How to Add Weather Information to System Tray in Ubuntu

While there are many feature-rich weather applications available for Linux (both GUI-based and command line-based), from an end-user’s perspective it won’t be completely wrong to say that most of the time these apps are only used to know basic information like temperature.

If you are one of those who only want to keep themselves updated with the current temperature, it’s better to go for a tool that offers minimalistic weather information, and more so, does it in a way that you don’t have to switch apps to take a look at the information. In this article we will discuss one such tool – Simple Weather Indicator.

Note: all the commands and instructions mentioned in this tutorial have been tested on Ubuntu 16.04.

Simple Weather Indicator – or UbuntuIndicatorWeather as the developer likes to call it – is a small indicator app that displays basic weather information on Ubuntu’s system tray. It is developed using Python and uses two web service calls – Ip-api.com and Weather-api.madadipouya.com (based on Open Weather Map) – to detect a user’s location and temperature respectively.

Installing Simple Weather Indicator is very easy – all you have to do is to run the following three commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kasra-mp/ubuntu-indicator-weather
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-weather

Once the commands mentioned above are executed successfully, the tool will be installed on your system. You can verify that by searching for Simple Weather Indicator in Dash.

swi-dash-icon

It’s worth knowing that the tool has the following dependencies:

  • Python >= 2.7
  • Python gtk library
  • Gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1
  • Python urllib
  • Python json library

And aside from Xenial Xerus 16.04 LTS, it also supports Ubuntu Wily Werewolf 15.10, Vivid Vervet 15.04, and Trusty Tahr 14.04 LTS.

When the tool is launched, there’s no GUI – as mentioned earlier, you’ll just observe basic weather information on your system tray. For example, the following screenshot shows the information on my system tray after the tool was launched.

swi-system-tray

The information – as you can see – consists of an icon (with sun, clouds and all that), temperature, and location. Like any other icon on the system tray, you can click this information area and access the tool’s Preferences menu.

swi-pref-option

The following image depicts the options available in the tool’s Preferences menu.

swi-preferences

Here you can select whether you want the tool to automatically detect your location or pick up the location based on the latitude and longitude data you provide. Additionally, there’s also an option to hide the location name in the system tray.

There are also temperature-related settings – you can choose a temperature scale (Celsius or Fahrenheit) as well as whether or not you want the tool to display temperature in a rounded-off form. And finally, through the Autostart option, you can make sure that the tool is executed as soon as the system starts.

True to its name, Simple Weather Indicator is a basic weather tool, but its real strength lies in the fact that the information it offers is always in front of you – on your system tray. The tool is worth giving a try, I’d say.

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