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Is there any application to display scrolling text on top of all windows in Ubuntu? Something like Tickr, but what I want is an application that can display my own text, something like

appname "my own text"

then "my own text" is scrolling around the desktop. Can Tickr do that instead of RSS feed?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you put the following into an .xml file and run tickr <filename>.xml, then you'll have what you want:

<rss version="0.91">
<title> is rad!</title>

You could then have the behavior you want (i.e., running appname "my own text") by writing a script. For example, put the following into a file called

#! /bin/bash`
echo "<rss version="0.91">" > .tmp.tickr
echo "<channel>" >> .tmp.tickr
echo "<title> $1 </title>" >>.tmp.tickr
echo "</channel>" >>.tmp.tickr
echo "</rss>" >>.tmp.tickr

tickr .tmp.tickr &

Then run chmod +x to make the script executable. Then running ./ 'askubuntu is rad!' should behave as desired. Note the use of single quotes around 'askubuntu is rad!': this ensures that each character in your string is interpreted literally (Thanks to January for pointing this out).

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thanks davidm, it's exactly as you said. – user777305 Aug 23 '12 at 5:50
Use single quotes (') instead of double quotes ("), and the exclamation problem will go away (bash interprets some portions of a string in double quotes, so for example in "blah $a" the $a will get replaced by the contents of the variable a. – January Aug 23 '12 at 7:20

(Some extra info.)

You can just type:


In that case, the file will be processed as a simple text file, not as an XML one.

In settings, you can also enable special characters and then define one character for "tab" (eight spaces) and another one for "new page" (one empty line).

Or, with (for instance) "new page" = '#' and "tab" = "%", you can just type:

tickr -specialchars=y -newpgchar=# -tabchar=% FILE_NAME

To see how it works, try with FILE_NAME:

hello hello
hello hello
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Just re-reading my previous answer, I think I quite missed the real question. So, sorry for the mess. Now, I'm just making an alternative version of by dxvxd.

#! /bin/bash
echo "$1" > "$tmp_file"
tickr "$tmp_file" &

(Tickr can actually read non-xml / non-rss text files directly but it needs an absolute path.)

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