Widgets mainly has two main version. The ones that relies on an online source (such as Google gadgets for instance, which can be used on websites, etc) and then there's the other kind that has both the engine and the applications installed on a HDD. But usually a lot of these widgets use Internet to fetch their data as well.
With MS Vista Microsoft also started giving widgets to their users but GNU/Linux actually has more than a singe "widget projects" going on for her at the moment. The Qt/KDE desktop has a widget engine of its own but if you want a more cross-desktop ready widgets then gDesklets is one of the best without a doubt.
|The world's most beautiful desktop :p...|
*. Supports major desktops for GNU/Linux such as KDE, Gnome and Xfce.
*. Has a separate "engine" of using which the desklets run and lets you install third-party created widgets easily.
*. Comes with few built in widgets such as a - Clock, Calender, Quote of the day and a puzzle game.
*. Supports installing/running remote packages.
*. Configure individual widgets.
|Configuring individual widgets is pretty easy... just right-click on the one that you need to configure and then click on "Configure desklet" ...|
*. Create profiles.
You can install gDesklets in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04 by using the below command in you Terminal window.
sudo apt-get install gdesklets
Once install you can run it by pressing "Alt" + "F2" keys and entering the below command in the box.
As said the default desklets (that's what they call them :D) may not be enough for you guys then you can a huge number of desklets from this page and use the main window to install them easily. Enjoy!.