This is an overview on how I use geektool (available in the OS X App Store).

Geektool is a utility that allows you to put certain content on the desktop. You can choose what kind, attributes such as color, update frequency, and location.

Setup

I’ve done this setup on a clean install of OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and then installed geektool. Below is what the first launch looks like. You will want to enable things like enable, and automagically launch. Whether you want to see it in the menubar (easy access) or not..meh.

As you can see, you now have the option to drag any of the 3 types of geeklets (image, file, shell) to a place on the desktop. Once you do this, you’ll get a window on the desktop and a property dialog will appear. The property dialog will allow you to customize the geeklet you just placed on the desktop. You can drag it around to the location you want, choose files, or commands, and even customize presentation information such as fonts, colors, etc.

Examples

Below, are a couple examples of what you can do with geektool. This includes both an image, and a script example.

I make use of many of these on my desktop. Some of them execute scripts, and some display images. Scripts can do anything you want, and can be written in your preferred language (UNIX shell, perl, apple script, etc). I have scripts which sift through my list of ToDo’s (Apple Reminders) and show them on the desktop. I also have scripts which collect network information to display on the desktop. Finally, I’ve written a post about Xplanet with details on what and how I do that.