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Today I will show you how to install conky on your linux desktop enviroment.

Conky unix program screen shot

So what is conky ?

is a free software system monitor for the X Window System. It is available for Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD. Conky is highly configurable and is able to monitor many system variables including the status of the CPU, memory, swap space, disk storage, temperatures, , network interfaces, battery power, system messages, e-mail inboxes, Arch Linux updates, many popular music players (MPD, XMMS2, BMPx, Audacious, etc.), weather updates, breaking news, and much more. Unlike system monitors that use high-level widget toolkits to render their information, Conky is drawn directly in an X window. This allows it to consume relatively fewer system resources when configured similarly.


Installation Notes


At a terminal:

$ sudo apt-get install conky


Have no fear, Conky is in portage. You can install it with:

# emerge app-admin/conky

or, using Paludis:

# paludis -i app-admin/conky


Conky is available in pacman:

# pacman -S conky


Conky is avaible in FreeBSD ports, check FreshPorts for details.


For Foresight Linux or any other rPath-based distro:

# conary update

Compiling from source

You'll need the X11 development libraries, version 6.8.2 or later. package name is probably libx11-dev (on Debian/Ubuntu), as well as the development libraries for any additional features.

  1. $ ./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-x11 --enable-mpd # see --help for a full listing of options
  2. $ make
  3. # make install

The last step is optional, if you don't do this, the conky executable will be in src/.


Usage example

Open /home/user/.conky/.conkyrc

A simple configuration for Conky which displays the time on a user's desktop is as follows:

# Created by Hatem Hena
own_window yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,skip_taskbar
background no
# Use double buffering (reduces flicker, may not work for everyone)
double_buffer yes
# fiddle with window
use_spacer yes
use_xft yes
# Update interval in seconds
update_interval 3.0
# Minimum size of text area
minimum_size 400 5
# Draw shades?
draw_shades yes
# Text stuff
draw_outline no # amplifies text if yes
draw_borders no
uppercase no # set to yes if you want all text to be in uppercase
# Stippled borders?
stippled_borders 8
# border margins
border_margin 4
# border width
border_width 1
# Default colors and also border colors, grey90 == #e5e5e5
default_color white
default_shade_color black
default_outline_color white
own_window_colour 000000
own_window_transparent yes
# Text alignment, other possible values are commented
alignment top_left
#alignment top_right
#alignment bottom_left
#alignment bottom_right
# Gap between borders of screen and text
gap_x 40
gap_y 100
# stuff after 'TEXT' will be formatted on screen
override_utf8_locale no
xftfont Terminus:size=8
xftalpha 0.8
own_window_argb_value 0
own_window_argb_visual yes
${offset 0}${color slate grey}${time %a, } ${color }${time %e %B %G}
${offset 0}${color slate grey}${time %Z,    }${color }${time %H:%M:%S}
${offset 0}${color slate grey}UpTime: ${color }$uptime
${offset 0}${color slate grey}Kern:${color }$kernel
${offset 0}${color slate grey}CPU:${color } $cpu% ${acpitemp}C
${offset 0}${cpugraph 20,130 000000 17FF39}
${offset 0}${color slate grey}Load: ${color }$loadavg
${offset 0}${color slate grey}Processes: ${color }$processes
${offset 0}${color slate grey}Running:   ${color }$running_processes
${offset 0}${color slate grey}Highest CPU:
${offset 0}${color #ddaa00} ${top name 1}${top_mem cpu 1}
${offset 0}${color lightgrey} ${top name 2}${top cpu 2}
${offset 0}${color lightgrey} ${top name 3}${top cpu 3}
${offset 0}${color lightgrey} ${top name 4}${top cpu 4}
${offset 0}${color slate grey}Highest MEM:
${offset 0}${color #ddaa00} ${top_mem name 1}${top_mem mem 1}
${offset 0}${color #17FF39} ${top_mem name 2}${top_mem mem 2}
${offset 0}${color lightgrey} ${top_mem name 3}${top_mem mem 3}
${offset 0}${color lightgrey} ${top_mem name 4}${top_mem mem 4}
${offset 0}${color slate grey}MEM:  ${color } $memperc% $mem/$memmax
${offset 0}${membar 3,100}
${offset 0}${color slate grey}SWAP: ${color }$swapperc% $swap/$swapmax
${offset 0}${swapbar 3,100}
${offset 0}${color slate grey}ROOT:    ${color }${fs_free /}/${fs_size /}
${offset 0}${fs_bar 3,100 /}
${offset 0}${color slate grey}HOME:  ${color }${fs_free /home}/${fs_size /home}
${offset 0}${fs_bar 3,100 /home}
${offset 0}${color slate grey}NET:
${offset 0}${color}Up: ${color }${upspeed wlan0} k/s
${offset 0}${upspeedgraph wlan0 20,130 000000 17FF39}
${offset 0}${color}Down: ${color }${downspeed wlan0}k/s${color}
${offset 0}${downspeedgraph wlan0 20,130 000000 17FF39}

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