The reason you need to install a karaoke captioning library if you want to change your desktop wallpaper

2020/02/18

It’s because things get bundled together. The effect of this compounds over multiple layers of dependencies, so you end up with some weird indirect dependencies like this. Obviously this isn’t true of all setups. This article is about GNOME on Debian.

You can actually install gnome-session and get a lot done with only that. But it won’t automatically pull in the official GUI for choosing a wallpaper. That’s part of the overarching “Settings” app, in the gnome-control-center package. Here’s that wallpaper chooser in the “Background” panel.

Also built into gnome-control-center is the users manager. You have to go down to “Details.”

And then there’s this not especially discoverable feature there. You can click the big icon in there too choose a picture for the user.

Among some stock pictures, there’s an option to take a picture with the webcam.

This being GNOME, they implemented that webcam picture widget with their Cheese library. Showing a webcam is arguably a media related thing, so Cheese pulls in GStreamer, along with some plugins. In particular, they use a plugin called camerabin.

GStreamer publishes this camerabin plugin as part of a GStreamer Bad Plug-ins suite, with “bad” unspecifically meaning that these plugins “aren’t up to par compared to the rest.” Debian ships that suite as a single gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad package as well.

Also within that suite is a plugin for a captioning format called kate. Its website notes that kate was “originally designed for karaoke and text.” So in order for the kate plugin to work, Debian’s gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad package depends on libkate1.

That’s the reason you need to install a karaoke captioning library if you want to change your desktop wallpaper.

My last post was about either vmstat(8) swap unit or How to keep your balance when wearing earplugs. Find out which.