I have a list of tasks I need to complete for a project I'm working on in a org file. The thing is that I would like to display the Wercker's status images of my project on that file to know how the unit tests are doing without visiting the Wercker site or the front page of my project's repo.

How can I achieve this?

  • 1
    This does not seem possible without re-writing a good portion of org-display-inline-images. However, you can add an Org Babel source code block that would run curl (or wget, or ...) to download an image and then link to this local copy. Dec 14, 2014 at 0:15
  • well, that seems to work. There is no way to run that code block automatically every time I switch to that buffer and then call to org-redisplay-inline-images?
    – shackra
    Dec 15, 2014 at 6:55
  • @shackra does the approach in my answer below work for your?
    – rekado
    Mar 15, 2015 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


As Constantine wrote you can run an Org Babel snippet to fetch the image from the remote server with wget and display link the local copy of the image. This leaves you with the problem that the snippet would only be run once unless you force re-evaluation.

An out-of-emacs solution is to set up a cron job or similar to repeatedly fetch the image from the remote and overwrite a well-known file which would be linked in your org file. That too seems ugly to me, though.

A cleaner solution would be to write a function that fetches the image and then redisplays inline images in one go. You could then simply run the function to update the status image on demand.

Something along these lines:

(defun update-my-pic (url filename)
  (shell-command (concat "wget -O " filename " " url))

(update-my-pic "https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/d593a36fb27c41445fade43a1fdd632c" "~/tmp/pic.png")
(update-my-pic "https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/917480313534cf1fd09009e861a2c52d" "~/tmp/pic.png")

This would update a picture link to a file "~/tmp/pic.png".

  • Can you please provide the full solution? As of now, this is more like a comment. Feb 27, 2015 at 16:14
  • @kaushalmodi See updated answer.
    – rekado
    Feb 28, 2015 at 8:35

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