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Displaying weather and system information on a GNOME Desktop with gDesklets.

gdeskletsgDesklets is a system for bringing mini programs (desklets), such as weather forecasts, news tickers, system information displays, or music player controls, onto your desktop, where they are sitting there in a symbiotic relationship of eye candy and usefulness.

The possibilities are really endless and they are always there to serve you whenever you need them, just one key-press away.

The system is not restricted to one desktop environment, but currently works on most of the modern Unix desktops (including GNOME, KDE, Xfce).

gDesklets is a GNOME program which provides the architecture for small applets (desktop widgets) to be placed on top of the user's desktop. It is comparable to other desktop widget programs. The applets placed on the desktop are meant to be quick ways for the user to retrieve information and not get in the way of normal activity.

The small programs that are run inside gDesklets are called desklets and are small Python applets loaded into the gDesklets daemon. There are many gDesklets available from the gDesklets home page. Some of them include:

    Clocks
    Calendars
    Docking
    Weather
    RSS feed aggregators
    Controls for other applications (such as XMMS and Pidgin)
    Animated toolbars
    Desktop notes
    System monitors

To install gDesklets, go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager:

After Synaptic has started, you can either browse all packages to find the gDesklets package, or you use the Search function:

After you've found the gDesklets package, click on it and select Mark for Installation:

The package gdesklets-data will be marked for installation as a dependency of the gdesklets package (gdesklets-data contains lots of pre-configured desktop widgets):

Click on Apply to start the installation:

Click on Apply again:

The two packages are downloaded and installed:

After the installation you can close the Synaptic Package Manager:

Now that gDesklets is installed, go to Applications > Accessories and click on gDesklets to start it:

If you start it for the first time, a message will pop up. Click on Close to make it go away:

Now browse the categories in the gDesklets window. You will find lots of widgets that you can install. I want to install the SideCandy CPU monitor, so I double-click it:

The SideCandy CPU widget will appear on the desktop, and you can move it to your desired location on the desktop with the mouse. Click with the mouse to lock it to your desired location:

We've just installed our first desktop widget. Of course, we can use more than one at the same time. For example, I also want to know the state of my RAM and SWAP, so I double-click the SideCandy RAM/SWAP desklet in the gDesklets window and place it below my CPU monitor:

To configure/move/remove a desklet, just right-click on it and select from the menu:

The SideCandy CPU widget will appear on the desktop, and you can move it to your desired location on the desktop with the mouse. Click with the mouse to lock it to your desired location:

We've just installed our first desktop widget. Of course, we can use more than one at the same time. For example, I also want to know the state of my RAM and SWAP, so I double-click the SideCandy RAM/SWAP desklet in the gDesklets window and place it below my CPU monitor:

To configure/move/remove a desklet, just right-click on it and select from the menu:

The GoodWeather configuration window pops up. In the Location Code field, paste the location code (e.g. GMXX0078 for Lüneburg):

Further down in the same window, you can specify what details (beside the temperature) the desklet should display (e.g. humidity, location (so that we know it displays the details for our area), update time, etc.):

After you've closed the configuration window, the GoodWeather desklet should display the correct details for your area:

5 Making Desklets Start Automatically After Reboots

Now there's a little problem: whenever we reboot our system or log out of the current session, our desklets are gone. Of course, we don't want to configure them again from the beginning each time we log in to our desktop.

To make our desklets start automatically after reboots, we go to System > Preferences > Sessions:

In the Sessions window that opens go to the Startup Programs tab and click on Add:

The Add Startup Program window opens. Type in gdesklets (all lowercase!) as Startup Command and click on OK:

That's it. Now whenever you log in to your desktop again, your desklets will start automatically.

 

source: HowtoForge

 

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About Hugo Repetto

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that offers an operating system predominantly focused on desktop computers but also provides support for servers. Based on Debian GNU / Linux, Ubuntu focuses on ease of use, freedom in usage restriction, regular releases (every 6 months) and ease of installation.
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