Monday, April 21, 2008


Conky (1.5.1) is an application that posts system monitoring info onto your Desktop. It is very light-weighted and very cool to play with.

Steps to install

In the Terminal:
  • install conky
$ sudo apt-get install conky
  • get a configuration example file (check a nicer one bellow)
$ zcat /usr/share/doc/conky/examples/conkyrc.sample.gz > ~/.conkyrc 

Run conky in the Terminal

To have conky automatically start when you boot Ubuntu, do the following:
  • create a script to run conky (vi, with the following
sleep 20 && conky
  • make sure the script is executable
$ chmod a+x
  • try it
  • Go to System > Preferences > Sessions and add a new Startup Program with:
Name: conky
Command: /home/your_user/your_script_folder/
Comment: Start conky

To change the way conky displays information for you, you need to change the .conkyrc file in your home folder (Ctrl+H in Nautilus if you don't see it).

Here's a good configuration file to start, shared in Ubuntu Forums:

# UBUNTU-CONKY# A comprehensive conky script, configured for use on# Ubuntu / Debian Gnome, without the need for any external scripts.## Based on conky-jc and the default .conkyrc.# INCLUDES:# - tail of /var/log/messages# - netstat connections to your computer## -- Pengo (
# Create own window instead of using desktop (required in nautilus)own_window yesown_window_type overrideown_window_transparent yesown_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
# Use double buffering (reduces flicker, may not work for everyone)double_buffer yes
# fiddle with windowuse_spacer yesuse_xft no
# Update interval in secondsupdate_interval 3.0
# Minimum size of text area# minimum_size 250 5
# Draw shades?draw_shades no
# Text stuffdraw_outline no # amplifies text if yesdraw_borders nofont arialuppercase no # set to yes if you want all text to be in uppercase
# Stippled borders?stippled_borders 3
# border marginsborder_margin 9
# border widthborder_width 10
# Default colors and also border colors, grey90 == #e5e5e5default_color grey
own_window_colour brownown_window_transparent yes
# Text alignment, other possible values are commented#alignment top_leftalignment top_right#alignment bottom_left#alignment bottom_right
# Gap between borders of screen and textgap_x 10gap_y 10
# stuff after 'TEXT' will be formatted on screen
TEXT$color${color orange}SYSTEM ${hr 2}$color$nodename $sysname $kernel on $machine
${color orange}CPU ${hr 2}$color${freq}MHz Load: ${loadavg} Temp: ${acpitemp}$cpubar${cpugraph 000000 ffffff}NAME PID CPU% MEM%${top name 1} ${top pid 1} ${top cpu 1} ${top mem 1}${top name 2} ${top pid 2} ${top cpu 2} ${top mem 2}${top name 3} ${top pid 3} ${top cpu 3} ${top mem 3}${top name 4} ${top pid 4} ${top cpu 4} ${top mem 4}
${color orange}MEMORY / DISK ${hr 2}$colorRAM: $memperc% ${membar 6}$colorSwap: $swapperc% ${swapbar 6}$color
Root: ${fs_free_perc /}% ${fs_bar 6 /}$colorhda1: ${fs_free_perc /media/hda1}% ${fs_bar 6 /media/hda1}$colorhdb3: ${fs_free_perc /media/hdb3}% ${fs_bar 6 /media/hdb3}
${color orange}NETWORK (${addr eth0}) ${hr 2}$colorDown: $color${downspeed eth0} k/s ${alignr}Up: ${upspeed eth0} k/s${downspeedgraph eth0 25,140 000000 ff0000} ${alignr}${upspeedgraph eth025,140 000000 00ff00}$colorTotal: ${totaldown eth0} ${alignr}Total: ${totalup eth0}Inbound: ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 count} Outbound: ${tcp_portmon 3276861000 count}${alignr}Total: ${tcp_portmon 1 65535 count}
${color orange}LOGGING ${hr 2}$color${execi 30 tail -n3 /var/log/messages | fold -w50}
${color orange}FORTUNE ${hr 2}$color${execi 120 fortune -s | fold -w50}

  • Look for the free space file systems conf and change it to display your own filesystems
home: ${fs_free_perc /home}% ${fs_bar 6 /home}$color
  • Check to see if your using eth0 as your network interface
${color orange}NETWORK (${addr eth0}) ${hr 2}$color
  • The comments in the configuration file are very useful to get you started in your own conky setup

Flickering problem

If your have a flickering problem with conky add Load "dbe", to your X11 configuration file. It should look like this:
$ sudo vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Module"
Load "dbe"