From Desklets to Screenlets
I tried to install gDesklets, but I had trouble with them. I found a post that explained how to do it in Ubuntu. And, I found a package in the Fedora repository for yum. But, I had the following problems:
- I never could get the good weather applet to work.
- I couldn’t get the shortcut key to work for bringing them to the front.
- The icon displayed by the clock, but it didn’t seem to do anything when I clicked on it (either left or right click)
So, I decided to try screenlets instead. Maybe I am a little impatient, but I had had trouble with them in Ubuntu too. I thought a change of scenery might me nice.
To save you a few steps, you might want to run the following command right now. That will save you from the errors I got as I went through:
yum install python-devel gnome-python2-gnomekeyring
I found the installation instructions on the FAQ. I found the latest download on the main page at launch pad. I downloaded it to my Download directory and ran the following in a terminal:
tar -xzvf screenlets-0.1.1.tar.gz
sudo python setup.py install
I did get the following error:
error: invalid Python installation: unable to open /usr/lib/python2.5/config/Makefile (No such file or directory)
That was easily fixed by using yum to install python-devel (see this post).
At this point, screenlets was installed, but the next step was to configure it. I ran:
That command gave me this error message:
ImportError: No module named gnomekeyring
This was easily fixed by using yum to install gnome-python2-gnomekeyring (see this post).
After fixing that, the Screenlets Manager opened, and that was all that I had to do. I rebooted at that point, not that I had to, but I wanted to for another reason. Amazingly enough, the screenlets was already running by the clock. I didn’t need to do anything to get it to auto start.
I chose to add the following screenlets:
- Battery: Displays the battery status of my laptop
- GMail: I added my email address, and it displays how many messages I have unread
- Weather: I added my zip code, and it shows the weather for my area
- SysMonitor: Displayed info about my computer
- DigiClock: A simple digital clock
When I first added the screenlets, they were on the top all of the time. But, I found that I could hide them by making them a widget and removing the Keep Above option:
right click > Window > Widget (checked)
right click > Window > Keep above (unchecked)
Then, I had to configure Compiz. I opened the CompizConfig Settings Manager, and found Widget Layer under Desktop. I checked this option, and then looked at the settings. F9 was the shortcut key, and I added the bottom right corner as another option.
Installing More Screenlets
- Download the screenlet you wish to install (you don’t need to unzip it)
- Open the Screenlets Manager
- Click the Install option on the left panel
- Choose “Install Screenlet”
- Browse to the location where you saved the screenlet
- Find the new Screenlet in the list and start it
Here are the additional Screenlets I downloaded: