On computers, a wallpaper or background (also known as a desktop wallpaper, desktop background, desktop picture, or desktop image) is a digital image (photo, drawing, etc.) that serves as a decorative background for a graphical user interface on the screen of a computer, smartphone, or other electronic device. Wallpapers are often used on the desktop of a computer, but they also serve as the background for the home screen of a mobile phone. Despite the fact that most devices come with a default background image, current gadgets frequently allow users to alter it manually.
Before Windows XP, the word “wallpaper” was used in Microsoft Windows (where it was referred to as “desktop background”), but macOS refers to it as “desktop picture.” The phrase “desktop pattern” was used on earlier systems that permitted tiny repetitive patterns to be set as backdrop graphics.
The X Window System was one of the first to provide support for an arbitrary image as wallpaper via the xsetroot application, which could tile the screen with any solid color or any binary-image X BitMap file as early as the X10R3 release in 1985. In 1989, the free xgifroot program was launched, allowing any color GIF picture to be used as wallpaper, and the free xloadimage program was launched the same year, allowing a number of image formats (including color pictures in Sun Rasterfile format) to be shown as the desktop backdrop. Following that, a variety of applications, such as the xpmroot program (published in 1993 as part of fvwm) and the xv software, were published that extended wallpaper support for other image formats and other capabilities (released in 1994).
The original Macintosh operating system only allowed for the usage of 8-pixel binary-image tiled patterns; in 1987, System 5 introduced the ability to employ tiny color patterns. In 1997, Mac OS 8 became the first Macintosh operating system to provide built-in capability for utilizing random images as desktop pictures instead of little repetitive patterns.
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