Screenlets, the desktop widget framework for Linux

Screenlets, the desktop widget framework for Linux, was once the apple of eye-candy fans everywhere. Sadly over the last few years a lack of development and direction has lead to the project falling out of favour with users.

But thanks to the work of a reinvigorated Screenlets Development Team new life has been breathed into the stagnant project, resulting in some fantastic new screenlets and changes for us to enjoy on our desktops.

So, in honour of screenlets getting a bit of go again here are five widgets and/or themes I think are pretty neat.


The default Gmail widget shipped with Screenlets is horribly dated and horrendously large. That’s why I’ve swapped it out for this smaller more sophisticated version created by ~luisperu9.

gmail screenlet


Android clock theme

Clocks, clocks, clocks. We seemingly always need to be aware of the time and, for a lot of us, the default clock applet sat within our desktop panel isn’t good enough!

Screenlets ships with a clock widget by default and it comes with a multitude of themes. Most, like the stock Gmail theme mentioned above, suffer from looking  dated or poorly designed.

If you’re an Android fan – or just like the look of this ‘stock android clock skin’ – add it to your clock’s ‘themery’ and make reading the time less offensive on the eyes.

android screenlet theme


Furious Moon

I’ll confess: this Moon phase screenlet isn’t exactly ‘new’ but it does look pretty swish when placed on the right kind of wallpaper (i.e. one with sky in).

moon screenlet ubuntu

Better still it is now included by default in the newly updated Screenlets package – so it’s painless to give it a try.

Wide Weather

Another ‘default’ choice now: meet WideWeather Screenlet. Yeah – it doesn’t look glossy or fancy and nor does it spin, speak or run a set command when it starts raining. But what it does do is tell you the weather without looking garish.

Launch it from the screenlets manager.

Circle Theme for Impulse Screenlet

The author of this theme calls it ‘one of the most amazing pieces of eye candy’. And, to give credit, it is very neat and very bling-y.

The theme works with the ‘Impulse ‘PulseAudio’ Visualisation Screenlet’ (Download here) and adds a cool circular, spinning and audio-reactive visualizer to your desktop.


Installing Screenlets

The best, and recommended, way of installing the ‘updated’ version of Screenlets is to add the official development PPA. This may contain bugs but it will also contain fixes, features and new screenlets sooner than anywhere else.

To add open a Terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and enter the following two lines separately, entering your user password when prompted.: -

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:screenlets-dev/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install screenlets python-rsvg

Launch the ‘Screenlets Manager’ from ‘Applications > Accessories > Screenlets Manager’

Related posts:
  1. ‘Flip style’ theme for Screenlets clock widget
  2. Android Clock screenlet theme
  3. Android Clock Screenlet Theme

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