Basic Tips for conky

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Installation

Conky can be installed using the package manager

user $ pamac install conky

Configuration

All file names starting with a dot . are hidden files. If you want to see hidden files in your file manager, you need to make them visible. In most file managers this will be available in the options.

Configuration file

The default configuration file is located in /usr/share/doc/conky-1.11.5_pre/conky.conf where version are subject to change. Conky do not create a local conky folder so you will have to create beforehand

user $ mkdir -p ~/.config/conky

Then copy the default to home

user $ cp /usr/share/doc/conky-1.11.5_pre/conky.conf ~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc

The configuation file is a simple text file and the content written using [syntax] and is split into two parts

  • Configuration
  • Text

Conky configuration

The first/upper part contains all the configuration settings for the entire conky. Things like the position of the conky on your screen, transparency settings, border settings, the default font and it's size, and how often your conky gets updated. The whole configuration belong between brackets like this

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.config = {
};

Some rules apply

  • Every line end with ,
  • Non-boolean/numerical value should be placed between '
  • Comment start with --

Examples

1. This will set the default font color of your conky to white. Additionally, a color1 gets set using a Html Color Codeto a light blue:

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.config = {
...
    default_color = 'white',    -- White default color
    color1 = '0ab1ff',          -- Light blue
...
};

2. This enables Xft, set the default font (LiberationMono), make it bold and set it's size (8):

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.config = {
...
    use_xft = true,
    font = 'LiberationMono:bold:size=8',
...
};

3. In order to position your conky on your screen, modify these settings:

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.config = {
...
    alignment = 'top_right',     -- Conky gets placed in the top right corner of your desktop
    gap_x 18,                    -- with a horizontal gap of 18 pixels (to your right screen edge)
    gap_y 20,                    -- and a vertical gap of 20 pixels (to your top screen edge).
...
};

4. In some case you can have multiple values for one setting, they will be separated by a coma:

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.config = {
...
    own_window_hints = 'undecorated,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager,below',
...
};

Use the command: man conky, and look into the CONFIGURATION SETTINGS section to see every settings available.

Conky text

The second part contains the displayed conky code. Every code line corresponds to one displayed line on your desktop. There are a lot of available for displaying and modifying all kinds of information. Use the command: man conky, and look into the OBJECTS/VARIABLES section to see every objects/variables available. Template:Info

The whole code belong between these two double bracket:

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.text = [[
]];

Examples

1. You can choose the color of your font using one of the following variables:

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.text = [[
...
${color}
${color1}
...
]];

Every variable is marked with a $ sign and by { } brackets (only needed, if the variable contains more than one word).

2. You can call the default font (and it's size) with this command:

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.text = [[
...
$font
...
]];

If you want a different font (DejaVuSerif) and font size (9) in your conky, use this command in your .conkyrc code:

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.text = [[
...
${font DejaVuSerif:size=9}
...
]];

3. This code line displays the text "Kernel: " and the kernel you are using (using $alignr just yields a nicer formatting, it is not necessary: $alignr aligns all following text on the right of your conky):

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.text = [[
Kernel: ${alignr}${kernel}
]];

4. This variable gives you the latest 3 manjaro blog entry titles (using rss). It checks for updates every 60 minutes.

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.text = [[
${rss http://manjaro.org/feed/ 60 item_titles 3}
]];

5. Information about the root partition / of your manjaro installation is displayed using

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.text = [[
Root: ${alignr}${fs_used /} of ${fs_size /}
]];

6. Instead of example 3, you can use the following code to display the exact same information:

~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc
conky.text = [[
Kernel: ${alignr}${execi 3600 uname -r}
]];
execi

The variable ${execi 3600 XXXX} runs the XXXX bash code in your terminal every 3600 seconds and displays the result in your conky. The result of the uname -r bash command is your currently used kernel name.

Use any bash command instead of XXXX you can think of. The bash commands can be as long and complicated as you want.

Warning: Using complicated bash commands (e.g. which call other programs or use large files) with low intervals (e.g. ${execi 2 XXXX} runs the XXXX code once every 2 seconds and displays it's result in your conky) can use a lot of hardware resources and/or make your computer unresponsive.

Running conky

If you want to display a conky on your desktop a ~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc file with code in it is required. Next, open a terminal and run conky pointing to the file

user $ conky -c ~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc

or to run as background daemon

user $ conky -d -c ~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc

If you want to run conky automatically after each boot of your computer, you need to find out how to autostart a program. This depends on the Desktop Manager you are using. The next is examples of how to run conky from your system autostart folder/file/script/command. sleep 20 and -p 20 delay the start of conky by 20 seconds after your Desktop Environment has started. Adjust this value to your liking.

user $ conky -c ~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc &
user $ sleep 20 && conky -c ~/.config/conky/conky.conkyrc &

When you change the running conky configuration file - conky will reload. But if you changed one of your dependency scripts (e.g. because you changed a variable and want to see the consequences) you will have to reload conky

user $ killall conky && conky -c ~/.config/config/conky.conkyrc

Troubleshooting & Tips

Missing rings

To be able to use LUA scripts to execute drawing functions like clock rings - you will a conky package compiled with LUA support. Either build the package the package conky-lua from AUR or install the conky-lua-nv from the official repo.

Missing network information

If network information is missing like download speed or network name (SSID), you need to replace the network interfaces in the configuration file with your network interface name. To get the names of your interfaces - open a terminal and execute

user $ ip a

Use the output from the command. Interface names starting with en is ethernet interface and names starting with wl is wireless interfaces. Replace all network interfaces names with (e.g. wlan0, eth0) in your .conkyrc text section with the interface name(s) you retrieved from the above command.

Conky Manager

An application named Conky manager exist but has not been updated for years and the configurations found in the package may work or they may not. You may install it - it can be a used as an inspiration but you should not rely on it. If you still think you it is a must have - you can build the package conky-manager using AUR

user $ pamac build conky-manager

See Also