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What is feh?

feh is an X11 image viewer aimed mostly at console users. Unlike most other viewers, it does not have a fancy GUI, but simply displays images. It is controlled via commandline arguments and configurable key/mouse actions. Feh homepage


Add support for the Client-Side URL transfer library.
Enable extra debug codepaths, like asserts and extra output. If you want to get meaningful backtraces, see
Add support for reading EXIF headers from JPEG and TIFF images.
Add support for the xinerama X11 extension, which is mandator if you work in a multiple monitor setup.

Installing feh

After adding your USE flags (or not) to /etc/portage/package.use/feh, you can emerge feh:

root # emerge feh

Using feh

Set desktop background

Command line switches and examples

feh provides several different geometries to set your desktop background:

  • --bg-center: Center the image file on the background. If the image file is smaller in resolution than the screen resolution, it will have black borders around it.
user $ feh --bg-center ~/Pictures/Wallpaper/MyFavoriteWallpaper.png
  • --bg-scale: Fit the image to the background without repeating it, cutting parts of the image off, or using black borders. Because of these changes, the aspect ratio is not preserved.
  • --bg-fill: Similar to --bg-scale except that it tries to fill the image to the screen while maintaining its aspect ratio. This may result in parts of the image being cut off.
  • --bg-max: Similar to --bg-fill, except that scales the image to the maximum size that fits the screen. This leads to black borders on one side.
  • --bg-tile: Tile the image across the screen.
  • --random <name of directory to choose random image from>: Allow feh to choose a random wallpaper from a directory of pictures.
user $ feh --bg-<your background geometry preference> --random ~/Pictures/Wallpapers/*
  • --no-fehbg: If you do not intend to use the ~/.fehbg file, you can disable it using this switch.
user $ feh --no-fehbg --bg-<background geometry preference> ~/Pictures/Wallpapers/MySecondFavoriteWallpaper.jpg

The ~/Pictures/Wallpapers/ directory is not where you have to store your desktop wallpapers. It is just an example.

Source fehbg to set your wallpaper in Openbox

After you have run feh one time, the directory of the image file is stored in ~/.fehbg. This file can be sourced in your .config/openbox/autostart to load the picture instead of typing out feh --bg-scale /picture/location.jpg:

~/.fehbg &