Live/Video Wallpapers for OS X

Did you know that you can use any screensaver as a animated live wallpaper on OS X? This is how you do it.

  1. Open a new terminal window
  2. Type the following command and press enter:
    /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/ -background

Once you type crtl-c or close the terminal window the screensaver stops playing.

In order to have a bit more comfortable access to this command I’ve added the following aliases to my .bash_profile file. (.bash_profile can be used to store terminal settings, aliases and custom functions. It is located in your user directory, e.g. /Users/theowinter/.bash_profile and loaded whenever you open a new terminal window.)

Cool “Live Wallpaper” screensavers

  • My favourite live wallpaper is the “Apple TV Aerial” screensaver. It consists of beautiful 1080p video flyovers of cities like New York and London.
  • Another cool screensaver is “SaveHollywood”. You can specify a folder and it will play the videos in there.

There’s probably a ton of other screensavers that might be cool as animated desktop background. So let me know if you find some!

About Theo Winter

Hi I'm Theo. A swiss coder, traveller and photography hobbyist. I've studied Computer Science at HSR and am now working on cool projects for @Zuehlke Engineering.