gDesklets – widgets for linux

Okay this time i want to share how to install, setup and use gDesklets for linux. More specifically as i always do using Ubuntu Linux. Its a small easy guide and there isn’t a lot too it, so lets get started:


First we, of course, need to get gDesklets installed. Right now i am writing from Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Herd 5, and gDesklets was already installed. But should you be using an earlier version of Ubuntu just open up a terminal (applications -> accessories -> terminal) and type in the following command:

sudo apt-get install gdesklets

It should prompt for your admin password, and after you enter it gDesklets will install. Expected more ? Well thats it 😉


There is not alot to configure. We want gDesklets to startup everytime with gnome. So under System -> Preferences -> Session we will find a way to make gDesklets startup automatically. Under ‘Startup Programs’ we click ‘new’ and both under name, and command enter ‘gdesklets’.
Now gDesklets will start automatically with you gnome. Since we are not a big fan of restarting just to see what we just installed we want to boot up the gDesklets deamon right away. Open up the terminal again and type:

gdesklets &

Now the gdesklets icon should pop up in your system tray in the upper right hand corner.

desklets tray icon

Now you can right-click the icon and either select manage desklets or configuration. There is not a big deal to configure, so we are going to jump straight to ‘manage desklets’.

Managing desklets

In the manage desklets dialog you can select various desklets to add to your desktop. Each desklet can be individually configured by right clicking it. Just to get you started we will add one of my favorite desklets, a simple countdown timer.

gDesklets main windows

Under the category ‘Misc/Utilities’ you will find ‘Countdown2’. simply double-click it, and move your cursor to the desktop. You will see the desklet following your cursor, and you can click again to drop it.

Now you have your first desklet running, and it will start automatically upon next reboot.

Finally a note about my own personal experience with desklets. They are awesome 😉 But not without grief. Some desklets wont work, some will only work with limited functionality ect. But even with the most basic desklets working they are still nice to have lying around. I especially use my countdown a lot for knowing how long too upcoming deadlines.

Enjoy the world of linux with desklets 😀

Episodic content ? ;)

Okay i give up for now on the video making. Takes an entire day to make one or two videos, and for the most part the linux videos i feel personally doesnt explain stuff as well as some of the numerous great articles on the topic.

Also the linux distros are changing alot these days it seems so i feel its not worth the effort in making videos, and i simply dont have the time.

Instead the articles section will be populated by various tips, tricks, hints and other goodies i find interesting. If anybody has any suggestions to content, or mini-articles on how they fixed a given problem give me a shout. I will gladly post it here, so that others might have benefit from your experience 😀