screen resolutions for both wide and regular display.
We believe the selection provides a beautiful, colorful, peaceful yet not distracting collection of free wallpapers. We're sure you'll find one you like.

All of these wallpapers are being released under the LGPL version 3 license. For more insights by the jury, check Riccardo's blog.

Code Poet's Dream

By Jim “code poet” and Nuno F. Pinheiro.

Colorado Farm

By Scott Ingram.

Curls On Green

By Joseph Connors.

Fields Of Peace

By Kenneth Wimer.

Fresh Morning

By Pablo León-Asuero Moreno.

Golden Ripples

By Joseph Connors.

Green Concentration

By Joseph Connors.


By Rick Hanley.

Leaf's Labyrinth

By Riccardo Iaconelli.


By Vlad Gerasimov.


By Vlad Gerasimov.

There's Rain On The Table

By Riccardo Iaconelli.

Red Leaf

By Joseph Connors.

Skeeter Hawk

By Tracy Sprader.


By Kenneth Wimer.

A big thanks for all the participants and congratulations to the winners by the Oxygen team.

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by Skeith (not verified)

Since most distros apply their own branded wallpaper. Aesthetics in KDE4 get better every day, although I do wish it was an open poll.

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

compared to the results when we have done open polls, i think we got better and more consistent results from having a jury of artists. it's fun to participate in polls to pick things, granted, but i'd rather have high quality results for something like this ...

thanks to everyone who contributed wallpapers. they rock =)

by Dado (not verified)

Totally agree on both counts.

by dreamer (not verified)

I don't, I hope distro's vote no confidence in these and keep their own. I find the wallpapers to be very boring, nothing there reaches out and say's KDE, actually they all remind me of Vista. and XP. I wonder how many people use any of the themes, wallpaper, etc that comes with KDE, I know I don't, and it appears a lot prefer to download their desktop look. Perhaps the KDE team should not focus on themes, wallpaper etc, and leave that up to those that contribute ate kde-look.org, always far better stuff from contributers, than what is released with KDE.

by André (not verified)

Sure, and those artists would then automagicly transform into coders who can be assigned to any other part of KDE, right?


by Morty (not verified)

Since kde-look.org already are supportet through the GetNewStuff(?) functionality, that part of it arre already covered.

But IMHO it's better to also supply some high quality defaults like this, rather than base it on whats avalible on kde-look.org. And to be frank, there are lots of rubbish on kde-look.org. Specially when it comes to walpapers.

by Arnomane (not verified)

Sorry but where do you see a similarity with Windows Vista? It is a common but wrong conception to argue that KDE is too Windows-like (and by the way the most Windows like element - Kicker - is gone in KDE 4!).

Kubuntu did apply a theme that resembles a bit to Windows Vista (window controls and some brilliance highlights) but this very theme has nothing to do with the KDE project itself (and I personally stick to Plastik for KDE 3).

And furthermore did you compare KDE with Keramik theme to Windows Vista? There are some subtle interesting similarities (e.g. at brilliance highlights, whereas Plastik doesn't use them). And guess which theme is much much older than Vista? Right Keramik. And it is a known fact that Microsoft evaluated KDE the days it used Keramik as default theme.

And where do you see any similarity between Vista's and KDEs wallpapers? They both partially make use of HDR imaging, a careful adjusted dynamic range and a high color saturation (whereas KDE 3 wallpapers were much more "flat" and "dirty"). Shall KDE people avoid these common techniques of professional photo artwork in order to please you? Just have a look at professional art color photos and you will notice that this has nothing to do with Vista but with images looking good under any circumstances (ever wondered why your private images look good in very narrow screen configurations only?)

So quite the contrast: Even default KDE 3 doesn't look very much like Windows XP or Vista and KDE 4 will even look more different cause of different GUI elements (not only replaced Kicker) and cause Oxygen theme has absolutely nothing in common with Vistas theme (I bet after KDE 4 is out random people will complain that Oxygen icons and KDEs interface are too GNOME like which is much more likely :p).

by nae (not verified)

I would agree if kde-look wasn't infested by kids that vote their
trashy entry and their friends , that vote them too.
This issue is particularly visible on linux game tome and freshmeat,
but it pests kde-look too....

by Blah (not verified)

Wallpapers are meant to be 'boring'.

And what's boring about nature? Are you sure you're human?

by she (not verified)

What is Nature? Everything?

Because you know, just showing some plants isnt "nature" per se. Its just a tiny fraction of what beauty you can find, yet these wallpapers almost exclusively focus on plants ...

Pot smokers among the jury?

by André (not verified)

I assume you send in better suggestions? Besides, nobody forces you to use any of these wallpapers, so what do you care?

by Iñaki Baz (not verified)

Exactly why those themes remind you of Vista or XP? just because they are "photographies" of "things"?

by Mike (not verified)

I guess you feel if the KDE team didn't hold this contest KDE 4 would be all done and then you could then rant about how much you think the distros should mess with it because, well... you would never use the default look, you'd prefer to download your desktop look, etc... insert more unproductive negativity here... more bs vista comparisons... it's a photograph, certainly vista has the capability to display photographs as a wallpaper...give me a break.. jump in a lake.

im sure your response would have been different if they chose your kde wallpaper full of kde gears and the colour blue, whatelse? oh.. the dragon and oh.. tux because that would.... make no friggin sense... at least with all that BS it wouldnt be vista..

by Lukas Appelhans (not verified)

Ouhm, with 1900 Wallpapers?? That would be lucky ;-)

by oLdsk3wL (not verified)

They look great and the KDE4 is shaping up very nicely.

Thanks again

by shamaz (not verified)

The 'Wow' Starts Now (c)

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

hahaha.. oh no, don't jinx us! ;)

by Dumas (not verified)

Cool wallpappers! espatialy "Ladybuggin"

by Ian Monroe (not verified)

It's my least favorite... probably has something to do with the fact that this part of Missouri is getting swarmed with ladybugs currently.

by Bobby (not verified)

The Wallpapers are simple breathtaking. I just can't wait to see a finished KDE4!

by Michael (not verified)

These are really looking great. Once the artistic design decisions are taken out of the hands of the coding geeks, Open Source can actually look beautiful ;-) If this really is too much for you - go here:


by Mark Hannessen (not verified)

We actually use dotproject at work...
I think its ugly.. but it works.. :p

by Andy (not verified)

Love the wallpapers, top job!

I'm just wondering whether KDE4 will allow animating wallpapers like Vista Ultimate (it calls them Dreamscapes - but I believe it's just playing avi movies). I know some will complain and say it's a resource hog, but there is something both relaxing and beautiful about having swaying grass or running water on the desktop. So, how about it?

by Alex Merry (not verified)

Fancy writing a plasmoid to do it?

The Plasma framework is designed so that you can really have any background you can code. It's just another applet. You may not get it by default in 4.0, but I have no doubt that such backgrounds will appear.

by John Tapsell (not verified)

I was actually interested in taking it one step further - 3D backgrounds. We have the whole cube thing, so you can rotate etc. So why not have a 3D background that rotates with the cube? :)

by André (not verified)

Cool idea!
It could help you orient yourself while you are roting the cube. How about employing KStars to render a 3D starchart behind your cube that rotates behind the cube as if not the cube is rotating, but you are roting around the stationairy cube? Hmm... Sounds cool!

by Plamen Terxiev (not verified)

It is really very cool feature. I am not well aware of what plasma can do and I think that it is more kwin issue. But if it is possible to create 3D backgrounds it will rock :)

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

background have nothing to do with kwin (well, other than respecting the "this window is the desktop" flag) and everything to do with plasma. 3d background effects can be written in openGL even as plasma supports opengl plasmoids.

by Plamen Terxiev (not verified)

Wow. It sounds really great. I knew that plasma is very powerfull but this overpass my expectations what plasma is capable of. In this case maybe I will try to make a 3D background plasmoid in OpenGL when the KDE 4 is released.

by Wyatt (not verified)

While I like the idea, I also have a long-standing problem with the cube in that it feels rather limited to just four desktops. While it's fine that there are people that stick with that default and are perfectly capable of getting work done, I am not among their number.

by Shaun (not verified)

i find using two or three monitors works best for me. The whole buggy cube thing is next to useless. I wish linux would go back to the people who it was meant for...
intelligent people

by Stephan Sokolow (not verified)

I use two monitors and four virtual desktops, so I see what you mean 50/50.

By your comment about the cube, I'll assume you've tried Compiz/Beryl. Have you tried the "Desktop Wall" plugin instead of "Desktop Cube"? Perhaps with the "Expose" plugin? I find that to be very comfortable.

(A quick Super+Arrow to switch desktops with the keyboard... or just mouse to the top-right corner to zoom out and then click to pick)

I'd be using a mix of KDE and Compiz Fusion parts right now if Compiz Fusion didn't have so many irritating rough edges and limitations.

by Christian Nitsc... (not verified)

Haven't had a look at plasma yet but I guess this could be done using a plasmoid.

by KOffice fan (not verified)

This has been possible since the early days of KDE and even earlier.

There is an advanced option that lets you select a program for drawing the background. you can select a video player and have it play avi files.

Perhaps a plasmoid that is fully integrated into KDE, with easily downloadable animated backgrounds would be the more polished solution, though.

by Nsm (not verified)

Enlightenment dr17 can do that

by somekool (not verified)

and so for more than a year...

by Beat Wolf (not verified)

Just a little bit strange that 5 out of 15 wallpapers are from jury member.

But i can't realy complain, they all look great! :-D

by furanku (not verified)

There are some comments and replies on that in the blog entry (the jury members were not allowed to vote for their own contribution, voting was secret and the entries were anonyminiezd), but it's a bad habit at all to let jury members take part in a competition.

Anyway, as there haven't been any prices (except the winning itself) and the collection is OK (too much green for my taste and a bit too 'conservative') I don't care much about that.

by fast_rizwaan (not verified)

I love the wallpaers "Summer" and "Fields of Peace", both make me feel refreshed and relaxed. wonderful wallpapers.. you rock Kenneth! thanks :)

by egan (not verified)

And what about the differents screen ratio for the user ?
When you use a 1024x768 screen (ratio 4/3) or a 1440x900 screen (ratio 16/10) the result is very different !
The solution is to use a scalable wallpaper (SVG) and NOT a jpeg wallpaper.

by André (not verified)

You can also just use a different cut out for those. SVG wallpapers are quite a different catogory than photography, resulting in very different kinds of images. You may prefer the one or the other, but that does not mean that KDE should limit itself to only one category.

by Tim (not verified)

That's not true. SVG is designed for vector graphics, not photos. JPEG is the correct choice. I assume you weren't implying that people shouldn't use photos as backgrounds!

As for different aspect ratios, the only sensible solution is to crop the image.

by egan (not verified)

>>> As for different aspect ratios, the only sensible solution is to crop the image.

So for using these 1280X800 KDE wallpapers on my 1600x1200 screen i have to :

1) Expand the wallpaper (distortion, big pixels =>ugly)
2) Leave the small wallpaper lost in the middle of my screen (ridiculous)

by André (not verified)

No, you should just use the 1600x1200 resolution image when it becomes available.

by Matthew (not verified)

For photos I agree raster is king (until some fancy-pants raster->vector conversion techniques get devoloped, maybe) but wouldn't PNG or TGA beat out JPEG for this kind of thing? The desktop isn't the web, after all.

by Hector Martin (not verified)

PNG results in pretty ridiculous file sizes for photographic content. A high-quality JPEG can get very close while still keeping a manageable file size.

by nuno pinheiro (not verified)

Well frist we made versions for most comon screen ratios.
Secondly i work with svg all day long its a format i love. But its dead wrong for walpaper, sacaling an svg is not simple at all, it may seem simple but its not, example the floppy disk in devices has a svg version for every size.
normaly wen I do a svg wallpaper I end up rendering it in a big size and then croping its to each sub screen ration needed.
Another huge problem is that normaly my svg wallpapers take about 10 minutes to render, I gess a single gradient dosent work very well for me as an wallpaper :)

by bangert (not verified)

In my humble opinion the artistic results of the contest are absolutly stunning. Thank you very much to the Oxygen team.

However, I still disagree with the decision to allow jury members to submit images to the contest. It's even worse that so many of them "won" the "contest". I strongly suggest that this practice is changed in the future.

You could have released the Oxygen Wallpaper Set and then have a contest to create the 'Oxygen Contributers Set 2007'.

Had I taken part in the contest, I would have felt cheated...

Mind you, this is purely a criticism of the process, not of the result.

by Robin (not verified)

You should read Riccardo's blog before complaining...

by bangert (not verified)

what makes you think that i hadn't read it?

great if that solves your concerns. i still think the process is flawed and dishonest...