perlpanel(1) lean menu and launcher panel written in Perl and Gtk2


The PerlPanel is really just a container for components called applets. If you've used Gnome or KDE you should be familiar with applets - they're small widgets that perform a particular task. PerlPanel comes with a number of useful applets that are enabled by default. They are explained in brief below.

Installing Third Party applets

A number of people have written applets for PerlPanel which aren't part of the main PerlPanel package. These applets can be downloaded and installed very easily.

To install an applet, you can simply drag the file onto the panel. Or you can use the ``Install Applet...'' item in the ``Add To Panel'' submenu of the Action Menu, or the ``Install Applet'' button on the ``Add Applet'' dialog of the Configurator. Each of these will display a dialog that will prompt you for the filename of the applet to be installed. Then you can add the Applet to your panel.

The 'ActionMenu' Applet

This applet provides a launcher menu containing the standard ``action'' items. If you don't want to run another menu applet but want access to action menus, use this applet.

The 'BatteryMonitor' Applet

The LoadMonitor applet shows the current charge on your laptop's battery. You can click on the widget and bring up a dialog to change the update interval. By default, this is 100ms.

The 'BBMenu' Applet

The BBMenu applet is a program launcher menu, like the Windows Start Menu. It can understand any Blackbox-compatible menu file, and will look for them on your system. It tries the following locations, in this order:


The BBMenu isn't (yet) clever enough to recognise submenus that contain special Blackbox commands, so you might find that there are empty submenus and extra separators in the menu. If you copy your menu file into "$HOME/.perlpanel" and remove the Blackbox-specific elements, PerlPanel will automatically detect it and use it instead.

BBMenu will attempt to find an icon file for each entry in the menu. It does this by searching in common directories for a .png file that matches the program name. For example, if your menu has an entry for the c<foobar> program, BBMenu will look for a file called foobar.png.
 If you want to specify an icon to use for a program, you can do so by placing a copy of the image (or a symbolic link to it) in "$HOME/.perlpanel/icon-files".

The 'Clock' Applet

The Clock applet shows the current time in a text form. Clicking on the applet will bring up a dialog with a calender for this month, and a page that lets you change the format used to render the time. The format used is that of the POSIX "strftime()" function. Consult the strftime manpage for an explanation of the formatting characters.

The 'Commander' Applet

This applet pops up a dialog box with an entry for a command to run.

The 'Configurator' Applet

Clicking on the Configurator icon brings up a dialog that you can use to change various config settings. When you click the OK button the panel will reload.

The Panel tab contains various positioning and padding options for the panel itself.

You can add, remove and re-order applets on the panel from the 'Applets' tab.

The 'CPUTemp' Applet

This applet displays the reported temperature of your computer's CPU. You need to have a supported motherboard, and the "mbmon" program installed. The temperature can be displayed in Celsius, Fahrenheit or Kelvin.

The 'DriveManager' Applet

This applet lets you control removable storage media. When you click on the applet you will be shown a menu that lets you mount, unmount and eject any removable media that is attached to your computer.

The 'GnomeMenu Applet

This applet gives you access to the standard Gnome applications menu.

By default, this applet reads the menu information from the "applications:" Gnome-VFS URI. However you can change this URI to any that Gnome-VFS understands. Edit the "base" attribute of the applet's configuration.

The 'Launcher' Applet

A Launcher applet shows a clickable button on the panel. When you click the button, the chosen program is run. Right-click to edit the settings for the launcher.

The 'LoadMonitor' Applet

The LoadMonitor applet shows the current CPU load on your system, as a percentage. You can click on the widget and bring up a dialog to change the update interval. By default, this is 100ms.

The 'Lock' Applet

This icon locks the screen so that others cannot access your files and programs while you are away from the keyboard. You must enter your password to unlock the screen. This applet requires that you have the XScreenSaver program installed.

The 'NautilusBookmarks' Applet

This applet provides an easy way to launch your bookmarked locations in the Nautilus file browser.

The 'NotificationArea' Applet

The Notification Area applet displays icons from various applications to indicate activity in the application. For example, a mail client might place an icon in the applet to denote unread mail.

The 'OpenBoxMenu' Applet

This OpenBox menu applet shows your OpenBox root menu on the panel. Note: the OpenBoxMenu applet is not finished, and you may experience problems. Use with caution.

The 'Pager' Applet

The Pager allows you to switch between virtual desktops, and drag programs between desktops.

The 'PanelPet' Applet

The PanelPet applet shows an animation of a fish in a bowl. You can use any file you like. By default, PanelPet uses an animation from GNOME's Fish applet. Right-click on the applet to configure it.

The 'RecentFiles' Applet

Click on this icon brings up a menu containing files you've recently opened. When you select the file from the menu, it will be launched in the default program for that file type.

The 'RunMe' Applet

This applet places a small combo box on the panel. When you type a command into the entry and press enter, the command will be run.

The 'Separator' Applet

This applet provides a way of placing some physical space between other applets. It adds a vertical separating line with five pixels of space on either side.

The 'SetiAtHome' Applet

This applet displays the total current number of work units completed for your Seti@Home account, and the progress on the current one. If you click on the applet you will be shown a configuration dialog allowing you to enter your account details. You can also check progress on a remote host using SSH - you may wish to register your SSH RSA/DSA key on the remote host so that you're not prompted for a password every time.

The 'ShellManager' Applet

This applet gives you a quick and simple way to launch remote shells - you can easily add shortcuts to your most frequently visited hosts, and open connections to them from the list. Clicking on the applet brings up a menu with list of accounts, and entries for adding and editing accounts.

By default, the ShellManager will invoke SSH using the "gnome-terminal" program. If you want to change this, edit the "terminal" attribute of the applet's configuration.

The 'ShowDesktop' Applet

This applet provides a button that minimises/restores all the applications that are visible, so you can see your desktop.

The 'Spacer' Applet

The spacer applet creates a flexible space in the panel, expanding out to fill all the unused space.

The 'Tasklist' Applet

The Tasklist shows you all the programs currently visible on your desktop. You can click on the entries for each program to raise them to the top of the stack. You can right-click on them to bring up a context menu for maximising, minimising, shading and so on.

The 'Trash' Applet

This applet makes it easy to delete files and folders. Just drag an icon onto the applet widget and it will be moved to the Trash folder.

The 'Volume' Applet

The Volume applet lets you control the volume of your computer's speakers. Clicking on the button shows a popup window with a slider - as you move the slider, the volume will change.

The 'Webcam' Applet

This applet loads an image from a website and displays it on your panel. If you click on the image you can see it full-size. If you right-click on the image you can configure the applet URL and update interval.

The 'WiFiMonitor' Applet

This applet shows the signal strength of you wireless connection.

The 'WindowMenu' Applet

This applet is an alternative to the Tasklist applet, which can sometimes use up a lot of space on the panel. This applet presents a simple icon button. Clicking on this button pops up a menu listing all the current windows. Click on a window's entry to raise it.

The 'XMMS' Applet

This applet lets you control the XMMS media player. You need the XMMS-Perl libraries in order to use this applet.

This applet will also control the Beep Media Player.