Last updated on August 29, 2020 by Dan Nanni
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 in Ubuntu environment 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.
To install conky on Ubuntu, Debian, use
$ sudo apt-get install conky-all
To install Conky on Fedora, simply run:
$ sudo yum install conky
To install Conky on CentOS or RHEL, first set up EPEL repository, and then run:
$ sudo yum install conky
Conky's configuration is defined with the Lua programming language. There are plenty of Conky themes you can download. In this tutorial, let's download and try one Conky example.
The Conky Lua will be downloaded as a compressed archive, named as
139024-Conky-lua1.tar.gz. Extract files from the compressed tarball.
$ tar xvfvz 139024-Conky-lua1.tar.gz $ 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. Hence, we extract a folder called
$ tar xvfvz Conky ubuntu-lua.tar.gz $ cd Conky ubuntu-lua
In the extracted content, you will find three files, namely:
Now, rename the file
.conkyrc, and copy it to your home directory.
$ mv conkyrc .conkyrc $ cp .conkyrc ~
Next, create a new folder named
.conky in your home directory, and copy the other two files (
$ mkdir ~/.conky $ cp clock_rings.lua new-ubuntu-logo.png ~/.conky
Now you need to edit the
.conkyrc file that you put in your home directory.
~/.conkyrc, find the line:
lua_load /~.lua/scripts/clock_rings.lua and change
$ vi ~/.conkyrc
# Lua Load # lua_load ~/.conky/clock_rings.lua lua_draw_hook_pre clock_rings
~/.conkyrc, you are ready to launch Conky.
Go to the terminal and type the following command to launch Conky as a daemon.
$ conky -d
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.
$ killall conky
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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