Tutorial: Interactive Periodic Table Background!

Ok, this is a quick (but fun) tutorial to setup your background as a interactive Periodic table. Recently, I came across a program called Devil’s Pie which allows you to code rules for making windows behave a certain way. Seeing as I recently started my science GCSE class I thought it would be cool to have a useful Periodic table background

It’s surprisingly easy to set it up, first you need devilspie, gelemental (or kalzium, but this tutorial is centred around gelemental) and about 5 minutes.

To install the first two dependencies just run:

sudo apt-get install devilspie gelemental

NB this is tested on ubuntu lucid only

The last dependency you’ll have to compile yourself!

Next, go to the devilspie folder, to do this enable Hidden Folders in your file browser (usually press ctrl+h) and enter .devilspie, if it doesn’t exist then create a new folder with that name. When you’re in the folder (you can disable hidden folders now if you like, by pressing ctrl+h again) create a new file called gelemental.ds open that file in your favorite text editor, and add the following lines to the file:

    ( matches ( window_name ) "Periodic Table" )

The next step is to add devilspie and gelemental to your startup list (there are plenty of tutorials available on the internet on this, the commands are devilspie and gelemental retrospectively), and your done! You can either login and log out again, or if you want to test it than press alt+F2 and type:

devilspie && gelemental


If you run gelemental it will change to the desktop, and will run on top of your existing background.


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  1. #1 by itsryyan on 04/09/2010 - 6:55 pm

    That’s awesome!

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