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Übersicht: Lightweight GeekTool Alternative for Mac

GeekTool is a well-known application for displaying various information on the desktop. I was curious with this application. I searched for some geeklets (or widgets), installed them, and customized it to fit with my desktop. Everything was great until I saw the insane CPU usage in Activity Monitor. I removed GeekTool and started searching for a better alternative.

Übersicht: GeekTool Alternative for Mac

I disabled Dashboard because of the same reason: the widgets used way more resources than I thought. Since that day, I never install any applications or widgets that consume more resources than it should. This is also why most of the apps in my recommendation list uses small amount of RAM and CPU.

Übersicht changes my mind.

Übersicht is extremely lightweight — it uses ±16 MB for RAM and ±0.9% CPU resource. The ground technology Übersicht users plays an important part to achieve this. Here’s the explanation from the developer Felix Hageloh himself.

So in essence the app is just a large WebView that is glued to your desktop and widgets are little snippets of HTML+CSS+JS. Of course you can’t run system commands from within a WebView, so the app comes with a NodeJs backend.

You can browse the complete list of widgets over here.

Installing widgets is as easy as moving the them into ~/Library/Application Support/Übersicht/widgets folder. You can also sync your widgets across machines by moving the widgets folder into Dropbox. If you’ve read the way I organize document in Dropbox, the best location for those widgets should be in ~/Dropbox/Apps/Übersicht/.

Übersicht is a great tool for displaying information on desktop. With decent understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can customize the widgets position, style, and font to match your desktop wallpaper.