Widgetize your Ubuntu desktop using Screenlets

If you are used to having widgets on your desktop (like in Windows Vista), you might want to install Screenlets. Screenlets are widget-like small applications which you can add to your desktop to help you solve basic desktop-work-related needs and generally improve the usability of your system and provide eye-candy.

using screenlets

Installation is pretty easy. Go to the Applications menu and click on Add/Remove. Then search for “screenlets” and when you find it, select it and click the Apply Changes button.


After installation is complete you can open the Screenlets by going to Applications -> Accessories -> Screenlets. Then you can add screenlets to your desktop. You can even download more screenlets; click the “Get more screenlets” button inside the Screenlets Manager. You can also Google for screenlets and download them. Note that Screenlets will open automatically at startup, so there’s no need to add it to the list of startup items.

screenlets manager

Installing downloaded screenlets.

After you have downloaded the screenlets (which will be archived into .tar.gz files, first extract them into folders. Just right-click on the files and click “Extract here”.

After that to go your Home folder (Places -> Home Folder). Then click on the View menu and tick “Show hidden files”. Now you will see that a lot of hidden folders have become visible. Look for a folder called “.screenlets”. Then copy call the extracted screenlet folders into the .screenlets folder.

Now go back to the Screenlet Manager. You will now see that the new screenlets are available in the list of screenlets.

You can download additional screenlets from here and here.

My favourite screenlet

Out of the ones I’ve tried so far, the one I like most is Terminal. (You can see how his screenlet looks like in the first screenshot in this post.) Since I use Terminal a lot it’s really easy to have this screenlet on the desktop as I can type in the commands straight away.


2 Responses to Widgetize your Ubuntu desktop using Screenlets

  1. Oneida Bengochia says:


  2. Kenny says:

    It’s hard to find educated people about this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

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