Does anybody know of any alternatives to GeekTool that allow you to put content on your desktop sourced from shell scripts, files, etc but that makes the content interactive?

A few use cases I would really like:

  • A list of recent tweets where any links in the tweets are clickable
  • A calendar widget that allows me to navigate forward and back in months
  • A search box for google or wikipedia
  • An app launcher

I know you could use Dashboard widgets for this but I prefer to have these right on the desktop itself. Also Dashboard widgets seem more limited in what they're able to do, but I'm less educated about these so I could be wrong.

Rainmeter does all this by the way, but is Windows only.

  • 6
    How do people ever have their desktops showing, anyway? :)
    – jtbandes
    Mar 31, 2012 at 21:07
  • @jtbandes 4×5k displays, obviously! 🤣 Apr 30, 2017 at 20:44

2 Answers 2


Yahoo! Widgets has a mac version available, and a quick search shows an application launcher, twitter client, a month calendar, and a wikipedia and google search box.

If you want to use dashboard widgets, this software claims to make your dashboard widgets stay on the desktop. It does cost money, but they have a free trial available.

  • 3
    The OP states that he doesn't want Dashboard widgets. Also, you can turn on developer mode for the Dashboard. Note that you'll need to disable the Dashboard as a space (System Preferences>Mission Control)
    – daviesgeek
    Mar 31, 2012 at 23:48
  • 1
    With developer mode though, the widgets stay on top of your other applications
    – penguinrob
    Apr 1, 2012 at 4:02

You could use Ubersicht. It shows contents as widgets on desktop. Widgets are configured through coffee or js scripts. You could also other scripting languages like python, shell etc. These widgets are interactive through optional keys.

There are already a handful of widgets are available. More details regarding the project can be found at their github.


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