How to Manage Google Calendar From Command Line And Display It On Your Desktop

I don’t think I need to do any introduction on Google Calendar. It is one of the most popular web based calendar and if you have a Google account (or a Gmail account), you already have a Google Calendar account.

To add events/appointment to your Google Calendar, the most primitive way is to open your web browser, login to the Google Calendar site and add an event. What about the geekiest (and fastest) way? By the command line, of course.

Gcalcli is a Python application that allows you to access and manage your Google Calendar from a command line. You can use it to retrieve your agenda, event list, and quickly add new events. What’s more, it can also be used as a reminder service to help you remember the things that you need to do.


Gcalcli is included in the Ubuntu repository, which means you can easily install via the Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic Package Manager, or simply with the command line:


Before we start, we need to create the configuration file. Open a text editor. Paste the following lines:

Replace “yourusername” with your Google account login name, without the

Replace “yourpassword” with your Google login password.

Save the file in your home folder with the filename .gcalclirc (don’t forget the “.” in front of the galclirc and no file extension is required)


To test it, open a terminal and type


It should show your agenda for the next 5 days.

To get a quick glance of your next 2 weeks agenda


Whole month agenda


You can also set gcalcli to show a reminder popup if the event is within 10 minutes from the current time.


One thing though, there is no automation for the reminder service, so you need to run the command everytime to remind you of your event. A good way to automate it is via crontab or using gnome-schedule

To add an event to Google calendar, use the command

Replace the <event> with a brief description of the time, date and event detail. For example:

Display Google Calendar on your desktop

To get Google Calendar onto your desktop, we are going to use a combination of gcalcli and conky.

Install conky:

Open a text editor and paste the following text:

Save the file in your Home directory with the filename .conkyrc

Press Alt + F2. Type in “conky” and press Enter.


Your agenda for the next 4 weeks will now appear on your desktop and it will refresh every 5 minutes.


Need more help on gcalcli? Check out their HowTo wiki.

Try it out and let us know if it works for you.

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