Saturday, 26 January 2013

How to use conky to configure my Ubuntu's desktop?

Ubuntu is a very powerful Operating System which offers immense control and options to its users so that they can customize it to their own needs. One of these options is customizing the desktop using various tools and softwares.

One of the most popular tools to customize the desktop is conky. From the manual page of Conky:

"A system monitor for X originally based on the torsmo code, but more kickass. It just keeps on given'er. Yeah."

Though this does not provide sufficient information about conky, it does reveal a lot about its developers. Yeah!

In order to customize your desktop using conky, you need to configure the conkyrc file located in the .conky folder of your home folder. Don't worry, if you could not locate such a folder, since it has to be created when you first configure this file.

So, lets begin customizing our desktop.

First, install conky by typing the following command on your terminal:

sudo apt-get install conky-all

Next, we need to configure the /home/$USER/.conky/conkrc file. I was too lazy to do this myself and looked out for a good Samaritan who could provide me with a fully configured file. I found this website while going through my Google+ posts when I saw Carlo Coppa's post, and the wallpaper from here, which appeased me and I quickly pilfered it! This page is in Italian, so I thought I could just translate it for you, in my words, using what you have already guessed!

Next, click here, and press "Save". The file will be saved in a location depending upon the configuration of your browser. Its probably in your "Downloads" folder. Extract it by right-clicking on it and clicking on "Extract here". Open the newly created folder, named "Conky-lua", and again extract the contents of "Conky ubuntu-lua.tar.gz".

Now, copy all the files of this folder, "Conky ubuntu-lua" and create a folder .conky in your home folder and paste all the files you just copied to .conky .

Next, open a terminal and type the following:

mkdir -p ~/.lua/scripts/
cp ~/.conky/clock_rings.lua ~/.lua/scripts/

Don't worry about the -p option to mkdir, it resolves errors if parent directories are not found, by creating them.

Now, we are almost set to watch the show, type the following to run conky:

conky -c ~/.conky/conkyrc

This is how my desktop looks after this configuration. I'm lovin it!

The script to get this!

You can click on "Download the script", which will help you to configure your desktop exactly as shown.

Click "Save" after you click on the link and to run this, open a terminal and go to the path where you have downloaded this script and type:


This will only run conky this time. The next time you login, the script will have to be run again using the command

conky -c ~/.conky/conkyrc

I am sorry for this trouble, but I am working to add it to "Start-up Applications" and will soon add this, till then, Enjoy!

Feel free to question me regarding these configurations or if you have any problems before, during or after running this script, I'll be very happy to solve them for you, if I am able to!