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Setting Up Conky On Debian Linux

What is Conky?..

Conky is a free, light-weight system monitor for X, that displays any information on
your desktop. Conky is licensed under the GPL and runs on Linux and BSD.

I stumbled upon Conky when I was setting up my new laptop with Linux Mint, I was looking for the Linux equivalent to GeekTool for Mac. While Conky is much more complicated than GeekTool is, it’s much more powerful and provides a wide range of options, all very customizable.

Conky Setup and configured on a Debian OS

Conky Setup and configured on a Debian OS

Here’s a screenshot of my desktop to the right, after I got Conky setup and configured correctly…

To Install Conky… It’s pretty basic, you can install it via APT…

sudo apt-get install conky

Customizing Conky can get a little tricky. Start by creating a ~/.conkyrc file, which may or may not exist after you install Conky, (I don’t think it gets created, but I don’t remember for sure. If it’s not there, then Conky will assume default settings for everything.. which is pretty ugly). Here’s my custom Conky configuration file: Conky Configuration File

At the top of the file are the settings for the Conky application iself, (As opposed to the display content/settings). Everything prior to the line that just contains “TEXT“.

Heres a page on Conkys website that reference each of the setting variables, and what they represent. Most of these settings are pretty self explanatory, but be sure to poke around a bit just to be sure.

Note: You will notice that if you edit the ~/.conkyrc file while Conky is running, then save it, Conky will automatically reload with the new settings.


These are some creative examples of how customizable Conky can be.


About J

Welcome to my little corner of the InterWebs! Most of what I post on LinuxDigest is about either automation, something I find interesting, or something I just learned myself. If you want me to post an article about something, just let me know! Im more than happy to help and teach others Linux.

One comment

  1. Hi J,

    Where can I get the conky scripts for the extremely nice chronograph along with the other scripts in Conky_Example-12.jpg?


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