Tips on how to Show Info on Your Linux Desktop With Conky

In case you’ve ever hung out shopping a Linux neighborhood on Reddit, Twitter, or different social networks, you might need observed some beautifully-made screenshots of sleek-looking programs the place the time, date, and different details about the system are on full show within the desktop. To do that in your system, you could to grasp one of the helpful functions in Linux: Conky.

What Is Conky?

Conky is a system monitor that shows info in your desktop. It was designed as a substitute for torsmo, which seems to not have been in growth since 2004.

It’s vital to notice that it’s not a desktop customizer or any type of main theme-altering utility. It’s merely one thing that acts, at finest, as a part of the feel and appear you’re attempting to create to your system. Conky is, nonetheless, a particularly highly effective piece of software program when you grasp the extra intricate components of it.

Tip: want extra inspiration? Try these custom-made Linux desktops for the very best customization concepts.

Set up Conky

Since there may be a lot you are able to do (and a lot that may go mistaken) with Conky, we’re breaking issues all the way down to their easiest elements and explaining get it up and operating with a minimal stage of frustration.

Conky Installation

To ensure the very best outcomes and compatibility with the most important variety of themes, we’d like a couple of issues:

  • Conky
  • LUA – for operating scripts inside themes which are extra advanced than what bash can present.
  • jq – A conveyable JSON processor with minimal system overhead.
  • curl – Some themes might wish to run curl to seize information (like climate data).

With all that out of the best way, let’s set up Conky:

In Ubuntu/Debian/Mint:

Set up Conky and all its dependencies:

sudo apt set up lua5.4 jq curl conky-all

In Fedora/RHEL:

Set up Conky with the command:

 sudo dnf set up conky lua jq curl

In Arch Linux and All Its Variants:

Set up Conky’s dependencies with the command:

sudo pacman -S lua jq curl

Because the official repositories don’t embrace a model of Conky with the kind of help you could expertise the complete vary of its options, you’ll must get it from the Arch Consumer Repository (AUR). On this case, we’re utilizing yay.

In case you run a Nvidia GPU, use conky-lua-nv as a substitute to get a particular model with options for these GPUs (yay -S conky-lua-nv).

Getting Conky Up and Working

Conky is a particularly versatile system monitor “applet” however wants some soiled work earlier than we get to the gorgeous magnificence it provides that offers you these juicy screenshot bragging rights.

Conky Running

To configure Conky to run correctly:

  1. Make a config folder in your house listing should you don’t have one: mkdir -p ~/.config/conky.
  2. Conky first checks whether or not you’ve got a configuration file for it in a chosen folder in your Residence listing, then checks its personal put in config if one isn’t discovered. To make config enhancing a lot simpler, copy Conky’s default configuration file in “/and many others/conky/” to your own home listing:
cp /and many others/conky/conky.conf ~/.config/conky/
  1. Run conky to check it.

It’s best to see a really rudimentary configuration of Conky seem someplace within the prime left of your display screen. It’s in all probability uglier than what you imagined however works for now.

Conky Defaultrun

You’ll discover it closes whenever you shut the terminal, however that is in all probability not the way you’d wish to run Conky. If you need conky to remain open after closing the terminal, kind:

Since conky doesn’t have an in depth button, you’ll have to shut it within the terminal:

You may additionally need it to start out when your desktop boots:

  1. Create a desktop entry for Conky in your autostart folder with an editor:
nano ~/.config/autostart/conky.desktop
  1. Enter the next into the desktop file:
[Desktop Entry]
Exec=conky --daemonize --pause=5

The following time you begin your laptop, it ought to convey up Conky with out your enter. Be aware that --pause=5 within the Exec string means that it’ll begin 5 seconds after your system begins booting. In case you suppose your laptop doesn’t want that sort of time, decrease the worth or get rid of the flag fully.

Utilizing Conky Supervisor to Set up Themes

In case you’re not within the behavior of spelunking by configuration recordsdata and simply wish to rapidly get a reasonably theme operating, Conky Supervisor will prevent all the trouble with a sublime and easy GUI that merely works!

Conky Manager

To put in Conky Supervisor:

In Ubuntu:

  1. Add the developer’s personal PPA to your listing of repositories:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:teejee2008/foss

That is the one repository managed straight by the developer of probably the most present Conky Supervisor. Different repositories is not going to be updated.

  1. Refresh the APT cache and set up Conky Supervisor:
sudo apt replace && sudo apt set up conky-manager2

In Fedora:

This one is a bit trickier, because the official repositories have stopped together with it since Fedora 35, however you may construct it your self from GitHub.

  1. Set up the prerequisite packages:
sudo dnf set up make automake gcc gcc-c++ kernel-devel p7zip p7zip-plugins ImageMagick git vala libgee-devel gtk3-devel gstreamer1-devel clutter-devel webkit2gtk3-devel libgda-devel gobject-introspection-devel json-glib-devel gettext gettext-devel
  1. Clone the developer’s Git repository:
git clone
  1. Go to the newly created folder and compile it:
  1. Set up Conky Supervisor:

In case you later wish to uninstall it, return to this listing and sort

In Arch Linux:

Set up Conky Supervisor from the official repository with:

sudo pacman -S conky-manager

Though the developer of Conky Supervisor solely retains observe of Ubuntu, Arch’s neighborhood adamantly maintains an up-to-date package deal within the official repositories. That’s why it was even simpler to put in than it was in Ubuntu!

Discovering Conky Themes

The benefit of Conky is that it’s absolutely customizable and has loads of themes to beautify your desktop immediately.

There are two methods of discovering themes which are moderately dependable:

  • GitHub’s conky-theme matter – when sorted by “Not too long ago up to date,” you’ll discover a vital variety of themes for Conky that can work very effectively with little or no modification.
  • OpenDesktop’s pling Conky repository – very like the GitHub matter, this repository will present a number of current themes. You’ll additionally discover theme packs right here, permitting you to put in a number of in a single go.

Putting in the Themes

Earlier than you start putting in themes, learn the creator’s directions! A few of these themes are very advanced and comprise issues like climate and NIC standing. They don’t seem to be uniform in how they method these subjects, so there’s no method to supply one-size-fits-all directions get them working completely. Learn what the creator of the theme wrote and try to be advantageous.

It’s vital to notice that some themes will ask you to place their recordsdata in a selected folder. Pay shut consideration to this, as placing the recordsdata wherever else will probably break the theme and get it to show incorrectly.

Usually, to put in a theme, these are the generic steps:

  1. Obtain the theme’s zip file from the repository.
  2. Extract the zip file to the listing it belongs in (normally “~/.config/conky” or “~/.conky”).
  3. Open Conky Supervisor and allow the theme.

If there are different configuration steps offered by the theme’s creator, you could have to comply with them. Climate is often dealt with by a script that queries a URL with sure parameters. Search for a file like “” contained in the theme’s directories and edit it to your liking.

Good to know: take a look at extra methods to show the climate forecast in your Linux desktop.

Dealing With Black Backgrounds and Blobbing

Typically when you choose a theme in Conky Supervisor, the background is black (as a substitute of clear) or prints over itself consistently till the knowledge it shows is an unreadable blob.

Conky Broken transparency

This occurs as a result of the Conky theme in query didn’t have an alpha channel (for opacity) enabled. Repair this by following the steps beneath:

  1. Open the configuration file of your theme (normally a “.conf” file someplace within the theme’s listing or a plain file with no extension).
  2. Discover the own_window_argb_visual worth and alter its worth from true to false. In case you don’t have such a worth, make one in a brand new line. It ought to appear to be: own_window_argb_visual = true,. Don’t neglect the comma on the finish; in any other case, Conky will fail to load the theme.
  3. Modify or create the worth own_window_argb_value in order that it appears like: own_window_argb_value = 0,.
  4. Save the config file.

This could instantly reset Conky into one thing far less difficult on the eyes.

Conky Fixedbackground

For white textual content like that, maybe a darker desktop background could be required. In fact, that is what theme-making is all about! Discover your individual path to hold you ahead.

If the repair offered right here makes the background white as a substitute of clear, take away this line from the configuration file offered earlier:

own_window_colour = '#FFFFFF',

Conky Options

If Conky is sounding like a headache to you, maybe you’ll have extra luck with these options:

  • GKrellM – A cross-platform system monitor that has theme choices to match your desktop setting or window supervisor. It’s a bit clunkier than Conky and has a barely dated look, nevertheless it’s completely good for extra retro appears. Trace: should you scroll to only earlier than the underside of the positioning, you’ll discover binary packages should you don’t really feel like compiling it from supply.
  • Eww – A very versatile different to Conky with fashionable and smooth themeing that’s primarily used to boost window managers. Whereas it’s primarily geared for WM utilization, you may nonetheless use it in a desktop setting. In case you’re utilizing Arch, you may simply set up the eww package deal from the AUR.

Often Requested Questions

My Conky is not beginning the best way I would love after I restart my system. How do I repair this?

If Conky isn’t beginning alongside together with your system, Conky Supervisor might have edited the desktop entry you created with out offering a useful different startup. It will ususally do that in “~/.conky/”.

You may resolve this by beginning Conky Supervisor, deciding on the themes you wish to load, then closing it. As quickly as you shut this system, it edits the startup script to incorporate the themes you wished it to start out with.

Why is my Conky theme off-center?

Some themes are designed to be off-center, configured to seem at both fringe of your display screen. Nevertheless, should you’re anticipating a theme that was designed to be on the middle, and it seems out of alignment, take a look on the configuration and verify for the worth of alignment. Edit it to say 'middle_middle', and try to be set!

In case you’re nonetheless having issues, you could have modified your show decision mid-session or are utilizing your working system in a digital machine designed to scale the decision as you resize the window. On this case, simply restart Conky or the working system, and this could repair itself.

How do I handle Conky flickering?

Edit the theme’s configuration and both edit or add this line inside the different worth declarations: double_buffer = true

This could allow the Double Buffer Extension help in Conky that can stop the flickering. In case you’re utilizing Wayland, this received’t have a lot of an impact – the answer there may be persistence. Conky’s Wayland help is nascen..t and can enhance over time!