Dec 19, 2010
how to enable transparent themes on Gkrellm and KDE 4. AND ASK FOR HELP WITH A PROBLEM FURTHER DOWN THE PAGE. Libsensors is THE program for gathering sensor data for use in various applets. Some few (mostly older) sensors have their output sent to a system file, where it can be picked-up and used by the system, but the best way to get sensor data, especially for newer sensor chips, is directly from libsensor. Since 2007 libsensor support has been built out of Gkrellm in Ubuntu (perhaps all of Debian, though I'm unclear on that). From some cursory research on the internet, I discovered that in 2007 libsensors did a major update, and Gkrellm did not. Problems insued. Support for libsensors was dropped in Gkrellm. Even though a patch was produced fairly quickly, support for libsensors in Gkrellm was never re-allowed. There is a bug on this here.
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To enable support for libsensors in Gkrellm you have to build Gkrellm from source (EGADS!!) It's really pretty easy with this package and mine went off without a hitch (and I now have WONDERFUL readouts from my atk0110 sensors on my asus mb.). You can find the source package for Gkrellm here, and you can find some easy instructions for building it here. Piece of cake (really!). Okay, on to invisibility.... Gkrellm invisibility doesn't happen in KDE 4 (without a little tinkering...). I discovered the fix by looking for insights in pages discussing the same problem in conky. I found a good one, and thinking the same situation might apply to gkrellm, I tried it and IT WORKED! Here's the original post. My gratitude to the author. I'm going to reproduce the process here for posterity's sake, and because the command has changed slightly with the location of the plasma-desktop-appletsrc file.
So, gkrellm uses fake transparency. It samples the desktop at its coordinates and reproduces the image as its background. Gkrellm doesn't use the user's desktop to sample from - it uses the root desktop image - hence the strange-looking colors I got whenever I tried one of the transparent themes. Okay, so first you need to make your current desktop image your root desktop image. To do this you need to install "feh" (copy and paste these commands into terminal)
sudo apt-get install feh
After that's done, enter this in terminal:
feh --bg-scale "`grep 'wallpaper=' ~/.kde/share/config/plasma-desktop-appletsrc | tail --bytes=+11`"
Okay, now it needs to be set-up so that it'll load automatically. The feh documentation recommends setting this in ~/.xsessionrc (if you don't have one, make one with kate - and don't forget the dot before the name [ the expression ~/ is shorthand for your home directory path, /home/username, so the aforementioned path in full would be /home/username/.xsessionrc ]):
That done, we arrive at a problem. I could use some help here, if anyone has any idea how to fix it. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's definitely inconvenient if you like to change your wallpaper a lot. The feh program creates a file called ~/.fehbg to store the actual path of the image used as 'wallpaper'. Unfortunately, it stores it like this:
feh --bg-scale '/home/laysan/Pictures/shadows_1280.jpg_cropped.png'
The two single quotes enclosing the path are unfortunately read as part of the path, so when feh (or if it hands it off to bash or kde) looks for the image file it can't find it. You get a no such file error in feh. I created a bug report here. The only way I know of to fix it (I tried removing various sets of quotation marks from the original feh command to no avail) is to open the ~/.fehbg file in kate and remove the two single quotations, so it looks like this:
feh --bg-scale /home/laysan/Pictures/shadows_1280.jpg_cropped.png
But you must still do one more thing. You must change the permissions on ~/.fehbg to root, or the image's path will be overwritten the next time it's opened (at next login), with the single quotes included. Doing so fixes the issue in the short term, but when you change desktop images you'll have to reinstate your user privileges on the file, and re-run the original command to allow the file to be written to by feh (with the new image path), then edit the file again to remove the single quotes.