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Thread: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Beans
    48

    Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    Note: this thread is for setting up Conky on older versions of Ubuntu (EDGY, DAPPER and BREEZY). For current Ubuntu versions (Hardy and Ibex, etc), go to: see this How-to instead


    FOR EDGY, DAPPER, and BREEZY. NOTE: conky in current versions of Ubuntu is now fixed and up to date, and can be installed from the standard repo. afaik, you only need to install, insert a .conkyrc file similar to the one below, and afaik there is no longer a place in xorg.conf to load the 'dbe' module. Read later discussion for more info or if someone can update me at conky@pengo.us on the latest instructions for later versions I'll put them up, as a lot of people seem to use this thread.

    Conky is an powerful desktop app that posts system monitoring info onto the root window. It is hard to set up properly (has unlisted dependencies, special command line compile options, and requires a mod to xorg.conf to stop it from flickering, and the apt-get version doesnt work properly). Most people can't get it working right, but its an AWESOME app if it can be set up right done!

    With Version 1.4.2 there is no longer a need to load devilspie to hide the taskbar window.

    Screenshot:

    1. Install required dependencies (make sure the universe repo is enabled)
    Edgy/Breezy/Dapper:
    Code:
        sudo apt-get --assume-yes install wmctrl
    If you want to build from scratch, also install libxext-dev build-essential checkinstall

    2. Edgy: Install 'conky' from universe repo. ie:
    Code:
        sudo apt-get --assume-yes install conky
    Dapper / Breezy: Download http://www.pengo.us/conky_1.4.2-0ubuntu1_i386.deb PLEASE DON'T LINK TO THIS FILE, as it's only on very limited bandwidth! ie:
    Code:
    cd
    wget http://www.pengo.us/conky_1.4.2-0ubuntu1_i386.deb
    sudo dpkg -i conky_1.4.2-0ubuntu1_i386.deb
    This is a .deb file for Conky 1.4.2 now that works on Breezy/Dapper Ubuntu (the standard Debian 1.4.2 .deb doesn't work). Note that at the time of writing this how-to, the conky in the dapper ubuntu universe repository is very old and, in ways, broken.
    Note that at the time of writing, version 1.4.2 is the latest version. If a later version has been released since the writing of this guide, you can build your own conky .deb file as follows. First, go to http://conky.sourceforge.net/ to download the latest version.

    Code:
    wget http://umn.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/conky/conky-1.4.2.tar.gz
    Code:
            tar xvzf conky-1.4.2.tar.gz
            rm conky-1.4.2.tar.gz
            cd ~/conky-1.4.2
            ./configure --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --infodir=/usr/share/info --datadir=/usr/share --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var/lib --enable-xft --enable-seti --enable-double-buffer --enable-own-window --enable-proc-uptime --enable-mpd --enable-mldonkey --enable-x11 --enable-portmon --enable-infopipe
            make
            sudo checkinstall
    Then answer the relevant questions that checkinstall gives. But, as stated above, you may only need to download the source and make it if this guide has become outdated and versions after 1.4.2 have been released.
    3. Make a configuration file in your home directory (ie. /home/bob)
    Code:
    gedit /home/bob/.conkyrc
    4. Paste the following code into the file and save / exit. If you know what you are doing, you can edit this file, or download other example configuration file on the net (but this one is probably the best!).
    Code:
    # 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 shows number of connections from your computer and application/PID making it. Kill spyware!
    #
    # -- Pengo
    # 
     
    # Create own window instead of using desktop (required in nautilus)
    own_window yes
    own_window_type override
    own_window_transparent yes
    own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
     
    # Use double buffering (reduces flicker, may not work for everyone)
    double_buffer yes
     
    # fiddle with window
    use_spacer right
    
    # Use Xft?
    use_xft yes
    xftfont DejaVu Sans:size=8
    xftalpha 0.8
    text_buffer_size 2048
     
    # Update interval in seconds
    update_interval 3.0
     
    # Minimum size of text area
    # minimum_size 250 5
     
    # Draw shades?
    draw_shades no
     
    # Text stuff
    draw_outline no # amplifies text if yes
    draw_borders no
    uppercase no # set to yes if you want all text to be in uppercase
     
    # Stippled borders?
    stippled_borders 3
     
    # border margins
    border_margin 9
     
    # border width
    border_width 10
     
    # Default colors and also border colors, grey90 == #e5e5e5
    default_color grey
     
    own_window_colour brown
    own_window_transparent yes
     
    # Text alignment, other possible values are commented
    #alignment top_left
    alignment top_right
    #alignment bottom_left
    #alignment bottom_right
     
    # Gap between borders of screen and text
    gap_x 10
    gap_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 ${hr 2}$color
    RAM:   $memperc%   ${membar 6}$color
    Swap:  $swapperc%   ${swapbar 6}$color
     
    Root:  ${fs_free_perc /}%   ${fs_bar 6 /}$color 
    hda1:  ${fs_free_perc /media/sda1}%   ${fs_bar 6 /media/sda1}$color
     
    ${color orange}NETWORK (${addr eth0}) ${hr 2}$color
    Down: $color${downspeed eth0} k/s ${alignr}Up: ${upspeed eth0} k/s
    ${downspeedgraph eth0 25,140 000000 ff0000} ${alignr}${upspeedgraph eth0 
    25,140 000000 00ff00}$color
    Total: ${totaldown eth0} ${alignr}Total: ${totalup eth0}
    ${execi 30 netstat -ept | grep ESTAB | awk '{print $9}' | cut -d: -f1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr}
    ${color orange}LOGGING ${hr 2}$color
    ${execi 30 tail -n3 /var/log/messages | awk '{print " ",$5,$6,$7,$8,$9,$10}' | fold -w50}
     
    ${color orange}FORTUNE ${hr 2}$color
    ${execi 120 fortune -s | fold -w50}
    If the network connections graph does not work, you will have to change all "eth0" references to "ppp0" (for modem) or "ath0" (for some other devices).

    5. Add dbe module to /etc/X11/xorg.conf to reduce flickering.
    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    find the section titled Section "Module", and add
    Code:
            Load    "dbe"
    6. Go to System, Preferences, Sessions, Startup Programs and add 'conky' to the list of start up progams. Reboot. Conky will be active after your next reboot!
    NOTE: Kubuntu users ONLY make the following changes:
    Open .conkyrc and comment out the lines
    Code:
    own_window yes
    Code:
    own_window_hints undecorated,below,skip_taskbar
    background yes
    Since we don't use nautilus in Kubuntu, we don't need it.

    Also, to get Conky to autostart in Kubuntu, you need to add a link to the bin file (in /usr/bin) to
    Code:
    ~/.kde/Autostart

    For XFCE ONLY make the following changes to .conkyrc
    Code:
    own_window yes
    Code:
    own_window_type override
    own_window_transparent yes
    For Compiz / AIGLX users ONLY please make these changes:
    In .conkyrc
    Code:
    own_window yes
    Code:
    own_window_type override
    own_window_transparent yes
    own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
    Then (Compiz users) place a startup script called .conky_start.sh in your home directory:
    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    Code:
    sleep 60 && conky;
    This would start conky after 60 seconds of your login. That way, compiz doesn't draw shadows around conky. Make sure the script is executable:
    Code:
    chmod a+x .conky_start.sh
    and add it to your startup programs (menu: system->preferences->session->startup programs).
    Last edited by seldon77; January 7th, 2009 at 01:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Gentofte, Denmark
    Beans
    23
    Distro
    Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy

    Re: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    Using
    Code:
    sudo make install
    is a rather bad idea. It's much better to use the debian package system to keep track of such files, so instead of running
    Code:
    sudo make install
    , just run
    Code:
    sudo checkinstall
    and enter your way through all the questions (the default options are just fine) and make sure you install the .deb file checkinstall generates.

    Now you won't have unmanaged files cluttering your system and Conky can be easily removed using apt-get and even redistrbuted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    2,310
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Unhappy Re: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    I've followed the instructions...what am I missing? I keep getting this error:
    Code:
    magic@frisky:~/conky-1.4.2$ ./configure --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --infodir=/usr/share/info --datadir=/usr/share --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var/lib --enable-xft --enable-seti --enable-double-buffer --enable-own-window --enable-proc-uptime --enable-mpd --enable-mldonkey --enable-x11 --enable-portmon --enable-infopipe
    checking for a BSD-compatible install... /usr/bin/install -c
    checking whether build environment is sane... yes
    checking for gawk... gawk
    checking whether make sets $(MAKE)... no
    checking build system type... Invalid configuration `i686-pc-linux-oldld': machine `i686-pc-linux' not recognized
    configure: error: /bin/sh ./config.sub i686-pc-linux-oldld failed
    Any thoughts anyone?

    Also, can someone please give me a run-down on <sudo checkinstall> vs <sudo make install>. Thanx!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Beans
    32

    Re: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    Quote Originally Posted by ciscosurfer
    Also, can someone please give me a run-down on <sudo checkinstall> vs <sudo make install>. Thanx!
    Basically "make install" just installs the program by copying all the files to the appropriate places, you can then uninstall later on by doing a "make uninstall" in the source directory (which you need to keep around). "checkinstall" makes a deb file and installs it with apt-get, which means you can use apt to uninstall, plus if you set the version numbers right it will automatically get upgraded if a newer version appears in the repos (for example if you build 1.4.2, and then in a few months 1.5 appeared in the ubuntu repos, it would get updated).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    2,310
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Talking Re: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    Quote Originally Posted by markmark
    Basically "make install" just installs the program by copying all the files to the appropriate places, you can then uninstall later on by doing a "make uninstall" in the source directory (which you need to keep around). "checkinstall" makes a deb file and installs it with apt-get, which means you can use apt to uninstall, plus if you set the version numbers right it will automatically get upgraded if a newer version appears in the repos (for example if you build 1.4.2, and then in a few months 1.5 appeared in the ubuntu repos, it would get updated).
    Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    nefrickinbraska
    Beans
    314

    Re: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    woorked good for me.

    took me a little bit to get it up in the right hand corner.

    Just read the docs on the main site, or man conky

    Kind of neat. Seems a bummer it is not up to date in the repo's.

    thanks
    may the forces of evil become confused on the way to your mail server

    beerorkid.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Beans
    48

    Re: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    if anyone has a lot of trouble compiling, i've got a .deb file for 1.4.2 now that works on ubuntu (the standard debian 1.4.2 deb doesn't work).

    but, please don't link to this file, as it's only on very limited bandwidth!
    http://www.pengo.us/conky_1.4.2-0ubuntu1_i386.deb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Beans
    60
    Distro
    Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    I'm trying to compile conky, and when I do ./configure --whatever, I get this:
    .......
    checking for X... no
    checking for XdbeQueryExtension in -lXext... no
    configure: error: something went wrong when checking for Xdbe (double buffer extension)

    Clearly something is wrong, but I have no idea where to start looking.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Beans
    48

    Re: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Kashirigi
    I'm trying to compile conky, and when I do ./configure --whatever, I get this:
    .......
    checking for X... no
    checking for XdbeQueryExtension in -lXext... no
    configure: error: something went wrong when checking for Xdbe (double buffer extension)

    Clearly something is wrong, but I have no idea where to start looking.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
    I think you skipped step 1? Installing the required dependancies?
    do the:
    sudo apt-get --assume-yes install libxext-dev lm-sensors
    before continuing.

    if thats not the problem, let me know!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Beans
    119

    Re: Howto: Get a beautiful Conky 1.4.2 setup

    It is still all flickery for me, even after I added that part to my xorg.conf file. What gives?

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