Why no photo wallpapers?

In the two threads about Haiku wallpapers it is written:

We are NOT looking for photographs of any kind, any submitted work should be an illustration of some kind.

Why no photo wallpapers? Windows has them. KDE has them.

I never used any wallpaper supplied with any OS, and probably never will.


That’s perfectly okay. Power users and hackers probably dig out a picture from the net or create their own one. But what about the many users who love to choose from the system’s pool of wallpapers? I know people who judge the OS by this pool. From a smart power user’s point of view that’s a bit silly. But it still is true.

You need picture with the copy right by haiku for it

Ah I see. But when you can assign copyright of a illustration to Haiku, then the same can be done with photographs.

Because there will be endless discussions which photos should be used for that and included with Haiku :wink:

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Agreed with @BlueSky. Some would like animals, some would be against it, etc etc. Even rocks can get people polarized.

But you do know that this a poor reason to exclude something many users would appreciate? So why provide a GUI at all because the look and feel is debated heatedly? That’s the same logic, you see?

Ok, let me think about alternatives.

  • Maybe offer a separate DVD with many wallpapers? (Just thinking through. I’m not sure myself if this is a good idea.)

  • Write little tool which grabs WPs from the three biggest web collections?

  • Edit: Collect suggestions and then everyone can vote for 5 (or let’s better say 8) pics. Just simple choice, no extra points or similar complicated stuff. And the 50 most popular will be included

would Haiku , accept, if I had really really really high quality professionally shot fall color photos from the north ?? where it’s amazing shades of leaves for miles ???

because I have some


Would SVG be the preferred format? How about PNG for fixed-resolution bitmaps?

Most of the ones on the repo are PNG and HUGE! If SVG is supported, I’d prefer it. It gives nice gradient shades without huge files and can be scaled to whatever resolution. Can that be handled?

Every one can create a hpkg with wallpapers and host them.

I like the haiku wallpaper, it is simple and enough. Wallpaper take space of the system image and i think we do not need to blow them up with wallpapers.


The problem with hosting photos is that it is endless. Everyone will want things that match their tastes their colour schemes etc. You would end up redistributing with a gigantic collection of pictures.
There are two major problems with that. The first is that you are responsible of verifying licenses when you redistribute things. The second is that sites that already provide pics, will see it as a competition. So, you would have to exclude material that has already been published on their sites. It’s nearly impossible to manage that with a small structure and if you add costs it’s a no go.

Downloading wallpapers by yourself also allows you to use more wallpapers. Everything that is for personal use only for example.

I think that redistributing wallpapers made for Haiku only is the best choice.


The PNGs are huge, since most (if not all) at at least at 5K resolution. These could prolly still be optimised later on, though.

Also, SVG can’t really be used for photos. Vector images in general are oriented more towards illustrations, whereas raster images are better for photos due to their higher complexity.

Eh, this happened already with the previous Call for Wallpapers to some some extent. Photos or illustrations, won’t really make much of a difference in this regard.

Yeah, true. And there indeed are wallpaper web collections. Everybody can put their photographs online, directly on their website or inside of a photo community.

Also vector graphics are not only smaller, but they can be resized without getting “pixeled”. We all know how fast screen resolutions increase where pixel graphics look poor.

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If people want photos, you can go through my Flickr account and take what looks good to you.


Orginally, we hoped people submitted their workfiles and we could crank out the resolutions that was decided were needed in the end. This makes most sense with vector graphics of course.
Having all rendered at 5k results in a 300 MiB package, which is a bit heavy for many (me among them).

IMO, packaging wallpapers is not ideal. Better would be a gallery where artists can submit their work in various resolutions and users rate and download exactly what they like.
A nice 3rd party opportunity as far as I am concerned. :slight_smile:


Right. One more reason to just ship Haiku with the classic blue background and leave further customization in the hopefully creative hands of the users.


“but even rocks can get people polarised” Sadly, too true in this day and age of super-sensitive adult children. But it’s kind of silly isn’t it, not doing something because it might offend someone somewhere.

I’m just being light hearted here, but by that argument we shouldn’t even give the OS a name, because I bet you a dollar that someone somewhere takes issue with using an apparently random Japanese word for the OS when the original version of the OS used the most important verb in the English language, “Be”. LOL

It’s surely more likely just down to the effort required for implementing low priority additions which would basically just increase server load and majorly increase package size. I’m sure that once Haiku moves to a “final release” it will include at least a few backgrounds.

But yes, I was very disappointed to find only the Haiku logo in the backgrounds folder and it makes for dull marketing and screenshots for sure considering that look and feel is the first thing that any prospective future use will notice.

  • As @humdinger said above 5k renders could increase the size markedly.

If size is an issue, how about having smaller 2k or 2k5 backgrounds with a simple opensource AI upscaler to 5/8k. 2k photos decently compressed are basically tiny.

Previous beta releases were small enough to fit on a CD. It’s still the case for nightly builds. There are few wallpapers packages available at HaikuDepot. It’s not like if there was nothing and one day or another you have to learn how is working that app.