TICKR is a news ticker desktop widget – a feed reader that displays news headlines as a small scrolling text line (ticker) on your desktop, available for Linux and Microsoft Windows.
Add your favorite website RSS feeds to TICKR, and the tool will show the latest headlines scrolling in a thin, semi-transparent window similar to those available on news TV channels. Hovering the mouse over the ticker pauses the scrolling, while pointing the mouse to a headline shows an excerpt of the article in a tooltip. Left-click the headline in TICKR to open it in your web browser.
This scrolling news desktop widget comes with the ability to import and export feeds (OPML), as well as a GUI to manage your RSS feeds, which includes some popular RSS feeds, and allows you to add, remove, re-arrange, enable or disable feeds.
From its settings (screenshot above), which can be accessed by right-clicking on the TICKR window, you can control various aspects such as the text scroll delay, font face and size, background and foreground colors, X and Y screen positions of the ticker, the ticker width and height, enable to show TICKR always on top, the number of items to show from each feed, and more.
It’s also worth noting that the application is not new. However, there were no new releases for many years – between 2013 and 2020 there was only a beta release. It looks like its developer is active again though, with a new major version being released in 2020, followed by a minor release last month. Even so, the application continues to use GTK2 for now.
The latest version of TICKR (0.7.1) worked with no issues for me not only when using the GTK-based GNOME (Ubuntu 21.04 with GNOME 40) and Xfce (Xubuntu 20.04) desktops, but also using KDE Plasma (5.22 under Manjaro KDE).
When you first run TICKR, it will ask you to import an OPML file. If you don’t have one, choose No here, and the tool will ask you if you want to use a sample one with some popular news websites.
Once you have added some RSS feeds (either your own custom ones or the sample list that comes with TICKR), the TICKR window is displayed at the top of the screen. If you can’t see it, look below open windows.
In case you have a panel at the top of the screen, TICKR should be displayed below it, so it’s not hidden under the panel, but if you can’t see TICKR, it might be that it’s hidden under a top panel, in which case you can try to temporarily move the panel in order to be able to right-click TICKR and change its position, or launch TICKR with a gap (e.g. launch it with
-win_y=200 to launch it with a 200px gap from the top of the screen). TICKR was properly displayed below the top GNOME Shell panel for me, so I didn’t need to resort to any tweaks.
Bonus. Want to run multiple TICKR instances at the same time? Here’s an example for launching 2 TICKR instances (each will have separate feeds) while also specifying a gap from the top of the screen (so the 2 don’t overlap):
tickr -instance-id=1 -win_y=200 & tickr -instance-id=2 -win_y=250
Make sure the 2 instances have different RSS feeds set up, or else they will show the same news.
Download TICKR – news scrolling desktop widget
The TICKR downloads page lists binaries for Debian / Ubuntu (including 2 PPAs) and for Microsoft Windows. If you head to the “all downloads” page, you’ll also find RPM binaries, along with the source code.
Arch Linux / Manjaro users can install Tickr from AUR.
TICKR is also available in the official repositories for some Linux distributions, including Debian, Ubuntu, MX Linux, and more, although it may be a very old release, depending on how old the Linux distribution you’re using is.