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.
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.