GeekTool
GeekTool 3.1.1
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(20) 4.025

Display log files, UNIX command output, and more.   Free
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GeekTool is an application for OS X 10.6 or later. It lets you display various kinds of information on your desktop via 3 default plug-ins:
  • File plugin to monitor OS X activity with /var/log/system.log, or any file that you want to follow.
  • Shell mode to launch custom scripts or commands like "df" to check space left on filesystems or "uptime" to monitor load on your machine.
  • Image mode helps you monitor bandwith usage, CPU load, memory availability on your server with tools like MRTG or RRD.
What's New
Version 3.1.1:

New:
  • New button to check for updates in Preferences
  • The script edition window is easier to use and let the user go back and forth between application
  • You can use arrow keys to move a geeklet
Fixed:
  • Long scripts could not be imported because the confirmation button was out of screen
  • Geeklets will no longer stick while Mission Control in visible
Version 3.1.1:

New:
  • New button to check for updates in Preferences
  • The script edition window is easier to use and let the user go back and forth between application
  • You can use arrow keys to move a geeklet
Fixed:
  • Long scripts could not be imported because the confirmation button was out of screen
  • Geeklets more...
Requirements
Intel, OS X 10.6 or later



MacUpdate - GeekTool




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GeekTool User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 3.x:
(20)
Your rating: Now say why...
Overall:
(27)

sort: smiles | time
burypromote
-1

-5

Macfleckno reviewed on 04 Feb 2014
Clumsy to use; no way to uninstall the program.
[Version 3.1.1]

1 Reply

burypromote

+10
Jgj replied on 04 Mar 2014
No way to uninstall? Just throw away the app!
burypromote

+2

Wolpertinger reviewed on 15 Nov 2013
I found Geektool to be a mixed bag. The features it provides are very helpful, but the abysmal user interface and the nonexistent documentation make the learning curve very steep. E.g. I spent a whole day experimenting and googling to figure out how to call a shell script file from a geeklet (you have to use "source ~/.bash_profile" on the second line after the shebang, or the output of commands won't be displayed).
Also, while Geektool runs without problems on my 10.7.5 machines, it behaves completely haphazard on my 10.8.5 server (Geeklets not being displayed at all, clicking the "close" button of a geeklet not having any effect, etc. etc.). On most of these cases, it helps to kill GeektoolHelper in Activity Monitor.

Do not expect to get any help from the forum on the developer's website, as it is overrun with spam.
[Version 3.1.1]

1 Reply

burypromote

+10
Jgj replied on 04 Mar 2014
> (you have to use "source ~/.bash_profile" on the second line after the shebang, or the output of commands won't be displayed)

I'm pretty sure that that's because your particular commands presuppose, implicitly, a certain $PATH. If you set the PATH explicitly in your shell scripts, or use absolute paths like "/usr/bin/perl", then there is no need for the sourcing of anything.

It's not GeekTool's fault that there's no way to automatically source your PATH or your aliases that you set in your .bash_profile.
burypromote

+25
El-Duderino commented on 26 Sep 2013
Absolutely bizarre that there is no GUI means of deleting a single geeklet within a group; that you have to go through the faff of not just deleting a plist entry but also quitting not only the application but also the helper application to stop the one you want to get rid of persisting anyway and yes am quite aware the workaround would be to put every single .glet into a separate group but this is rather beside the point and also not much use if you've already got all your geeklets in one. This seeming interface idiocy spoils exploration of the app somewhat...

Quite content to stand corrected if there is some really obvious "Delete" button that I'm just not seeing somehow but regardless Geektool should just let you delete a .glet on highlighting it and pressing the delete key (it's not as if backspace in that context is assigned to anything else!) But perhaps this would all be too... ungeekily straightforward?
[Version 3.1.1]

1 Reply

burypromote
+1

+25
El-Duderino replied on 26 Sep 2013
Ah.

Seems the delete symbol is on the top-right corner of the geeklets. Not blindingly prominent (my usage of GeekTool has been to make tiny displays, you see) but okay.

Well isn't this embarrassing.

Also seems there is still no delete for (what later are obviously) erroneous comments on MacUpdate such as my one above (sigh).
burypromote

+10

Jgj reviewed on 13 Sep 2013
Fantastic app. It's called GeekTool for a reason; you have to already have some geekery ability to make it do much of interest. If you don't know what a shell script is, or how to write one, or are totally unfamiliar with things that live in /usr/bin, you won't be able to do much besides put images on your desktop. And most other things don't make a lot of sense then. But if you are a Geek, it couldn't really much get easier to use.

It could use improvement in certain areas. For instance, it often reshuffles the order of which geeklets get loaded first. This can ruin a carefully-crafted desktop. If you try to fix this, you can, but you run into the fact that GeekTool keeps track of its geeklets by means of hexadecimal UIDs instead of the names that you already gave your geeklets when you created them. So to shuffle their order in the plist, you have to write down which UID goes with which geeklet. There should be a box or something in the app's preferences that allow you to change the load order of geeklets, and shows you a list of them by name (not UIDs).

It would probably work smoother if there was something in the preferences that allowed the user to set a custom $PATH.

One gripe: 3.1.1 came out, and it destroyed the look of Monaco at 9pt and 10pt. They are now antialiased, where they never were before. Monaco looks *terrible* antialiased at those sizes, and having it antialiased makes things displayed look much, much less geeky :) Indeed, I'd love to see it get the ability to optionally disable antialiasing for *any* font (like in Terminal).
[Version 3.1.1]


burypromote

+3

Jisss8 reviewed on 25 Aug 2012
Very nice app, and it's indeed not only for geeks. I don't understand a thing about the commands, but I found the commands I needed just by googling them.

For someone who isn't a geek, it's too difficult to use without some research, but there are a lot of easy tutorials which you can follow. You don't even have to know what the commands mean, you just need to know what you want. So google it, follow the steps in the tutorials, copy and past and you're done.
[Version 3.0]


burypromote

+95

Noivad reviewed on 19 May 2012
I tried this app a few years back and found it difficult to figure out how to use. I found the need for something like this again, and tried it again. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I needed a different version for Lion so setting it up wasn’t working (the site wasn’t incredibly clear about that months back: It is the standalone app you need for Lion BTW. The System Prefs Pane does not work). So finally, I tried it yet again, saw the warning, and got it running fairly quickly.
I’ve read the first page of reviews: you don’t _have_ to be a geek to use this app, but it helps. If you know a few Unix shell commands and are willing to learn, you will be well rewarded. Since GeekTool free and anything you leaner can be used in the CLI, you won’t be wasting money or time.
My favorite feature is the ability to make things float over everything else. (I wish it would optionally bring things to the front automatically for a second when updated.)
I already knew all the essential shell commands, so once I got a working version, it was easy to adapt to. (Note: any command that self-updates in place such as “top” will cause problems since GT takes care of refreshing.)
I found just loading the security, system and kernel logs works well, and is light on the processor load (since displaying logs is essentially a tail command: 0.1%CPU {2.53GHz/DC} & ~30MB RAM). Also, I loaded uptime, calendar, and a few other slow refresh commands. It you find that geek tool is taking up too many resources, lower the refresh times.

If you read the sites about configuration, there are a ton of helpful tips, and prebuilt sets one can download. Try DuckDuckGo.com and look for “GeekTool” with “tips” or “configuration” if the developer’s site isn’t enough. (I noticed documentation is getting better on the dev site last time I checked about a month ago.)

BOTTOM LINE: If you want to know what is going on in your system without buying various monitoring programs, want complete configuration, and are willing to read a bit, GeekTool is well worth your time.
[Version 3.0]


burypromote

+23

Xente reviewed on 24 Jan 2012
GeekTool is really cool and it's not only for geeks. Just google geeklets and you'll find a bunch of them. Only complaint is that it's pretty bad on memory. I closed it because it was taking 200 mb of my ram. I'm just glad I'm gonna upgrade to 8 gb of ram--I'm just waiting for it to come in the mail.
[Version 3.0]


burypromote

waggonerwheel reviewed on 03 Jan 2012
Like the user below me, I downloaded it from MAS and I found it to be difficult to use without doing some research. There are tutorials on the web that helped me learn this tool.
[Version 3.0]


burypromote

+191

Mikebenda reviewed on 03 Oct 2011
Downloaded it from the App store and although I'm not a geek, I found a lot of materials online where I learned the basics on how to use this app.

It would be nice if the developers would provide a basic tutorial and perhaps step-by-step instructions for beginners. It would also be great if finished desktops could be "packaged" into template files that one could install.

I stopped using it after a day because I found that the time I had displayed on my desktop was always incorrect. The system time was correct and displayed correctly in the menu bar but not with this app. I searched but couldn't find a solution.
[Version 3.0]


burypromote

+16

Macmend.com reviewed on 26 Sep 2011
wouldn't be without it, an amazing little tool and in case you were wondering the Lion version (experimental) is here


http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1760713/GeekTool-3.0.2.zip/
[Version 3.0]


burypromote
tilleyrw had trouble on 12 Sep 2011
I am following the GeekTool guide at LifeHacker. My background color (desktop) is blue. The text GeekTool defaults to black. Nothing is visible.

I check all colors in preferences and yet nothing is visible. I don't know if this curious piece of software is working or not.
[Version 3.0]

2 Replies

burypromote
tilleyrw replied on 12 Sep 2011
EDIT: After dragging a shell script geeklet to the desktop and entering "date + %d", no text appears. Playing with the text and background colors does nothing.

For all intents and purposes, this program does nothing.
burypromote
tilleyrw replied on 12 Sep 2011
I solved the problem. The syntax was wrong. Changing it to a simple "df" command displayed information. That is enough of a start to learn this potentially incredible program.
burypromote
tilleyrw had trouble on 12 Sep 2011
Glowing reports abound for this software. It doesn't work for me.

After downloading from the App Store, it is an application not a prefPane for the System Preferences. I must open it from my applications folder. The rest goes downhill as scripts from the web don't work for me.

Something ain't right and I think it's me.
[Version 3.0]

1 Reply

burypromote
tilleyrw replied on 12 Sep 2011
I just read in the guide at LifeHacker that app stores downloads will be an application not prefpane.
burypromote

+146
Thyx had trouble on 03 Apr 2011
Welcome Lifehacker readers and good luck!
Recently featured over there, but I guess I'm shy and stick with Growl etc.
[Version 3.0]


burypromote

+35
Giovanni Lanzani had trouble on 29 Jul 2009
It's really great, however if a display the output of

top -ocpu -FR -l2 -n20 | grep '^....[1234567890] ' | grep -v ' 0.0% ..:' | cut -c 1-24,33-42,64-77

it doens't justify it, even if the terminal does (this holds also if I put the above inside a script).
[Version 3.0 RC1]

2 Replies

burypromote

+36
SaSaSushi replied on 29 Jul 2009
What font are you using. I'm using the same command and it justifies for me using the Monaco font.
burypromote

+35
Giovanni Lanzani replied on 29 Jul 2009
Yep, that indeed made the trick, thanks
burypromote

+12
Balthamos had trouble on 27 Nov 2007
I'm running Leopard (10.5.1) on a MBP and I have been having sleep issues with Geektool running. Of course, I can close the lid and it will fall asleep, but if Geektool is running and I just let the Power Saving preferences take it's toll, it doesn't fall asleep.

If the refresh time on a GT entry is greater than the sleep time, the machine will fall asleep. But that kind of eliminates the whole purpose of the utility if I can only refresh every 10 minutes. Does anyone have a solution to this problem, or at least experience the same problem I'm having?
[Version 2.1.2]

1 Reply

burypromote

+15
asmeurer commented on 21 Dec 2008
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2008101819445660&query=geek%2Btool

Senpraks rated on 12 Jul 2013

[Version 3.1.1]



+17

Hal Itosis rated on 08 Jul 2013

[Version 3.1.1]



+1

ztheil rated on 27 Jan 2012

[Version 3.0]



N0b0d1 rated on 15 Jun 2011

[Version 3.0]



+2

RiyadhDesigner rated on 13 Feb 2011

[Version 3.0]



-1

Tobit rated on 11 Feb 2011

[Version 3.0]


Downloads:72,873
Version Downloads:17,661
Type:Utilities : Desktop
License:Free
Date:08 Jul 2013
Platform:Intel 64 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price:Free0.00
Overall (Version 3.x):
Features:
Ease of Use:
Value:
Stability:
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GeekTool is an application for OS X 10.6 or later. It lets you display various kinds of information on your desktop via 3 default plug-ins:
  • File plugin to monitor OS X activity with /var/log/system.log, or any file that you want to follow.
  • Shell mode to launch custom scripts or commands like "df" to check space left on filesystems or "uptime" to monitor load on your machine.
  • Image mode helps you monitor bandwith usage, CPU load, memory availability on your server with tools like MRTG or RRD.


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