KDE users are already familiar with the wonders that Plasmoids can do for their desktops. These handy little widgets are quick and easy to install, and they can transform your desktop from plain and empty into cool and informative. Most users like to have a clock somewhere on the desktop regardless of their OS and desktop environment. The good news is that the clock doesn’t have to rely on boring numbers, and there are several KDE clock widgets and Plasmoids with a creative approach to telling the time.
This Plasmoid is perfect for geeks and people who love trying out new and different things. Binary Clock is far from your typical, traditional clock – it’s a representation of digits in binary code, and you’ll have to learn to understand it before you can use it. The decimal digits are represented by colored squares positioned on a grid, with the first two columns showing the hour. The second pair of columns is for minutes, and the last is for seconds (which can be turned off in the Options dialog). You’ll find Binary Clock in a package called “plasma-widgets-addons” which you can install using your favorite package manager or by typing:
if you’re on Ubuntu or its derivatives. Then you can add the Plasmoid to your desktop or panel and adjust its settings. There aren’t many – you can only change the colors, and the clock can be resized by hovering over the Plasmoid, clicking on the top icon and holding it while you drag the mouse to increase the size of the Plasmoid. You can apply this method to any Plasmoid placed on your desktop as long as the “Unlock Widgets” option is enabled.
If you’ve installed Binary Clock, Fuzzy Clock came with it, since they’re in the same package. This clock is an imprecise and funny way to count the passage of time, since it doesn’t show the exact hour or minute. Instead it spells out the closest value, describing the time according to the degree of fuzzyness. The higher the degree, the more general Fuzzy Clock becomes, so it can just say “Weekend”, for example. Using this clock is similar to asking your cheeky nephew what time it is. The settings module for this Plasmoid lets you tweak a bit more than just color, so you can alter the font, adjust the text height and change how the date is displayed.
If you’re into typography and design, you’ll probably love Wordy Clock. This Plasmoid can be downloaded from KDE-Look.org as a .plasmoid file, which you can simply install by clicking “Add Widgets” on your panel or desktop, selecting the “Get new widgets” menu and choosing the “Install Widget from Local File” option. Just select your Wordy Clock .plasmoid file in the dialog that opens and Plasma will install it automatically.
You can modify the appearance of Wordy Clock by changing colors and the font. Remember that the Plasmoid background depends on your current Plasma theme, so if you don’t want it to be transparent, check your settings in “System Settings -> Workspace Appearance -> Desktop Theme” and try to find a theme with an opaque widget background.
Your desktop doesn’t have to be minimalistic for this clock to fit in, because it’ll look great on any desktop. Minimalistic Clock is also available from KDE-Look.org and can be installed following the same procedure described for Wordy Clock above: download the .plasmoid file and let Plasma complete the installation for you.
While it’s not as quirky as some other clocks from this list, Minimalistic Clock is beautiful in its simplicity, and you can change almost everything about it: text alignment, shadows, background and text color, date format, and fonts for both date and time. I like this clock the most because it’s subtle yet visually striking, and you can easily turn it into something exotic by displaying it in an unusual font.
No, this clock doesn’t have anything to do with Valve and gaming, but it does with steampunk. It’s a simple but stunning little clock that will complement any desktop, and especially those which are already customized in the steampunk style. Steam Time doesn’t have any particular options: you just download the .plasmoid, install it and add it to your desktop.
I found it difficult to resize Steam Time; I couldn’t increase its size past a certain point, so it remained relatively small. Despite this, it’s one of the best designed clocks for KDE I’ve seen. The author of this Plasmoid has created another, similar one called Time Keeper. Sadly, it didn’t work at all on my computer, so I’m a bit hesitant to recommend it, although it looks amazing in the screenshots.
In case you don’t like any of the clocks for KDE from this list, there are many other solutions to try – for example, Adjustable Clock. Some users reported problems with this Plasmoid, but if you can get it to work, I’m sure you’ll appreciate its many customization options.
Do you know of any other great clocks for KDE? What’s the best way to display time on the desktop? Share your timeless wisdom in the comments.