Skip to main content

Put Widgets/Applets on your desktop with Google Gadgets

Google has officially released Open Source version of it's popular Google Gadgets application on the Linux platform . Google Gadgets allow you to put small interactive applets/applications/widgets on your Linux desktop/sidebar providing host of functionality as well as making your desktop more attractive . A number of open source applications have been available that provide you precisely this functionality like Screenlets , SuperKramaba etc, However they have been somewhat unstable as they are still under development . Google Gadgets is also under development but i found it more stable and friendlier than Screenlets. Also a lot of widgets are available for Google Gadgets that's another plus.

Note : Installation Instructions below have been tried on Ubuntu 8.04 so you might have to change the instructions for earlier versions of Ubuntu.

Google has not released binary packages for Google Gadgets so we would need to download the packages and compile them. Since Ubuntu does not come with any developmental tools pre-installed, we have to install them before we could compile Google Gadgets . To install these developmental tools issue the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get -y install libtool automake autoconf libxul-dev libghc6-mozembed-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev libxml2-dev zlib1g-dev xulrunner libgtk2.0-dev libcairo2-dev libdbus-1-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libgstreamer0.10-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev libqt4-dev build-essential spidermonkey-bin libmozjs-dev
Now we need to download Google Gadegts source archive :
Now we extract the downloaded package :
tar -xvzf google-gadgets-for-linux-0.9.1.tar.gz

Now we need to compile and install Google Gadgets, we could do this with the following commands :
cd google-gadgets-for-linux-0.9.1

./configure --prefix=/usr
sudo make install

After compilation process is over issue the "ggl-gtk" (For GTK Version of Google Gadgets - For Gnome desktop environment ) or "ggl-qt"(For QT version of Google Gadgets - For KDE Desktop )

Note : There was some problem running the Google Gadgets GTK version dunno for some strange reason it did not show the gadgets. However QT version worked perfectly well. Also i noticed a number of Gadgets did not work :'( .

Google Gadgets Icon
Right Click on Google Gadgets icon this will show a menu , here click on "Add Gadgets " which will open a dialog box similar to one shown below allowing you to add number of Widgets/Gadgets on your desktop.
Finally this is how my desktop looks after adding Google Gadgets .

Google Gadgets Project page :

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (
For Desktop on Linux Blog ,
(C) 2008 , Ambuj Varshney

Related Links :

Installing Google Applications in Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

Weather Information on your Ubuntu 8.04 desktop with Weatherbug


  1. Thanks for this! Super-clear instructions.

  2. Anonymous7:13 PM

    thanks for this, i remember in another of your posts i said i would prefer these to screenlets, because there more stable and i have used the app for windows, so thanks!

  3. Anonymous5:30 PM

    I have found a much easier way of installing, and it works on hardy gnome, its on ubuntu-unleashed >
    best of luck.

  4. Hmm thanx for sharing that Ubuntu-Unleashed link. actually at da tym i was writing da article deb packages were not avlbl in da repositories. Anyways btw compiling applications from source is nyways better dere can be significant speed improvement

  5. Anonymous12:26 AM

    thats real gr8 info...
    pl tell me if there are chances to
    1.reduce the size of desktop icons in ubuntu?
    2.for my laptop's low battery indication, there is no sound ... how to enable it???


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

13 Things to do immediately after installing Ubuntu

In this article i describe some of the things to do immediately after installing ubuntu on your machine . Since most of the people reading this would be shifting from Windows to Linux with a system dual booting so i would focus more on making transition easy from Windows to Linux.

Creating Your ultimate Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop

Ubuntu 7.10 Codenamed Gusty Gibbon was released few weeks back with much fanfare ,now Ubuntu for past couple of years has been one of the most popular Desktop Linux distributions . Ubuntu 7.10 includes a number of features , applets and Wizards to simplify desktop Linux experience however because of many licensing restrictions it does not include out of the box support for popular audio/video codecs and many commercial but good applications . Also because of the limitation of trying to accommodate all kind of applications on single CD Ubuntu comes with a limited set of applications .

Now , i often have arguments with my friends who are new to computers that windows is…

Over 16 Small Games For Ubuntu Linux

Over 16 Small Games For Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux is one of the most popular Linux distribution , it is especially popular among Linux newbies and windows refuges . Now Ubuntu Linux does come with a descent set of applications , still there is a scope for including some more quality applications and especially games . Now in this tutorial i will show you how to install a large number of small , easy and less resource hungry games on Ubuntu Linux with screen-shots of games .

1. Rocks 'n' Diamonds

Rocks 'n' Diamonds is a Boulderd*sh game for X11 with more than just the falling rocks and diamonds of its namesake. The object is still to collect all the diamonds (and emeralds), then get to the exit before time runs out. But your character must make use of bombs, spaceships, and many other elements in order to fill his quota of jewels.

Installation : -

Type the following command in the terminal window


Making Music(Beats) on Linux/Ubuntu with Hydrogen

I am going to review a couple of Music Making Softwares for Linux and am starting with the simplest and one of the best!HYDROGEN. Hydrogen basically is a pattern based drum programming software which in layman terms means, it allows you to make your own beats.And in case you aren't much into music, you might be wondering “what the hell will i do with this piece of software”...well here is a word from my friends who've tried this: “Its pretty fun playing with this software, n even without knowing much, you could actually MAKE SUM MUSIC!!!”

There was this software called Acoustica Beatcraft(for windows) which actually introduced me to this beat making stuff and I was quite interested, but sadly it was too costly for me to buy it. So i was stuck using the trial version of the software and sadly as soon as i got the grip of the software the trial expired, and so my search began for software which would do the stuff for me and luckily i found this amazing piece of software HY…