Back in February I wrote about using xli to add a desktop background of your choice to a minimalist window manager. I chose to write about xli for two reasons. First, several window manager developers choose to use xli by default. For example, if you look at a .jwmrc file, the configuration file used by JWM, a lightweight window manager I am rather fond of, you will see that xli is used in the <Startup Command> section. The second and perhaps more important reason I chose to write about xli is because it’s what I knew and used for years. One thing about Linux and UNIX: there are always different ways to do things. It turns out that many distros include something a bit newer and perhaps better than xli.
Esetroot can also be used to change the contents of the root window in X. The root window is your desktop background. The advantage of Esetroot over xli is that it supports transparency in applications. This is a low resource piece of eye candy that I particularly like in terminal emulators like mrxvt, aterm, and xfce Terminal. I like seeing my background, albeit shaded, perhaps in a color of my choice, in the background of my terminal window. pypanel, a small panel or toolbar application for minimalist window managers written in Python, also supports transparency nicely.