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The problem is actually the date time is very hard to read on the systray. The font is black with white outline in a blue background, so basically what I see there is just blurred unless I glue my face on the screen...

I am not being able to find any other clock indicator, all results point to the default one...

So, my goal is to place there a very clearly readable image with date and time, without having to change my system font rendering settings that all work great everywhere else! neither set anything like high contrast, I just want to make the clock readable.

How can I add such custom, highly visible, clock?

(the answer may vary from my specific description, til a highly configurable, or at least highly visible, clock indicator)

PS.: this ksystraycmd --startonshow --hidden --tooltip "Clock" --ownicon --icon "test.png" echo could help on doing the trick but ksystraycmd seems bugged as it won't show any custom icon...

  • Try changing the GTK theme. Also, how about using a conky overlay? – Rohith Madhavan Nov 16 '14 at 2:53
  • managed to make things show on the desktop but not above windows, still looking for that overlay way :) – Aquarius Power Nov 16 '14 at 3:27
  • By overlay I meant on/above the desktop. It will solve your problem unless you are in maximized or fullscreen mode. – Rohith Madhavan Nov 16 '14 at 3:34
  • I have edited the answer to make conky visible above other windows. – Rohith Madhavan Nov 16 '14 at 3:42
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Use Conky.

It provides a few themes by default and more themes can be downloaded and installed.

Follow these steps:

1) Install Conky Manager, which provides a GUI that allows you to easily manage Conky configurations:

sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install conky-manager

2) Create a conky config file this way:

$mkdir -vp ~/.conky/SimpleDateTimeClock
$cat >~/.conky/SimpleDateTimeClock/SimpleDatetimeClock.cfg

and paste this on it:

use_xft yes
xftfont Sans:style=Bold:size=10
own_window yes
own_window_hints undecorated,above,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
own_window_colour darkblue
gap_x 10
gap_y 30
alignment top_right

TEXT
${color white}${execi 1 date +"%H:%M"}${color grey}${execi 1 date +":%S"}${color yellow}${execi 1 date +" %d"}${color cyan}${execi 1 date +" %b"}

Important: there must have no NEWLINE character at the last line or it will be rendered on conky. So the last line must be the one of execi commands.

This minimal config is based on this example.

3) Activate it on Conky Manager, and on its settings, enable the clock to be run on startup.

  • almost worked! ok I am using conky "miui", the .conkyrc was actually ~/.conky/Conky MIUI/miui, I had to set it to transparent; but, by using the "above" window hint, it only went above normal windows; it did not went above the unity systray top bar; my idea was to put something above the normal systray clock; conky looks it could do the trick if it stay above unity top bar! not sure if possible tho.. – Aquarius Power Nov 16 '14 at 4:15
  • Remove the skip_taskbar label if you want to place it over the taskbar. – Rohith Madhavan Nov 16 '14 at 4:18
  • mmm.. I think it is not possible, the unity hud/systray top bar, seems to force being the top most one. the skip_taskbar actually prevents that window being listed on the windows list only :/ – Aquarius Power Nov 16 '14 at 5:04
  • I made it work! thanks! btw, the ~/.conkyrc may be something deprecated? it is not on my system even after using conky-manager.. – Aquarius Power Nov 16 '14 at 19:45
  • I will make some edits to reflect my experience, and provide a minimal conky configuration. – Aquarius Power Nov 16 '14 at 20:04

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