Thursday, 23 October 2008

Google Gadgets for Linux in Debian and Ubuntu

Although I played a little in the past with Google Gadgets and I was not very much impressed, back at version 0.9.x, I decided to try it again, this time using the last release, 0.10.2.

Compiling Google Gadgets 0.10.12 in Debian and Ubuntu
Here are a few steps you need to follow in order to compile Google Gadgets from source on Debian and Ubuntu. To install the needed dependencies type as root:

apt-get install build-essential autoconf automake libtool
apt-get install libcurl4-openssl-dev libdbus-1-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev libgtk2.0-dev libmozjs-dev libqt4-dev libqt4-opengl-dev librsvg2-dev libxml2-dev libxul-dev xulrunner

In Ubuntu just precede each command with sudo and enter your user's password.

Next, you will have to download the source code from their website. At the time of writing, the last release is 0.10.2, and it includes both GTK and Qt interfaces. Change the current working directory to the one where you saved the .tar.bz2 file and uncompress it using:

tar -xjf google-gadgets-for-linux-0.10.2.tar.bz2

Then issue cd google-gadgets-for-linux-0.10.2 and compile it using:

make install

The last one as root. In Ubuntu, use sudo make install with your user's password.

To run it using the Qt interface, use:


And for GTK:


To create a launcher in KDE 3.5.9, read this tutorial which I wrote a while ago.

How it looks and behaves
Below are some screenshots I took to both Qt and GTK interfaces, together with several gadgets on the desktop, using different sizes. The software is still in beta, and although I have the Qt4 settings configured to make it look fine, fonts are still too big and sometimes it's a pain to fill in text (for example adding and RSS/Atom feeds to the Google Feed Reader gadget). The system on which I took the screenshots, is Debian Lenny with KDE 3.5.9.


Some of the gadgets, random layout on the desktop

There is a difference however between ggl-qt and ggl-gtk, ggl-gtk auto-arranges the gadgets in the right side of the desktop, just like a panel, auto-resizing them to fit vertically, and if there are too many gadgets, the new ones are put over the others.


ggl-gtk automatically creates a right panel on the desktop
Qt4 settings

What do you think about the future of this application? Did you test it in KDE4 eventually? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

1 comment:

James Su said...

For ggl-gtk, you can drag the gadgets out of the sidebar and if you like, you can hide sidebar by pressing (_) button on the top right corner.