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Thread: Howto: setup Conky in Hardy and Ibex

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    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Howto: setup Conky in Hardy and Ibex

    FOR HARDY AND IBEX. NOTE: for old Ubuntu versions, see here:

    Conky is an powerful desktop app that posts system monitoring info onto the root window. It used to be hard to set up properly (had unlisted dependencies, special command line compile options, and requires a mod to xorg.conf to stop it from flickering, and needed devilspie to work without being annoying). It's a lot easier these days, but there are still some tricks.

    1. Make sure the universe repo is enabled, and install 'conky' from universe repo. ie:
    	sudo apt-get --assume-yes install conky
    2. Make a configuration file in your home directory (ie. /home/bob). This is the code that describes what you want displayed on your conky desktop.
    gedit /home/bob/.conkyrc
    3. Obviously, you can put whatever you want in your .conkyrc.

    One of the cutest scripts at the moments is called Conky Colours (as in the screenshot above) -, but it is a little harder than other scripts to install.

    Otherwise, for a very functional conky that I've mashed up from other scripts, you could paste the following code into the file and save / exit. I've added in some cool code that will show what programs on your machine are trying to connect to the outside world (should give you some warning of spyware, etc. on your machine), as well as a summary of whats being written in your /var/log file (system error msgs, etc), and also a list of the top few programs that are chewing up your CPU and memory:

    # 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.
    # - 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
    ${color orange}SYSTEM ${hr 2}$color
    $nodename $sysname $kernel on $machine
    ${color orange}CPU ${hr 2}$color
    ${freq}MHz   Load: ${loadavg}   Temp: ${acpitemp}
    ${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. Run 'conky' to see if it works without flickering. If there is flickering, add the dbe module to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf to reduce flickering.
    sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    anywhere near the end add:
    Section "Module"
            Load    "dbe"
    if there isn't already a Module section, otherwise just add 'Load "dbe"' into your Module section.

    6. If you do not have funky desktop effects on your desktop (Compiz, etc) - then for vanilla Ubuntu (Gnome), 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
    own_window yes
    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
    For XFCE ONLY make the following changes to .conkyrc
    own_window yes
    own_window_type override
    own_window_transparent yes

    7. If you do have funky desktop effects on your desktop (Compiz, etc) place a startup script called in your home directory:
    sleep 60 && conky;
    This would start conky after 60 seconds of your login. That way, compiz doesn't draw shadows around conky and try to do funky things with it. Make sure the script is executable:
    chmod a+x
    and add it to your startup programs (menu: system->preferences->session->startup programs).

    Please add comments if anything doesn't work or if you have other ideas and I can update the instructions.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by seldon77; January 7th, 2009 at 01:51 PM.
    <a href="" title="The Ubuntu Counter Project - user number # 8807"><img src="" alt="The Ubuntu Counter Project - user number # 8807" /></a>


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