Screenlets

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.

Installing Screenlets

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:

cd ~/Download
tar -xzvf screenlets-0.1.1.tar.gz
cd screenlets
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:

screenlets-manager

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.

Adding Screenlets

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

Displaying/Hiding

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:

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