Jul 20, 2023

Datetime panel plugin for the Xfce desktop

This plugin shows the date and time in the Xfce panel, and a calendar appears left-click.

If you’re a FreeBSD user, you’re probably already familiar with its ports system and the useful applications it offers. In the category of x11-clocks, there’s a nifty and very advantageous tool called the “xfce4-datetime-plugin.” This plugin is an absolute must-have for anyone working with FreeBSD, especially if you use the Xfce desktop environment.

A Brief Overview

The xfce4-datetime-plugin is a date and time plugin for the Xfce4 panel. As the name suggests, it allows you to add a digital clock to your Xfce panels. However, it is not just a simple digital clock. It’s a multi-functional tool that provides a date and a clock plugin combined. This means that in addition to displaying the time, it also shows the current date.

Why Use xfce4-datetime-plugin?

The simple answer to this is convenience. Often, while working on a computer, we lose track of time. Having to continually check the time manually distracts from the task at hand. Fortunately, the xfce4-datetime-plugin solves this as it provides you with time and date details right on your screen. This powerful tool not only enhances productivity by putting necessary information at your fingertips but also allows you to customize its appearance to fit your mood or aesthetic preferences.

Secondly, xfce4-datetime-plugin can handle multiple time zones. So, even if you are part of an international team, you can easily set this plugin to display the time zone of your colleagues or clients. It allows you to stay on top of international appointments and deadlines without breaking a sweat.

Finally, the xfce4-datetime-plugin is a lightweight plugin, which means it won’t strain your computer’s resources. This is particularly useful for those users who are running FreeBSD on older or less powerful hardware.

Installing xfce4-datetime-plugin on FreeBSD

Before you install the xfce4-datetime plugin, you need to ensure that your FreeBSD system is up to date. To update the system, you’ll use the command freebsd-update fetch install. Then, reboot your system for the updates to take effect.

Once your system is updated, You can install the xfce4-datetime-plugin via the FreeBSD ports system. To do so, navigate to the x11-clocks category with cd /usr/ports/x11-clocks/xfce4-datetime-plugin/ and then apply make install clean to activate the installation. Then, to make sure the plugin starts with Xfce, add “xfce4-datetime-plugin” to the autostart applications with xfce4-settings-manager setting.

Configuring and Using xfce4-datetime-plugin

One major benefit of the xfce4-datetime-plugin is its ease of use. Once installed, you’ll find it in the panel’s items listings. Right-click on any of your Xfce panels and select panel -> Add New Items. Scroll down until you find the “DateTime” item and click “Add”.

Congratulations! Now you should see the plugin on your panel displaying current date and time. Now, let’s make it look exactly how you want. Right-click on the newly added item and select properties. This will open the xfce4-datetime-plugin settings. From here, you can adjust the panel size, customize the font and colors and format the date and time.

When it comes to formatting, you can use the POSIX strftime functions. If you’re unsure of how to use these, there is a link in the plugin’s properties window that will take you to a strftime formatting guide.

Some Final Thoughts

The xfce4-datetime-plugin for FreeBSD is a powerful addition to the Xfce desktop environment. It’s not only visually satisfying but also a practical tool that helps to efficiently manage and track time.

If you are someone who values productivity or has a keen eye for design, or perhaps you work with people in different time zones, this plugin is ideal for you. It’s extremely easy to install and set up, even if you’re not necessarily tech-savvy. And, as one would expect from a FreeBSD port, you can customize it extensively to suit your needs.

Just as we would advise you to use the [nmap]https//freebsdsoftware.org/security/nmap.html port to ensure the security of your system, we highly recommend the xfce4-datetime-plugin for anyone using in the Xfce environment on FreeBSD. It will undoubtedly bring your productivity skills to the next level and simplify your navigation of time zones. We hope this guide was helpful and opens up more opportunities for you to explore the expansive FreeBSD ports system.

Remember, the FreeBSD software operates under the philosophy of “The power to serve”, and the xfce4-datetime-plugin allows you to serve more efficiently. Happy FreeBSDing!

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