To instantly view all the images in a particular folder as a slideshow, just type eog -f *.jpg. This uses the Eye of GNOME default image viewer built-into Ubuntu (eog) and the -f command option switches it to fullscreen mode. To move through images, use the left/right cursor keys or hit [Space]. To quit the slideshow, hit [Esc] and then quit Eye of GNOME.
Unfortunately, at the command-line it isn't possible to specify how long each slide is shown for but this can be done when the slideshow is up and running by hitting [Esc], to leave full-screen mode, and then clicking Edit ^ Preferences, clicking the Slideshow tab, and changing the Switch image after value.
The command above assumes the images concerned are JPEG images. If you specify a wildcard to indicate any file (eog -f *) Eye of GNOME will be confused by non-image files and throw-up an error. You can get around this by using brace expansion to specify all potential image formats, as follows:
... but this can be hard to remember and annoying to type. You might consider turning the command into an alias—see Tip 259, on page 299— but perhaps a better solution is to use Synaptic to install mirage. This is an alternative image viewer that's almost identical to Eye of GNOME, but lacks the problems mentioned above. To use it to create an instant slideshow in any folder (even one that contains files that are not images), just type mirage -f -s *.
To create an HTML slideshow of images, see Tip 126, on page 171.
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