For Ubuntu users, you install gDesklets using Synaptic. The desklets are of variable quality and value but some of the clocks are good, and perhaps the weather could be of some interest (if you can get it to work for your city 😉 ). The keeper for me is Quote of the Day. Go to:
and download the tar.gz file. Install from within gDesklets, selecting the tar.gz file downloaded.
I put two Quote of the Day desklets on my desktop – one for Bible verses and one for general quotes. To add a desklet, double click it in the list and drag and drop it into place on your desktop. To configure or move a desklet, right click on it and make your selection.
To get gDesklets to automatically appear when starting up, go to System> Preferences> Sessions and click on Add. The command is simply gdesklets start.