Dynamically add text to the desktop background?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Sat May 25 15:08:11 BST 2013

adrelanos posted on Sat, 25 May 2013 12:00:06 +0000 as excerpted:

> is there some command line tool to dynamically add text to any
> background image? Like:
> desktopbackground-text --add <position> <font> <text>
> And then the text appears where configured on the desktop background
> image?

Take a look at the yasp-scripted (yet another system monitor plasmoid, 
scripted) plasmoid on kdelook, or the a bit more complex but also rather 
more powerful superkaramba kde app.  (Plasma can also run pre-packaged 
superkaramba themes directly, and there's some of them on kdelook as 
well, but I've not had any luck getting it to run just the plain 
superkaramba theme files, so running superkaramba itself is easier if 
you're working on your own, at least until you have everything setup the 
way you want so you can pre-package it for plasma.)

Both of these are quite powerful, allowing you to output all sorts of 
things, including text, bar and line graphs from various sensors (much 
like ksysguard does except more flexibly) including taking it directly 
from the STDOUT of various programs that would ordinarily print to the 
command line, displaying log files, etc.

Both have a similar configuration language as well, but yasp-scripted is 
a bit simpler since it simply stacks output elements in the order they 
appear in the file, while superkaramba has output positioning, so you can 
tell a bunch of outputs to print on top of each other if desired (line 
graphing multiple sensors in different colors on the same graph, for 
instance), as well as position elements both vertically and 
horizontally.  (To position multiple elements horizontally with yasp-
scripted, you'd run multiple plasmoids side by side.)  Superkaramba is 
also a bit more CPU efficient, and lets you display things such as 
images, etc, too.

Back in the kde3 era I used to run the ksysguard kicker applet to graph 
things like cpu and memory usage, and when I switched to kde4, I needed a 
replacement as there was a ksysguard for kde4, but no ksysguard plasmoid 
that I could find, and early on, kde4's ksysguard was buggy in any case.

So I started with yasp-scripted as it was simpler and thus easier to 
learn in a hurry, and ran it for a few years.  I even submitted a number 
of script files (what superkaramba calls themes) and the author added 
them to the tarball (see the duncan subdir and the long preview 
screenshot). =:^)

Then later, I setup superkaramba, and have been running it ever since.  I 
submitted a couple patches (adding a couple sensor outputs so I could get 
them from superkaramba itself instead of having to run separate programs 
and parse their output) for it too, which you can find on kde's bugzilla, 
but as best I can tell there's no active kde superkaramba maintainer, and 
I've yet to even have a comment on them.

Yasp-scripted @ kdelook (watch the wrap):


The kde techbase tutorial page on superkaramba:


Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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