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Geektool Setup



This has been posted in the following categories

Mac, Web

What you’ll need

  • A Mac (PC owners can get Rainmeter or Samurise)
  • Geektool
  • Lynx (for doing the weather)

One I Made Earlier

Once you have Geektool and Lynx set up, you’ll need to add a few different lines to get something like the setup below:

Gektool Setup 1

The Interface

Geektool Setup 2

First, open Geektool in System Preferences (it will be in the Other group). To make the big clock, click:

  • New Entry
  • Select “Shell”
  • Type date "+%H:%M" in the box
  • Change “Refresh” to “60″ so it updates every minute
  • Select “Colours and Fonts”
  • Click in the “Font” box to change the font to something really big
  • On your desktop, the object will be a light blue box – drag the bottom right corner to resize
  • Click “Text” to change the colour and opacity of the text

To add the day (e.g. Saturday) add a new “Shell” entry with the command date "+%A". To add the date, add a new shell entry with the command date "+%d %B %Y" .

To see more date options have a look at Unix Date Command for the various parameters

Tricky Bits

Geektool can be a bit fussy – here’s some issues I’ve found with it.

  1. Nothing is showing! – Make sure “Enable Geektool” is selected on the preferences pane, and that “Hide output” is NOT selected under “Command”
  2. Fonts and colours won’t change – Each time you want to change an item’s font or colour, you have to be sure to click “Colors and Font” and then “Text” to bring up the specific colour selector for that object
  3. Reopening Geektool resets a load of stuff – this is just a pain in the arse.

The weather

This is why you need Lynx installed as well – it outputs the weather from an external site into Lynx and then to Geektool.

  • For the forecast add the following Shell Command code lynx -dump http://printer.wunderground.com/auto/printer/global/stations/03969.html|awk '/Cond/ && !/Fore/ {for (i=2; i<=10; i++) printf $i " " }'
  • For the temperature add the following Shell Command code lynx -dump http://printer.wunderground.com/auto/printer/global/stations/03969.html|awk '/Temp/{printf $2, ": "; for (i=3; i<=3; i++) printf $i " " }'

This gives you the weather forecast for Dublin - if you want it for your own city:

  1. Go to The Weather Underground
  2. Search and find your town or city
  3. It will appear on the left of the page as a link under "Recent Cities"
  4. Click on this link - it will bring you to a page with a URL that ends in a number (e.g. 03955.html is Cork)
  5. Replace 03969 in the two examples above with the code for your city
  6. Style as you wish

Adding Images

You can also link to images with Geektool - for example to get today's weather as an image:

  1. Make a new Geektool entry and select "Picture"
  2. In source, paste in the following image URL - http://www.met.ie/weathermaps/nat00_weather.png
  3. This will pull the latest weather image from the homepage of Met Eireann and place it on your desktop
  4. Note this only works with static URLS
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20  responses to “Geektool Setup” '

  1. Geektool is seriously awesome. http://is.gd/iP2v

  2. Geektool is seriously awesome. http://is.gd/iP2v (via @kennethlove)

  3. Awesome! Thanks

  4. What font did you use for the big time display?

  5. It’s Helvetica

  6. Hey, what is the other font you used. I haven’t been able to find it anywhere…

  7. The time text is Helvetica Bold and the other text is Helvetica Ultra Light.

  8. I’m curious as to why you used lynx instead of the built-in curl?

  9. Because that’s what would work! I didn’t see Curl mentioned anywhere to be honest.

  10. For posterity’s sake, here’s the code for my weather:

    curl –silent “http://xml.weather.yahoo.com/forecastrss?p=USWI0455&u=f” | grep -E ‘(Current Conditions:|F<BR)’ | sed -e ’s/Current Conditions://’ -e ’s///’ -e ’s///’ -e ’s///’ -e ’s///’ -e ’s///’ -e ’s///’

    I’m probably going to do a write up on my GeekTool setup. I’ll share it with you once its done.

  11. that would be really interesting, thank you. Have you done any other neat hacks? I tried to get the iTunes dispaly working using applescript but it didn’t work very well for me

  12. Here’s a screen grab of my GeekTool setup. I’ll drop you an email with the scripts.


  13. thanks for the email, looking forward to playing around with it!

  14. [...] So I throw the date in GeekTool. (Instructions and inspiration here.) [...]

  15. I’m new to GeekTool — I’ve had it downloaded for a day or so and just love what it does — so I hope you don’t mind if I ask some questions…

    Once you download the Lynx browser, is that it? Do I have to do anything with Lynx to let GeekTool recognize Lynx? Or do I just download Lynx, let it sit as just an installed program on my system, and then start using the “Lynx -dump” scripts in GeekTool and all is well?

    Also, there are a couple of versions of Lynx on the Lynx site: Do I download the 2MB file (Rev 13) or the 3 MB file (Rev 6)?


  16. I used version 2.8.7d6 but I don’t know if that makes a difference. Once you install it then Geektool should pick it up, you don’t have to do anything special with it.

    Hope that helps JeffreyK

  17. Hello folks, I’m new to Geektool and I’m trying some shell codes. About weather, I’m using yahoo feature at the moment.
    Any idea how adding yahoo weather images using geektool shell code and/or images?
    (Nice template btw)


  18. Hey Armando, if you’re handy enough with PHP you could have a look at doing this – http://iamawesome.net/2009/04/my-geektool-setup/
    You could also look at pulling in a weather image by referencing an image from a weather site

  19. I solved with curl call saving locally the weather.png (yahoo weather). I changed something because it didn’t write on /tmp folder (maybe a SL issue). Using a home subdir works perfectly fine ;) thank you

  20. [...] diverse letture, alcuni spunti, consigli e tentativi falliti (qualcosa su Snow Leopard rendeva alcuni shell code  non funzionanti così come in PHP e in Perl) [...]

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