Jul 20, 2023

Time/date applet for WindowMaker with fishes swimming around

WMFishTime is a time/date applet for WindowMaker and BlackBox, E, SawFish…. Top part has the clock face, bottom part has day of the week, followed by day, followed by month. Yellow hand counts seconds, green hand counts minutes, red hand counts hours. Few seconds after startup there are at least 32 bubbles floating up behind the clock face. There are 4 fishes randomly swimming back and forth. If you move your mouse inside the dockapp window, the fish will get scared and run away.

The FreeBSD Ports Collection is a diverse ecosystem of various applications, software tools, libraries, and more, all available to the user in the form of ‘ports’. Our focus in this article is the wmfishtime port, categorized under x11-clocks.

Wmfishtime is a unique x11-clock port that combines entertainment with function. As the name suggests, the clock is designed in the form of a small, realistic, animated aquarium hosting a digital clock. Notably, the fish displayed in this clock actually swim around, creating an aesthetically pleasing and entertaining clock display.

Surely, you must be musing over why you would need such a clock. Apart from its regular time-keeping duty, the wmfishtime serves multiple purposes

  • It works perfectly for those who love having a little aquarium broadcasted on their dock or desktop.
  • It works as a brilliant stress-buster in those intense coding sessions.
  • It brings some color and amusement to your workstation, keeping your mood light.

But before we delve deeper into the functionality and usage, installing wmfishtime on your FreeBSD system should be your first step.

Install wmfishtime

As expected, installation of wmfishtime is straightforward utilizing the FreeBSD ports collection

cd /usr/ports/x11-clocks/wmfishtime/ && make install clean

or using the pkg binary package manager

pkg install wmfishtime

Upon successful installation, wmfishtime should be accessible in your path.

Using wmfishtime

Initiating wmfishtime is as straightforward as installing. Simply open a terminal and type wmfishtime on the command line


After doing so, you’ll find a mini aquarium, complete with moving fish and a digital clock, all within a little window.

You have the option to make wmfishtime start up automatically whenever you log into your FreeBSD system. To achieve this

echo "wmfishtime &" >> ~/.xinitrc

From here on, each time you start X, the fish clock will start swimming on your desktop!

Unlike many clocks under the x11-clocks port category, wmfishtime does not offer any customization. It’s simple and serves the purpose of a digital clock while being visually amusing.


In the realm of numerous FreeBSD ports, wmfishtime brings a little fun and color to the otherwise monochrome software world. For those already familiar with FreeBSD ports, do explore other ports that complement your work. For instance, if you’re working on security, FreeBSD’s [nmap port]https//freebsdsoftware.org/security/nmap.html is a brilliant choice known for robust network exploration and security auditing.

Continuous exploration and usage of the FreeBSD Ports Collection can improve your productivity, efficiency, and even add amusing elements to your user experience, as we witnessed with wmfishtime. It exemplifies the combination of amusement and function, reminding us that FreeBSD is not just about serious coding but also about enjoying what you do!

Checkout these related ports: