What is conky?
Conky is a light-weight system monitor, which can display any information you want on the desktop. You can get it here, or you can simply install it with:
sudo apt-get install conky
If you want my conky setup though, you should compile it from source. I’ve explained why further in the post, so read through the whole thing before you go setting up your own conky. Here’s what my desktop looks like:
As you can see, I show music stats on the right hand side. I use mpd for music. Now, conky has in-built mpd support, which means using these conky variables for mpd make it faster and lighter on resources. However, these variables are disabled by default in the version available in Ubuntu repos. You won’t be able to use them if you do a
sudo apt-get install conky. Hence the compile-from-source bit. If you are not using mpd for music, you might as well do a sudo apt-get install. If you are compiling from source, this is an excellent guide.
So that’s done. Next you will need to download my conky config files and other scripts required for the setup. You can download them from here. Extract them and rename the folder as scripts. I keep all my scripts at
/home/vedang/Source/scripts/, and this path is hardcoded into the scripts everywhere. Please search for the string and change it appropriately.
I invoke two instances of conky (one for the left hand side and one for the right), and this is done in the startconky script. So you can get the conky setup started by typing
./startconky in the terminal. The
hddmonit script is used to get the hard-disk temperature. In the
ctwitter-dummy.py script, the username and password of your twitter account is required. Fill this in, and then rename the file to
Now, you need to put conky in startup applications for it to start automatically with the system. Make an entry in System->Preferences->Startup Applications. For the command, give the path to the
runconky script. This script does nothing but sleep for 15 secs and call startconky. This is because compiz needs to load before conky in order for conky to work correctly.
Finally, no conky script can be written from scratch without any help from the net. Here are the people I would like to acknowledge:
TheSeanKelly: The excellent fonts are something I discovered from his setup. Also, the temperature monitoring script is verbatim from his files.
Travist120: The python script for displaying twitter updates on conky is his.
And that’s it. We’re done.