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ubuntu weather indicatorPut the current weather where it belongs: in Ubuntu’s panel. If Unity’s left you without your favorite weather panel applet, worry not: you can install an indicator applet that’s just as good, and in some ways better, to the antiquated Gnome weather applet of old.

Okay, we get it: most of our commenters don’t like Ubuntu’s new Unity interface Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux It's here. The newest version of Ubuntu sports an entirely new user interface: Unity. It also includes a much-improved Software Center, alongside the usual updates for the thousands of free programs Ubuntu offers. Canonical decided... Read More . I still think it has huge potential, but any transition is going to cause some frustration.

The lack of a customizable panel will doubtless be a problem to many, which is why I’m glad to see many developers are starting to design various indicator applets. OMG Ubuntu’s in-depth reporting on indicator applets is probably the best found anywhere on the web, if you want to find more applets right now. But by far the most useful thing I’ve seen is this indicator for the weather, probably because I spend as much time outside as I can.

Being able to see the current temperature, along with an icon representing conditions, at a glance is awesome, but there’s more than that here.

Using the Ubuntu Weather Indicator

Using this application isn’t any more difficult than it needs to be. Like I said, you can see the current condition, represented by an icon, by default. Click this and you’ll get more information.

ubuntu weather indicator


As with all indicator applets, the information is presented in a clean manner. Wind speed, humidity and sunrise/sunset times are all provided for you. There’s also a forecast, but you have to click to bring it up. When you do you’ll see a simple rundown:

weather weather applications

A rare rainy week in Boulder. I’m looking forward to it.

Configuring The Program

You can configure the program by clicking “preferences”, of course. There are three tabs of options: General, Units and Locations. Units and Locations, of course, are self-explanatory: you can change the units of measurement used to present information.

Under General there are a few things you might want to change. For example, I highly recommend adding the temperature to the panel with this checkbox:

ubuntu weather indicator

You can also decide whether or not you want to have notifications, which is useful if you need to be reminded that there’s weather outside. I turned this off.


Want to install this indicator applet? Time to add a PPA! Run the following code in the Terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:weather-indicator-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-weather

Not using Ubuntu 11.04 yet, or using a different Linux distro?  Weather Indicator will only work on desktops that support indicator applets, but you can head over to the project’s home page to potentially find installation instructions. Source code is all that’s offered, so you might need to compile this; sorry about that!


I really do prefer indicator applets to Gnome’s old panel applets. They’re better integrated – move your mouse from side to side to switch the applet you’re using – and they bring a polished feel to Ubuntu that it was lacking. As time goes on, more quality indicator applets like this will make Unity increasingly useful for home users. I’m looking forward to writing up a list of other indicator applets in the week to come, so stay tuned.

For now, feel free to recommend your favorite indicator applets below, or to comment on the value of the weather one. Also feel free to talk about how you personally dislike Unity, and why this means Ubuntu is now crap. That’s a very productive thing to add.

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  1. cliffm
    July 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Just loaded, after doing a restart it is working. Thanks for the lead.

  2. j0sh
    July 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    hi guys... i can't add a location in the setup... when i search my city and try to click "apply" nothing happens

    • j0sh
      July 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      no way... i just can't add Dublin... but i can add Rome :-)... this is funny

      • jhpot
        July 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

        What? They don't have Dublin? You might want to contact the developers about that one...

        For now, the weather in Dublin and Rome are pretty much the same anyway... ;)

  3. UbuntutotheCore
    June 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    The Weather-Indicator is failing to load on my machine (HP dv6, 11.04) after a successful install. Not sure what's going on, but I had the same issue happen on my other computer (Acer, Timeline X, 11.04), so I switched to Xubuntu.

    Does anyone else have the same issue with the indicator?

  4. IndyGunFreak
    May 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    this updated this morning and now when I try to start it, it fails, started in terminal and get...
    GLib-GIO-ERROR **: Settings schema '' is not installed

    • jhpot
      May 31, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      That's odd; is your system completely up to date?

  5. fsda
    May 29, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Is the forecast not working for anyone else?

    • Tina
      May 30, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      Apparently not. What problem do you have with it?

      • fsda
        May 31, 2011 at 2:47 am

        Sorry, Tina. I guess I spoke to soon. I saw something new come over the system update and now it seems to be working. Previously it was red x's instead of future forecasts.

        • Tina
          May 31, 2011 at 6:20 pm

          Thanks for the update!

  6. Thankful
    May 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    THANK YOU!! I've been missing that feature since the 11.04 upgrade.

  7. Jonfirste
    May 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    The Weather Indicator installed very nicely. It was one of the things that I sorely missed after installing Ubuntu 11.04. Thanks to everyone involved in the development of this new Weather Indicator.  

    • Misty
      May 24, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      I can only agree to Jonfirste! Thanks for the Weather Indicator. It's excellent! :)

  8. Ankur
    May 22, 2011 at 11:07 am

     this weather indicator is quite useful . 

  9. Deralaand
    May 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I liked Unity so much... I am now a full fledged Kubuntu user.
    I was a daily Gnome user since 8.04 and a casual user since 6.10.
    11.04... WTF