An Ubuntu retrospective in wallpaper

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies. I am, however, planning on rebuilding this post with updates from more recent versions of Ubuntu.

A week ago, maybe a little longer, there was a thread on the forums asking for the wallpaper that came with Dapper, for someone who was running Gutsy (or something like that; I’ve lost the original thread). Each release usually has its own wallpaper, and the original poster preferred something that wasn’t on hand for the version he had.

Which got me thinking … there were some other wallpapers that came out in each version that it might be fun to revisit — particularly for old timers, or just for me. So I raked through the old releases for each version — Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu — and plucked out the wallpaper that came in each one.

(This is the part where I warn you that these are the original images, some of them PNGs that reach 1Mb or larger in size. I was going to convert them to JPGs to cut down on load times, but I think that might defeat the purpose. )

Warty Warthog, Ubuntu 4.10

In the early days, there was only Ubuntu — no K-, Edu- or X-versions.

Hoary Hedgehog, version 5.04

Hoary changed the images, but didn’t change the names of the files. So the files were identical, but the image was different. Here’s what I mean:

With Hoary, Kubuntu made its debut.

Since the original image was an SVGZ file (a compressed vector graphic), I converted it to a PNG for the purposes of thumbnailing. And since that’s a transparent image, the root desktop color is what formed the color of the full image — royal blue, if I remember right. I put an SVG of the image here, if you’re a purist and you want that instead.

Breezy Badger, version 5.10

Again, Ubuntu changed the image, but not the file name.

Kubuntu followed suit, with an identical file name but a new image.

Again, an SVG version is here.

Xubuntu debuted with version 5.10, but was only available as a metapackage, which means it’s not possible to glean the original wallpaper suite from an ISO. But as I remember it, the default wallpaper for 5.10 was the XFCE mouse-in-a-swirl image, which is still available in every Xubuntu installation. (I think; correct me if I’m wrong.)

Edubuntu also appeared with 5.10, with two wallpapers and matching widescreen versions. These are specific to Edubuntu:

The other two are identical, down to the md5sum, to the default Ubuntu wallpapers for 5.10.

Dapper Drake, version 6.06

Two new images appeared in the Ubuntu 6.06 release — Dawn of Ubuntu and Ubuntu Simple.

And of course, the default image — still called warty-final* — was updated. This is the “chocolate swirl” that most people remember.

Kubuntu relied on only one image for 6.06.

Xubuntu got its chance as an ISO in 6.06, and bundled a few extra wallpapers as options.

And Edubuntu went a different direction, offering these two images, the latter as a JPG.

Edgy Eft, version 6.10

In spite of the four-month rush to Edgy, the wallpaper images got a revamp. Some names were reassigned and the “chocolate” image got called that, along with an update.

The Dawn of Ubuntu image was held over to Edgy, but was a JPG this time.

Kubuntu updated its image as well.

Xubuntu added a new image, while keeping identical (yes, even to the md5sum) -steel and -luzi images.

Edubuntu refreshed one image, recasting it as “edubuntu_default.” The “_homies” image was identical to the previous release.

Feisty Fawn, version 7.04

For 7.04, Ubuntu revised only the “warty-final” image, and the “chocolate” image was allowed to remain the same.

Kubuntu, on the other hand, repeated the same image from 6.10 — and yes, I did check the md5sum.

Xubuntu did something similar, repeating the Edgy wallpaper as the default (but knocking the resolution down to 1024×768) while keeping the previous version and appending it with “-edgy.” Since the new version was a step down, I haven’t uploaded it here. The Edgy version is a higher resolution and the Feisty version was the same.

Edubuntu updated both of its images, taking on a more professional look for both. “homies” was still a JPG though.

Gutsy Gibbon, version 7.10

Probably my favorite for default Ubuntu backgrounds, Gutsy added “elephant-skin” (a JPG) while giving the standard “warty-final-ubuntu” image a very attractive makeover.

Kubuntu likewise gave a new image, and this one was also a huge improvement over the previous year (in my humble opinion, of course 😉 ).

Xubuntu continued to included past wallpapers, but marking them as belonging to previous versions. The -steel and -luzi images were also packaged in Gutsy. Xubuntu’s 7.10 image was rather whirlpool-esque.

And Edubuntu, to round out the entire history thus far, finally dropped the “homies” image and packaged only a default plus a widescreen (both PNGs this time).

And that’s about it. I haven’t included Hardy because Hardy isn’t done. Remember that there are more wallpaper packages available through the repositories, but I didn’t include them. So if Blubuntu wallpapers changed between 5.10 and 6.06, I don’t know anything about it.

For most of these I ripped the wallpaper out of the deb packages downloaded from the package search pages. If the packages weren’t there any longer (pre-Dapper, in other words), I used the ISOs on the outdated release pages to find the original wallpaper. Yes, it did take a while. 😯

If you want all the wallpaper I scavenged, plus the ones I didn’t upload because they were repeats, click here. You’ll also have the added bonus of losing the triple-digit number adds to the uploaded versions.

If I’ve made a mistake or missed any, please let me know. Enjoy!


9 thoughts on “An Ubuntu retrospective in wallpaper

  1. xabbott

    Awesome post, I really dig seeing changes like this. I hadn’t/haven’t used Ubuntu much but I never noticed the backgrounds were changing this much. I guess I just always saw “brown.”

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  3. eithansmith

    That was quite an interesting read, kudos to you for taking the time to find those images. I also agree with you that elephant-skin is the best looking wallpaper out of the bunch.

  4. Philip

    Nice post! Personally I preferred the original Warty Warthog wallpaper, I loved the washed out understated look, it was neither offensive, too in-your-face or too brown 😛

  5. Michael

    I had never even heard of Ubuntu until 2 months ago when I installed it. But even I found your page here incredibly interesting. I personally prefer the chocolate swirl and am using that on Hardy.

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  7. bugloaf

    Thank you for this post. I had only seen the hardy and intrepid wallpapers, and I was wondering what had come before. It seems that with hardy they have started incorporating the animal into the image. I look forward to future versions.


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