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xfce4-genmon-plugin - Genmon

This plugin cyclically spawns the indicated script/program, captures its output (stdout) and displays the resulting string into the panel.

The string can also contain markup to displayed an image, a bar, a button and a personalized tooltip.


If you want the plugin to display only text (original version), enter the command in the Command field of the Properties section of the plugin.

XML Tags

If you want the plugin to display a personalized Image or Tooltip or Bar or Button, you should develop (or get) a script returning a XML string, and enter the path of this script in the Command field of the Property section of the plugin.

The XML tags which can be used:

  • <txt>Text to display</txt>
  • <img>Path to the image to display</img>
  • <tool>Tooltip text</tool>
  • <bar>Pourcentage to display in the bar</bar>
  • <click>The command to be executed when clicking on the image</click>
  • <txtclick>The command to be executed when clicking on the text</txtclick>
  • <icon>Themed icon to be displayed</icon>
  • <iconclick>The command to be executed when clicking on the icon</click>

The <icon> tag allows the following functionality:

  • image changes with the icon theme
  • supports panel's Adjust Icon Size Automatically functionality
  • supports light/dark symbolic icon auto-colour changes

If None of the tags are detected in the result of the command, the plugin returns to its original behaviour (displaying the result of the command).

Example Script (cpu temperature)

Here's a simple example of a plugin displaying the Temp of the CPU in the panel (with an icon) and the Freq in a Tooltip:

echo "<img>/usr/share/icons/Bluecurve/16x16/apps/gnome-monitor.png</img>"
declare -i cpuFreq
cpuFreq=$(cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "cpu MHz" | sed 's/\ \ */ /g' | cut -f3 -d" " | cut -f1 -d".")
if [ $cpuFreq -ge 1000 ]
  cpu=$(echo $cpuFreq | cut -c1).$(echo $cpuFreq | cut -c2)GHz
echo "<txt>"$(cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THM/temperature | sed 's/\ \ */ /g' | cut -f2 -d" ")" C</txt>"
echo "<tool>Freq: "$cpu"</tool>"

PS: Depending on your configuration, you should change the image path.

Another Example Script (keyboard leds)

Here's a another simple example of a plugin displaying the keyboard LED states of the caps, num and scroll lock keys:

# genmon script to display status of keyboard LEDS
# genmon properties:
#   Command = path to this script
#   Label = optional Label preceeding output
#   Period = how often to check the status - the lower the number the quicker the response
#   Font = the font to use - monospace fonts keep the widget from resizing
# configuration
FG="white" # foreground colour
OBC="red" # background colour of cell text if active
# code
STATE=($(xset q | grep Caps\ Lock | awk '{print $4" "$8" "$12}'))
CAPS=$([[ ${STATE[0]} == "on" ]] && echo "<span foreground='$FG' background='$OBC'>C</span>" || echo "<span foreground='$FG'>c</span>")
NUM=$([[ ${STATE[1]} == "on" ]] && echo "<span foreground='$FG' background='$OBC'>N</span>" || echo "<span foreground='$FG'>n</span>")
SCROLL=$([[ ${STATE[2]} == "on" ]] && echo "<span foreground='$FG' background='$OBC'>S</span>" || echo "<span foreground='$FG'>s</span>")    
# genmon    
echo "<txt>$CAPS$NUM$SCROLL</txt>"
echo "<tool>CAPS = ${STATE[0]}"
echo "NUM = ${STATE[1]}"
echo "SCROLL = ${STATE[2]}</tool>"
exit 0

More scripts are available at: http://git.xfce.org/panel-plugins/xfce4-genmon-plugin/tree/scripts.

Pango Markups in the <txt> tag

Both the <txt> and <tool> tags support Pango Markups. See: https://developer.gnome.org/pygtk/stable/pango-markup-language.html. With Pango markups, you can change text attributes like font colour, weight, size, etc, in your output string. To do so, use the <span></span> tag within the <txt></txt> or <tool></tool> tags. For example, to display the output in bold red, you could use something like:

echo "<txt><span weight='Bold' fgcolor='Red'>Test</span></txt>"

Refer to the previous link for information on all of the properties that can be set.

Refreshing the plugin

The xfce4-genmon-plugin now supports xfce4-panel plugin-event functionality. Currently it only supports the “refresh” action which resets the timer and causes the associated command to execute again. You can use this command remotely or at the end of a script to force the panel plugin to refresh.

To refresh the plugin, issue the command:

xfce4-panel --plugin-event=genmon-X:refresh:bool:true    

where “genmon-X” is the widget name of the particular genmon instance. To get this name, go to the panel properties screen and on the Items tab, hover your mouse over the genmon plugin to get it's internal name.

Enhanced Gtk3 CSS Styling Capabilities

CSS styling capabilities have been enhanced by providing style classes for all elements of the plugin that can be styled via themes or individual overrides (~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css). For more information, see: https://git.xfce.org/panel-plugins/xfce4-genmon-plugin/tree/CSS%20Styling.txt.

(*dev-only) functionality is currently only available in the git tree and has not yet been officially released

  • added support for single or multi-row support. Single row support spans the plugin to take up all of the space available where panel rows is greater than 1. Multi-row support means that the plugin will only use the space of one row.
  • added css tag support (special thanks to @stergem for this commit). This allows you to tweak the plugin css directly from within the command/script using <css></css> tags. For example:
echo "<txt>Hello</txt>"
echo "<txtclick>mousepad</txtclick>"
echo "<css>.genmon_valuebutton {background-color:red; color:yellow} .genmon_label {color:green}</css>"
echo "<tool>Hello there</tool>"

Additional testing of the new code in the git tree would be appreciated.

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In this example, the plugin is used to (from left to right):

  1. display the date
  2. mount/unmount an USB disk with 1 click
  3. display the CPU temperature (and the frequency in the tooltip)
  4. display the HD temperature
  5. display the state of the 2 batteries of my laptop
  6. display the WIFI quality


In this example, we see the gmail checker script in action:

  1. plugin display shows icon indicating state of new emails available
  2. tooltip shows number of new messages, sender/subject of new messages, and timestamp of last check
  3. clicking on the icon launches your email program


In this example, we see the sysstat script in action:

  1. plugin display shows optional icon and 3 readings (cpu, memory, hard drive usage)
  2. tooltip shows top 5 cpu and memory uses and hard drive space usage
  3. clicking on the text output launches xfce4-taskmanager (ver. 3.99 or greater)


In this example, we see the google calendar checker script in action:

  1. plugin display shows icon indicating state of new upcoming appointments
  2. tooltip shows a listing of upcoming appointments
  3. clicking on the icon opens google calendar in your browser

:panel-plugins:twit0.png :panel-plugins:twit1.png

In this example, we see the twit (Twitter Timeline Notifier) script in action:

  1. plugin display shows icon indicating state of new tweets in your timeline
  2. libnotify notifications will be sent with new tweets
  3. tool tip will show new and optionally recent tweets
  4. clicking on the plugin icon can either execute a program, display a yad dialog with all recent tweets (above image), or compose and send a tweet.

Most of the scripts are available in the plugin archive.

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Latest Release

  • xfce4-genmon-plugin 4.1.0 released (2020/12/23 01:26)
    xfce4-genmon-plugin 4.1.0 is now available for download from
    What is xfce4-genmon-plugin?
    This plugin cyclically spawns the indicated script/program, captures its
    output (stdout) and displays the resulting string into the panel.
    The string can also contain markup to displayed an image, a bar, a
    button and a personalized tooltip.
    Release notes for 4.1.0
    - Add basic GitLab pipeline
    - Updated README file
    - Add DBG anchors
    - Add  amd  elements
    - Make Save translatable
    - Fix config values sometimes going to default
    - Fix label sometimes re-appearing
    - Enable multi-row support
    - Remove unused variables and code
    - Fix indentation
    - Catch some edge cases
    - Set tmp variable default values
    - Fix period spinner display when cancelled
    - Fix label toggle display when cancelled
    - Fix font display when cancelled
    - Support new libxfce4ui API
    - Change close to save
    - Closing config window cancels changes
    - Change layout of config dialog
    - Make tooltips translatable
    - Update support URLs to docs.xfce.org
    - Allow compilation with panel 4.15
    - Replace deprecated xfce_create_panel_button
    - Translation Updates:
      Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian (Armenia), Basque, Belarusian,
      Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian,
      Czech, Danish, Dutch, Eastern Armenian, English (Australia), English
      (Canada), English (United Kingdom), Estonian, Finnish, French,
      Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic,
      Indonesian, Interlingue, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian,
      Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Occitan (post 1500), Polish,
      Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian,
      Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Urdu (Pakistan),

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Source code repository

Reporting Bugs

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