What is conky? Mmmmm, I would call it a lightweight, text-based system monitor.

When configured properly it’s stunning (and a bit geeky too).

That’s what it looks like after some thinkering with it.


(click on it)

If you didn’t realize it, it’s the white text in the top right corner.

The way conky looks and what it can display can be (should be) altered, but more on that later.

Let’s get this puppy installed first.

Open up a terminal and past this:

sudo apt-get install conky

Then paste this:

zcat /usr/share/doc/conky/examples/conkyrc.sample.gz > ~/.conkyrc

You can start conky with “alt+f2” and typing “conky”. Or you could add it to the applications menu:

– right-click applications, go to system tools and press “add entry”
– name everything conky

Conky can do alot, you might want to take a look at these:

Add gmail support
Add weather forecasting support

Alot (alot alot) conky files can be found here.

Just paste the code you found there in .conkyrc (press ctrl+h to see the hidden files) in the home folder, after deleting it’s content.

You will have to restart x (ctrl+alt+backspace) or use the “killall conky” command in the terminal after you change the way it looks.

If you want conky to start at boot up you need to go to “system -> preferences -> session”, press “add” and type “conky” three times.

Update: I wrote a how-to on how to add weatherforecasting, audio info and gmail support in conky here.

    • bre101
    • April 6th, 2008

    hehe i like the name it’s cute!

    check out bre101 at
    join in on the crazy world of bre10!

    new pages, new stories, new bre101!

    • ZabiGG
    • June 7th, 2008

    Hi there šŸ˜‰ Great info, thanks.

    But to work with the latest version, you need to change
    zcat /usr/share/doc/conky/examples/conkyrc.sample.gz > ~/.conkyrc

    zcat /usr/share/doc/conky/examples/conky.conf.gz > ~/.conkyrc

    Hope this helps,


    • trunx
    • August 2nd, 2008

    ZabiGG u are my god :] 10x a lot searching every where for this and in all forum is conkyrc.sample.gz i go to the dir to see the file and it was there but i didnt notes the different name 10x

    • jeroen
    • December 16th, 2008

    after putting this in a terminal:

    zcat /usr/share/doc/conky/examples/conkyrc.sample.gz > ~/.conkyrc

    I get

    gzip: /usr/share/doc/conky/examples/conkyrc.sample.gz: No such file or directory


    • Bill Goldberg
    • December 17th, 2008

    In you /home folder just created a .conkyrc file.

    Paste a conky configuration file in there, there are loads to be found on the internet.

    Just google for “post your conkyrc” and you should fine thousands.

  1. Your second terminal command for conky results in “no such directory exists”

    • linuxowns
    • December 28th, 2008

    See previous comment.

    • kenneth
    • April 11th, 2009

    hey love ur setup. how did u get ur ubuntu panel to look like that, what theme is that?

  2. @kenneth: i guess he use mac4lin and removing all the unnecessary icon shortcut…

  3. Hey dude, how to make conky available even after i restart the computer? … It is quite annoying when i have to start conky manually after i boot my computer

    • Monkeyman
    • October 1st, 2011

    Instructions don’t seem to work for Mageia 1 64-bit.
    I’ve instead downloaded from the package manager but cannot start the program with Alt+F2 or the command line. It does not show in any menu. Package manager says it’s in the system, but where and how to use it?

  4. Reblogged this on zhuyuejin.

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