There are a number of different Facebook feeds you can display on the desktop with GeekTool. It's pretty complicated so here are some instructions:

1) Get your Facebook feed address

In Facebook, go to your notifications (Click "See all notifications") and find the "Subscribe to Notifications" section on the right. Right-click on the link, choose "Copy Link" then paste it into TextEdit (or some other text editor). You will see the link has the following format:


Where it says notifications.php you can replace it with one of the following:

  • notifications.php - Your notifications
  • status.php - Your own status updates
  • friends_status.php - Your friend's status updates
  • notes.php - Your own notes 
  • friends_notes.php - Your friend's notes 
  • sharefriendsposts.php - Your friend's links 

Some people report problems with some of these feeds. It could be something to do with privacy settings, I'm not sure. An alternative is to use a Facebook app called RSS News Feed Reader. It only produces a feed address for your news feed though and not any of the other feeds.

2) Create an Automator workflow

Open up Automator (located in the Applications folder). There are three actions you need to find in the Library on the left and drag over to the workflow area on the right.

They are:

  • Get Specified URLs 
  • Get Text From Articles 
  • New Text File 

You need to drag these across in the right order. In the first one, double-click the address and change it to your chosen Facebook feed address. In the last one, change the file name to "FriendStatus.txt" and have it save somewhere like your Documents folder.

Click Run in Automator and check that everything works fine. If so, go to your Documents folder and see if FriendStatus.txt has been created and filled with your friend's statuses. If everything is working fine, in Automator choose Save As, change the File Format to Application and save the workflow in your documents folder with a name like "SaveFacebookFriendStatus".

3) OPTIONAL: Make your workflow run in background

This automator workflow will need to be run fairly regularly, depending on how often you want your feed to update. At the moment, every time it runs an icon will appear in the Dock for a while before disappearing again. To stop this, find SaveFacebookFriendStatus in your Documents folder, right-click on it and choose "Show Package Contents". Inside the Contents folder, find Info.plist and open it with TextEdit. Find the line with LSUIElement. On the line after it, change <false/> to <true/>. Save the file and then double-click SaveFacebookFriendStatus to check if the Dock icon still appears.

4) Set up the GeekTool Geeklet

Below are the GeekTool Geeklet files you need. The Refresh one doesn't display anything, it just runs the SaveFacebookFriendStatus script every 900 seconds. You can change the refresh rate to whatever you prefer in the GeekTool inspector.

The normalfeed one just displays the contents of the FriendStatus.txt file. There are a few things I didn't like about it, so the formattedfeed one makes it look a bit better. You might find that the formatted one doesn't work properly straight away and you need to fiddle with it a bit. For example, it strips out the +0000 time zone, but you will need to adjust that to your own time zone.

The commands are as follows:

Refresh: open ~/Documents/SaveFacebookFriendStatus.app

NormalFeed: head -n 300 ~/Documents/FriendStatus.txt

FormattedFeed: head -n 300 ~/Documents/FriendStatus.txt | tr '[\n]' '~' | sed 's/~~/ /g' | sed 's/~//g' | sed 's/+0000//g'


Geeklet files to download


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limabean3294 3513 days ago
thanks for the script. I love it. I'm really in no way familiar with scripting though, and was hoping someone could help me with some formatting. The output of the facebook Notification RSS is full of duplicates, because one is supposed to act as the title for each feed item:

XXX YYY commented on your wall post. -2010-03-05 23:55:53

XXX YYY commented on your wall post.

AAA BBB commented on your wall post. - 2010-03-05 17:44:59

AAA BBB commented on your wall post.

I was wondering if there's a way to remove the second line (in addition to the time zone stamp, which the provided script already does)
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Geobunny 3497 days ago
I'm gutted. This doesn't work any more for the friends_status.php feed page. Any hints to get it working again? The message I'm getting implies that Facebook have removed the feed entirely :

"This feed URL is no longer valid. Visit this page to find the new URL, if you have access, http://www.facebook.com/statusupdates/"
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Tucker4566 2948 days ago
Have to use the RSS App now. its kind of a pain but it works for me.
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Carasina 3355 days ago
The "Refresh" window doesn't try to open the workflow ever 30sec or 900sec or whatever its set to. Instead it tries to constantly open the program over and over never letting it actually run. Anyone know how to fix this issue?
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gordonbombey 3160 days ago
having trouble with Step 3. I'm trying to get it to refresh the newsfeed quick by running it in the background. I'm caught at this step

Find the line with LSUIElement. On the line after it, change to . Save the file and then double-click SaveFacebookFriendStatus to check if the Dock icon still appears.

change to what? and where? anyone help?!
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emzap 3159 days ago
change &lt;false/&gt; na &lt;true/&gt; :)
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matt 3159 days ago
Fixed now.
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gordonbombey 3151 days ago
thanks! i thought i was goin nuts.&nbsp; Didn't know if the period was the command line lol (new guy).

finally..lets give it a whirl....
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sharp3m3tal 3013 days ago
In your script:

head -n 300 ~/Documents/FriendStatus.txt | tr '[n]' '~' | sed 's/~~/ /g' | sed 's/~//g' | sed 's/+0000//g'

I notice that '[n]' deletes all the "n"s in the Facebook posts

Also, I was wondering if there was, perhaps, a way that wil make the text indent after a certain number of characters. I don't have the entire desktop for the facebook section so the longer facebook posts run off the screen
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matt 2976 days ago
Sorry there should be a backslash before the n
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Tucker4566 2845 days ago
so I am having a problem. I cannot get the friends status rss feed to work anymore. How did you guys get them?
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aescajeda2 2695 days ago
I've gotten this to work for the most part, the only problem is that instead of a clean vertical layout picture above, I'm getting all the status updates in one long line of text. Anyone else with the same problem or solutions?
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Ayantiel 2339 days ago
When I try to get this to work it keeps saying there is a problem with the New Text File bit. I did everything as stated in these quidelines but it keeps popping up, to the point where I had to delete the app if I wanted to use Geektool at all. I don't know what I'm doing wrong :/ Any ideas?

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