Teahouse Fox – Home Again
October 26, 2014
Teahouse Fox was an iGoogle theme that showed us the idyllic life of a Fox. He fed ducks, ate lunch, and he lit paper lamps at night. His simple joy, nestled in the background of a news feed, made my days a little brighter.
But then, in 2013, iGoogle was discontinued and the Teahouse Fox no longer had a home.
I imagine he has since been wandering the wastelands of the internet, seeking shelter and a return to his rustic peace, somehow maintaining his serene countenance despite the horrors he faced out in those wild dark places.
Homeless and wandering, until now.
Today his home has been reclaimed and reconstructed, painstakingly transported (grassblade by grassblade) onto my laptop’s wallpaper, thanks to the magic of bash, GNOME, and cron.
If you’d like to give the Teahouse Fox a home on your *nix machine too, you can get this simple script from my Git-Hub Repository. Feel free to fork, send a pull request with improvements, or simply clone it and use it on your own machine.
If you have any trouble making this script work, feel free to post here and I’ll see if I can help.
Update 2017/08/06 – Made to work with XFCE as well. Stubs in place for handful of other DWM. Pull requests welcome!
Quick question – how come you use that readlink expression instead of pwd when setting $current_directory in background-fox.sh? Does pwd not reliably yield the right directory when run in a shell script?
To get the absolute path instead of a path that might include symlink directories.
mkdir -p a/b/c/d
ln -s a/b/c/d
echo '#!/usr/bin/bash\npwd\nreadlink -f $(dirname $0)' > a/b/c/d/test.sh
chmod +x a/b/c/d/test.sh
The first gives the same result:
But the second gives a different result:
(To clean up after testing just run)
rm -rf a
pwd -P seems to resolve symlinks correctly, though. To be fair, I don’t know when the -P flag was added, so that may present a compatibility issue.
Thanks for answering so thoroughly!
pwd -P might be a good replacement! Thanks. I’m going to do a little more research and testing to be sure, but that’s very useful either way.
How very much I miss my tea house fox with the Diamond day song! I had most horrible year last year with three close family deaths between Sept and Dec. I am a school counselor and coming back to work was so difficult. I had the tea house fox on my background of my email and when I found the one that reviewed the day with music, I was able to imagine myself there living a simple life like the fox and I played it over and over again to reinforce more positive thoughts. It contributed greatly to bringing my mind to a more positive place. My computer crashed and died during the summer she said she would fix it an return it to me. However, when our tech person could not repair it, she dumped my life’s work that was on that computer along with my tea house fox! S and I have a new computer now but it is pretty blank. I really don’t know or understand all the computer terms. Could you send me the simplified format please.
Hi Toni, glad to hear you love that little fox as much as I do!
The method I outline in this post is for linux. I’m guessing you’re running windows? If so, you might want to try this tool: https://futuresight.org/products/wallpaperchanger. It’ll let you schedule the wallpaper changes.
You can download the images here: https://github.com/JoshuaD84/teahouse-fox-background/tree/master/imgs. They are named by the time they should be shown.
I hope that helps!
Thanks so much for doing this! I just found this link through Reddit. I love the little fox like so many. I’m going to try this out on my pc and mac. Thanks again!
Do you know of a simple way to get the little fox on a Mac? I have absolutely no experience in coding! Thanks!
That might help. If you set the interval to every 2 hours and get rid of the one that display at 3:14am you might be able to do it. 🙂
Worked like a dream. Thanks!
Awesome! Enjoy. 😀
Hi could you give me an explanation on how to do this on a mac OS High Sierra
I have been missing my little fox friend. Thanks for giving him a home on people’s desktops! Pretty brilliant. I’ll be trying this out on my computer asap!
I’ve been struggling to pull something together to have my Teahouse Fox again. Google mail just stopped completely letting me change – for awhile I was able to keep restarting and it would switch pictures, but no more. So glad I’ve found this! Would love it if you could put together the ones where the house was on the right side – those are so cute also. It would feel complete. I’m another one — this cute, serene little guy just helps me get thru the day sometimes. Thank you, Josh!
🙂 I’m glad you like it. I haven’t seen those images available online, but if I can find them I’ll add them to the repository and let you know here!
OMG I’ve missed my fox and his friends so much! Thanks for doing this and I will give your PC directions a try. I never even knew there was a song and I’m glad people talked about the history here. 🙂
Hi Joshua. I am very glad you and everyone here has such a love for the teahouse fox. I remember the first time I discovered him was back sometime in early 2012 when I was 14 or so. He had a profound effect on me that was difficult to describe. It was almost visceral, like a steady flow of endorphins every time I looked to see what he was up to. I remember waiting on the igoogle feed for seemingly an eternity eager to see what he was going to do next. The art style used makes it all even better. Whoever thought something this simple and minor could be so powerful?
So, I’ve recently been trying meditation for about a year or so now you see. Not very good at it. I remembered this fox from way back in the day and have been on this page before (even have tried to get that wallpaper changer to work, but for some reason, even now it doesn’t want to cooperate). Recently got the idea to use the teahouse fox as a sort of meditation method. Thought it would be appropriate. I’ve also taken to playing this song whenever I do so: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjHGZj2IjBk&t=2060s
I was wondering if you could help me figure out what I was doing wrong with the wallpaper changer? I’m using windows and unfortunately also do not understand a lick of coding. I’m starting to wonder if I should just uninstall it and try a different program because I have it set on daily with all of the images at two-hour marks and everything. Maybe the secret ghost image is interfering with things? Not quite sure.
Anywho, thank you so much for everything that you’ve done. It’s a shame we haven’t seen him since his igoogle days. I saw what you wrote in the note on the image page about how the artists should breathe new life, maybe even create certain rare images that appear at random and I couldn’t agree more. I think the Teahouse fox would also be absolutely perfect for something like those lofi streams that are on youtube.
PS. If I sound like a creep I apologize. Not quite sure how to express something that makes me this gushy otherwise. Thanks again.
I can’t believe I found someone who feels the same! I was about the same age as you when I discovered it and have similar feelings towards it! It felt like ‘the guts of the internet’ for me. Magical, mysterious, full of surprises, cuteness and darker sides. Not sure how to describe it. How did you get the frames to fit your screen? I know nothing about coding. can anyone please help?
Thanks a lot!
Thank you for all you have posted about the adorable Teahouse Fox. I love him so much. I was so happy to see some recent replies on here, even one during the quarantine.
For months my fox had been frozen watering his plants in the planter but suddenly this morning he was in a new position that I have never seen before, very far forward in the foreground, looking at his flowers maybe. It was so exciting to see that he’s active again!
What a gift during this strange time! He’s a wonderful little companion. He reminds me of Animal Crossing and some Japanese movies like Torturo.
Thank you again for all this!!
So happy I found this website!