Conky is a light-weight system monitoring tool combined with a fully-customized desktop theme, which can completely change your Linux desktop experience. Using Conky, you will get a fully personalized desktop theme, populated with an eye-catching smart clock, current date and time, as well as the current status of your Linux system such as used/free HDD space, RAM and CPU utilization. Conky interface can also keep you updated with up/down time of the system and uploaded/downloaded data traffic. The point is, Conky is fully configurable and scriptable, being able to collect and display almost any type of information directly on an X window.
Conky works pretty much the same way on different Linux distros. This tutorial will guide you to install and configure Conky on Linux. While Conky was tested on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in this tutorial, you can configure Conky on other distros using the same instructions.
Let's assume that your Linux system is connected to the Internet.
Install Conky on Linux
To install Conky, type the following command in the command line.
To install Conky on Debian, Ubuntu or Linux Mint:
To install Conky on Fedora:
To install Conky on CentOS or RHEL, first enable EPEL repository, and then run:
Configure Conky on Linux
Conky's configuration is defined with the Lua programming language. Download example Conky Lua configuration files which will be used in this tutorial.
The Conky Lua will be downloaded as a compressed archive, named as '139024-Conky-lua1.tar.gz'. Extract files from the compressed tarball.
$ cd Conky-lua
You will find several compressed folders inside the uncompressed archive, each containing Conky configuration files for different Linux distros. Currently it contains Conky config files for Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, and openSUSE.
In this tutorial, we will configure Conky on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Hence, we extract a folder called 'Conky ubuntu-lua.tar.gz'.
$ cd Conky\ ubuntu-lua
In the extracted content, you will find three files, namely: 'clock_rings.lua', 'conkyrc' and 'new-ubuntu-logo.png'.
Now, rename the file 'conkyrc' to '.conkyrc', and copy it to your home directory.
$ cp .conkyrc ~
Next, create a new folder named '.conky' in your home directory, and copy the other two files ('clock_rings.lua' and 'new-ubuntu-logo.png') to ~/.conky folder.
$ cp clock_rings.lua new-ubuntu-logo.png ~/.conky
Now you need to edit the '.conkyrc' file that you put in your home directory.
In ~/.conkyrc, find the line: 'lua_load /~.lua/scripts/clock_rings.lua' and change '/~.lua/scripts/clock_rings.lua' to '~/.conky/clock_rings.lua'.
# Lua Load # lua_load ~/.conky/clock_rings.lua lua_draw_hook_pre clock_rings
After editing ~/.conkyrc, you are ready to launch Conky.
Go to the terminal and type the following command to launch Conky as a daemon.
Now you are done with the installation and configuration of Conky. If you follow everything accordingly, then you must have a transparent desktop utility theme like this one:
If you want to stop Conky, just go to the terminal and type the following.
Once you verify that Conky works correctly, you can set up Conky so that it auto-starts when you log in to your desktop.
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