Display The Clock, RAM And CPU Usage As Circle Widgets On Your GNOME Shell Desktop

The Circle Widgets GNOME Shell

The Circle Widgets is a new GNOME Shell extension to show widgets on your desktop that display information like the CPU load, current RAM usage, and a clock in various styles.

The extension supports GNOME Shell 3.38, 3.36 and 3.34, so it should work in e.g. Ubuntu 20.10 and 20.04 / Pop!_OS 20.10 and 20.04, Fedora 33, 32 and 31, and so on.

This is great if you want some minimalistic desktop widgets, but you don't want to use Conky. The Circle Widgets supports a lot (!) less customization than Conky, but it's also a lot easier to setup. 

The following widgets are supported:

  • Modern clock
  • Circle clock
  • Circle digit clock
  • Circle CPU usage
  • Circle RAM usage

Widget settings
The Circle Widgets settings

Each widget is customizable. For example, the circle clock widget can be set to show 12 hour or 24 hour time, you can change the color of each ring, the transparency, and more. For the CPU and RAM widgets you can change the color of the widget and its transparency.

It's worth noting that currently The Circle Widgets extension has an issue when running under vanilla GNOME Shell, at least that was the case in my test on Fedora 33: each widget is shown as "gjs" in the GNOME Shell Dash (application switcher). This didn't happen for me with the dock used by Ubuntu or Manjaro.

Yet another thing worth mentioning is that when you first install this GNOME Shell extension, the widgets are displayed on top of each other: 

The Circles Widgets GNOME Shell

Don't worry though, you can easily move them - press and hold the Super (Windows) key, then drag them using your mouse to reposition them.

Install The Circle Widgets on your GNOME Shell desktop

The install button above will take you to the widgets extensions.gnome.org page from where you can install the extension by clicking the OFF switch to the right-hand side of the extension name to set it ON. Follow the GNOME Shell browser integration instructions to set up installing GNOME Shell extensions using a web browser if you haven't already, or install the extension using GNOME Software if it supports it.

The extension also requires installing some packages from your Linux distribution's repositories. When you install the extension, it shows a message telling you which packages you need to install, but those the list shown by the extension is incomplete or wrong in some cases. So here's what you need to install (hopefully I didn't miss any dependencies) for Debian / Ubuntu, Fedora or Arch Linux / Manjaro (based on this comment by the extension developer, except some package names from that list are wrong):

  • Debian / Ubuntu / Pop!_OS:
sudo apt install gir1.2-gtop-2.0 gir1.2-nm-1.0 gir1.2-wnck-1.0 gir1.2-clutter-1.0 gir1.2-gtkclutter-1.0

  • Fedora:
sudo dnf install libgtop2 NetworkManager-libnm libwnck3 clutter clutter-gtk

  • Arch Linux / Manjaro:
sudo pacman -S libgtop networkmanager libwnck3 clutter clutter-gtk

Once you have these dependencies installed, restart GNOME Shell: those using X11 can press Alt + F2, then type r and press the Enter key to restart it, while those using Wayland will have to logout and log back in.

via Reddit (u/xenatt)