A new image from Unsplash everytime you lock the screen
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i3lock Delta

This prorgam downloads a new image from Unsplash. It checks whether the screen was locked every 5 minutes. In case of no Internet, it retries every 1 minute and displays the previous picture untill a new one is downloaded. The script allows to filter random images based on your choices.


  • jq - Needed for parsing JSON.
  • curl - Available in most software repositories. Also, most probably installed already.
  • Imagemagick - Specifically, the convert command.
  • i3lock-color - Available in AUR (For Arch users). Fork of i3lock with more features. Do not use i3lock since this program utilizes the features of i3lock-color.
  • bash - Most probably will be installed already.





Run the following commands

git clone https://github.com/Ceda-EI/i3lock-delta
cd i3lock-delta

Save your Unsplash applicationId in ~/i3lock-delta/api_key. You can get the applicationId from registering at Unsplash Developer.


  • Check that the applicationId in ~/i3lock-delta/api_key is correct.
  • Add ~/i3lock-delta/download_daemon & to your startup applications. Also, run ~/i3lock-delta/download_daemon & to avoid rebooting.
  • To lock the screen, run ~/i3lock-delta/lock. You can map this to your lock key combination.


The lock screen customization has been made easier using ~/.config/lock_preferences,api_key, config and box_config files.

  • If the random background should be selected from certain topics, enter the topics in ~/.config/lock_preferences with one topic per line i.e. each line should contain only one topic.
  • To insert your own Unsplash API Key, type/paste it in the ~/i3lock-delta/api_key file.
  • To change the ring color/size or date/time color/style/size/font uncomment (remove the # at start) the corresponding line in ~/i3lock-delta/config and set the value after the = sign.
  • To change the position of box drawn for the clock or the position of the text for photographer, edit ~/i3lock-delta/box_config.

Fonts Used