Conky: System Monitor for Ubuntu 3 comments

Conky is a free, lightweight system monitor for GNU/Linux/BSD, that displays any information on your desktop i.e Cpu usage, Disk usage, Download/Upload speeds, CPU/Hard Disk temperatures, list of programs with pid (taking max cpu) etc . Originally a fork of Torsmo, Conky’s torsmo-based code is BSD licensed. New code in Conky has been licensed under the GPL 3.0.

Over the years, Conky has changed significantly from its predecessor, while maintaining simplicity and configurability. Conky can display just about anything, either on your root desktop or in its own window. Not only does Conky have many built-in objects, it can also display just about any piece of information by using scripts and other external programs.

Features : It has more than 300 built-in objects including support for :

  • A big list of OS stats (username, uptime, CPU usage, memory usage, download, upload, disk usage, “top” like process stats, and network monitoring, just to name a few)
  • Built in IMAP and POP3 support
  • Built in support for many popular music players (MPD, XMMS2, BMPx, Audacious)
  • Can be extended using built in Lua support, or any of your own scripts and programs.
  • Built in Imlib2 and Cairo bindings for arbitrary drawing with Lua.

and much much more….

Conky can display this info either as text, or using simple progress bars and graph widgets, with different fonts and colors.

Download :- Conky 1.8.0

Install :- You can directly install conky using the terminal, just type in :

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install conky


You can also install it from the source itself. Just download the Conky from above link and place the downloaded file in /home/user directory and typein

$tar zxf conky-1.8.0.tar.gz

$cd /home/user/conky-1.8.0

$ ./configure –prefix=/usr –enable-x11 –enable-mpd

$ make

$ make install

Note: You’ll need the X11 development libraries, version 6.8.2 or later. package name is probably libx11-dev on Ubuntu, as well as the development libraries for any additional features and do make sure you have “build-essential” package before trying to install from sources 🙂

Getting it to Work :

Launch Conky by typing in

sudo /usr/bin/conky

Type in the root password and press enter & you will see conky running on your Desktop.

Styling it up : Conky by default gives a very gloomy dark look but you can edit to look awesome and display content according to your choice. The Conkyrc file resides in /home/user directory and you can edit it. All you need to do is to edit your .conkyrc. Use

sudo vi /home/user/.conkyrc

and edit it accordingly.

Here are 10 really good conky scripts that will make your desktop look great. The download & instructions are on the respective pages :

1) Ubuntu Lucid – Gnome

2) Ubuntu Blue -KDE

3) WoW Light Worldwide

4) Conky Flavors

5) The Perfect Conky Setup

6) Conky blue by vsv

7) ConkyTransmission

8 ) Ubuntu simplified

9) Mi – Ubuntu

10) New Dark Desktop

Just download these (extract the files if any). Locate conky script and open it with any text editor (say gedit) and copy all the content and then type :

sudo gedit /home/user/.conkyrc

Repalce the old content with the new code from the downloaded file, save it & exit. Now type

sudo /usr/bin/conky

and enjoy all new conky !

You can also add Conky to your startup. You can get more conky scripts from Just go there in the search box type “Conky” and done. Download and install awesome scripts from there and give a new look to your Desktop.

Note: ‘/user’ must be replaced by your own username.

Any questions regarding the post can be asked here.

Njoy Conky !

About Cell aka Abhishek

A Technology Fanatic, Open-source lover, a future Entrepreneur, & an Innovative thinker, is presently working as a R&D Engineer in the Wind Turbine Industry.