A place to share your GeekTool setups


I've mentioned GeekTool a couple of times before, and it has recently been updated to version 3. The best thing about the update is how much simpler the interface is. Before the interface was a bit intimidating, but now it is much easier to use.

For those who don’t know, GeekTool is a preference pane that allows you to display different kinds of information on your desktop. These bits of information are called Geeklets, and they can be text, images, files, and the output of shell commands. Some of the most common things to use it for are displaying to do lists, today’s iCal events, the date, the current iTunes song and unread mail.

The latest version now allows you to save your Geeklets and share them with each other, so I’ve created a site just for that. It allows you to submit your Geeklets and vote on others to see which are most popular. If you are new to this, it also has a page for getting started with GeekTool.

Here are a few tips for using GeekTool.

GeekTool Stacking

1. Set stacking order

If you have overlapping Geeklets, you might find that the wrong one is on top. Just right-click on the Geeklet and change the order by choosing “Send to back” or one of the other options.

2. Don’t set refresh to zero

By default, GeekTool sets the refresh time to 0, which means it continuously refreshes as quick as it can. It is best to avoid this as it can take a considerable toll on your system, hogging resources and slowing things down. For things that really have to be updated very regularly, consider a refresh time of 5 or 10 seconds instead.

GeekTool menu

3. Group your Geeklets

By putting your Geeklets into separate groups, you can quickly and easily enable and disable them based on their grouping. Note that Geeklets can be in multiple groups - as long as one of the is enabled, the Geeklet will be shown.

4. Use the menubar item

GeekTool now has a menubar item that you can enable from the preference pane. From here you can enable and disable groups, force a refresh on all Geeklets, disable GeekTool, and access the preference pane.

5. Check out other people’s Geeklets

Check out the Geeklets other people have posted to get some inspiration for your desktop. Vote up your favourites, and share your creations too.

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