Need a Linux solution for looped slideshow from pictures in some folder. Pictures may be deleted and added, so it's a bonus if it doesn't stop/crash if currently shown picture is deleted.


This is going to sound crazy, but it works (better than I expected even) and is not that hard to setup. The idea is to make your viewing program look at a single file and then have a command line process that copies each of your files in your directory to that file you view. I tested this with Geeqie and gthumb and it actually works pretty well. gthumb even can handle the image being updated every second and both supported the name of the file type being different from the actual file type (jpg, png, gif, etc).

So here is what you do:

  1. Make a directory with only your pictures in them.
  2. open a terminal window and change to the directory made in the previous step.
  3. Run this command, substituting 5 with however many seconds you want to wait in between updates.

    while true ; do for i in * ; do cp "$i" ~/slideshow.jpg ; echo $i ; sleep 5 ; done ; done
  4. Open gthumb and view the image in your home directory called slideshow.jpg, it should rotate the picture. You can make gthumb full screen now if you need to.

  5. Try adding and removing pictures from the picture directory. It won't actually update until its finished going through the whole directory each time, but it will update. The echo $i is in there just so you can see what picture it just copied into place each time.

When you are ready to stop the slideshow, you can press Ctrl-C in the terminal window.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Brilliant. It takes a genius to understand the simplicity. – iElectric Nov 20 '10 at 13:24

If you use Gnome desktop, then you can use its official image viewer program for slide shows:

eog --slide-show /path/to/picture_directory

With Eog pictures can be removed or added during the slide show. Actually, if you add picture during the slide show, it will be automatically included.

| improve this answer | |
  • Sounds like an out of the box solution to me. – deltaray Nov 29 '10 at 20:41
  • 1
    Using this on my Raspberry Pi, I was not able to add or remove files without restarting the slideshow. Not a criticism, just FYI. – Butters Mar 25 '14 at 16:21
  • 1
    You clearly deserve a medal – Pitto Dec 1 '17 at 12:22
  • 1
    On Ubuntu 16.04 using XFCE desktop, this worked but, while most UI elements were polished (fade-in and out, etc), an unwelcome menu bar was visible at the top at all times, even in full-screen slideshow mode. This will not be acceptable for every use. – Stéphane Gourichon May 6 '18 at 6:51
  • I second Butters, this did not work on Raspbian. The added pictures never show up, and removed pictures generate errors from EOG. Perhaps this is due to the fact I'm reading from a rclone'd folder (from Google drive), but either way it does not work in some circumstances. – Mister Mystère Oct 21 at 17:45

From http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Raspberry-Pi-Based-ScreensaverSlideshow-for-E/

using feh

feh -Y -x -q -D 5 -B black -F -Z -z -r /media/

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    You also need to add the option -R seconds so that the file list is refreshed periodically. – famzah Dec 28 '18 at 21:15
  • You might also want to add --auto-rotate to rotate images correctly based on EXIF data. – Heinrich Ulbricht Oct 9 '19 at 10:40

Impressive does the job well, with (or without if you wish) transitions.

Slideshow in random (-X) order with 3 seconds delay (-a 3) and autoquit at the end (-Q) :

impressive -XQa3 *

It's worth noticing that it allows scripting, and is multiplatform.

The only drawback is that it currently crashes if there is a directory in the list of files.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    awesome application! perfect for what I want to do! – warhansen Jun 19 '19 at 8:58
  • If only it allowed to auto-rotate images based on EXIF data. Did not find any option to do this. :( – Heinrich Ulbricht Oct 9 '19 at 10:48

I found fbi (frame buffer image viewer) quite useful- Simple command, something like :

fbi -noverbose -a -u -t 6 /home/user/location/*

More options available withfbi --help and can be installed, depending on distro with apt-get install fbi

| improve this answer | |
  • Works great from tty command line. – Bobble Oct 19 '16 at 11:23
  • 1
    This doesn't work when run from yakuake: ioctl VT_GETSTATE: Inappropriate ioctl for device (not a linux console?) – Mitch May 19 '17 at 12:17
  • You'll probably have to specify a particular tty, using -T 2 for example to select tty2. You'll probably have to muck around with permissions after that. – Josh Hansen Apr 5 '18 at 18:27
  • Does not work from command line on current Raspbian with screen attached :( Also seems to be lacking EXIF-based auto-rotate feature (I read). – Heinrich Ulbricht Oct 20 '19 at 21:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.