Previously before, I didn't touch apps like GeekTool because I was afraid that it would slow down my system performance severely. (MacBook Pro 15" C2D 2.4ghz Late 2008) However, I have decided to use it as a clock on my wallpaper.

How much CPU % would GeekTool use? I only have the measly 2 hour battery for the MacBook Pro, so conserving as much CPU cycles as possible would be my aim.


GeekTool itself uses minimal CPU as shown by the other answers.

However, GeekTool really just facilitates running other scripts. It's the frequency and impact of those scripts on your system you want to worry about. By tuning them in their runtime and CPU load you can have GeekTool present useful information with minimal system impact.

I would focus less on GeekTool itself, and more on what you're running with it.

eg. on the clock example above, have it update the time once a minute, rather than every second.

Weather geeklets can be run once every 15-30 mins as you feel is appropriate.


I have the same machine as you do and have GeekTool running.

My GeekTool atm uses 0.0% CPU and 19.9MB of RAM.

I have several geeklet's running which poll different websites or system processes. (9 Geeklets)

  • An interesting test would be to measure a full battery cycle with and without GeekTool. I have a Mac Pro 2008 and tho I have 8 cores, I sometimes see certain CPU activity coming from GeekTool, I had a log monitor among other things, but nothing fancy. But then again, I don't have battery to measure :S – Martin Marconcini Apr 23 '11 at 15:07

I used to have it as a clock until I realized that the console command used for getting the time took about 10% CPU. At first I had this run every second but quickly realized that wouldn't work. Then I changed it to every 1 min but then I had a clock that was off from time to time. My tip is to go with the top bar clock. I do however not know if it requires less to load t


I use geektool heavily for a lot of automated background tasks and that brings it to around the 70 megabytes area. Before you worry about any memory issues though, one of my best geeklets was specifically built to actively clean the ram when things get tight.


Geektool is well suited for displaying static content with occasional refreshes - and you should stick to this usage model on a portable. A couple of 1 second refresh geeklets can noticeably reduce your battery time.

For example, I have rather complex Geektool setup (23 geeklets), but "GeekTool Helper" using 0.0 CPU in average. The secret is to set refresh value in seconds for geeklets as high as possible.



You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .