Want cool desktop stats? -> Conky!

Have you ever wanted to have awesome looking stats on that rest on your desktop and don’t interfere with your work flow? If so, you’ll probably love this nifty little application.

Example of a basic Conky setup.

Its called Conky and it can give you stats or information on practically anything imaginable. Its also easy to install!

Conky is by no means a new application and there are in fact hundreds of Conky configuration files scattered across the Internet that you could use to customize the way yours looks. With a good basic guide and some helpful tips on auto-starting Conky, I’ve thrown together a quick installation and setup guide with pictures! 😉

Typically when you install an application such as this, you want it to auto-start. Auto-starting this application isn’t as trivial as most applications so I’ll walk you through that as well. I’ll assume your using Ubuntu of some sort, but if you’re not don’t worry…you can still install Conky with alternative steps and setting it up should not differ.


  1. Open the “Ubuntu Software Center” application (also known as “Add/Remove” in older versions) and search for Conky. If its not listed then you may need to find a package online.

    Find and install the Conky option entitled something along these lines: “highly configurable system monitor (all features enabled)“.

  2. Create a file labeled “.conkyrc” in your home directory (usually saved as /home/username/.conkyrc) and make sure to include the period at the start. This will make the conky settings file hidden when you casually open your home folder so its not in your way. You may need to go to View -> Show Hidden Files or press Ctrl+H to view the file to edit it later.

    Open the “.conkyrc” file in a text editor of your choice.
    Paste the linked snippet into your “.conkyrc” file.

  3. Create a file labeled “.startconky.sh” in the same folder as the previous file making sure to include the period at the beginning and the file type at the end.

    Open the “.startconky.sh” file with your favorite editor. Paste the following snippet into your “.startconk.sh” file:
    (sleep 5s && conky) &

  4. Save both files and close the file editor you were using. Now right-click on the “.startconky.sh” file and click Properties and select the Properties tab. Make sure you check the option to “Allow executing file as program” then click close.
  5. Go to your startup applications program or System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications and add a new application with the command option as “/home/username/.startconky.sh” where user name is your home directory…as follows:
  6. Click Save! Now the next time your restart your computer you’ll have some awesome stats that appear on your desktop!

4 thoughts on “Want cool desktop stats? -> Conky!”

  1. Opera 10.54 Opera 10.54 Mac OS X Mac OS X
    Opera/9.80 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X; U; nb) Presto/2.5.24 Version/10.54

    I’ve never seen the point of these kind of status applications. Why would you need anything like this on a desktop machine? I understand the need for a server or development machine. But what is the use for anyone doing normal operations? During the lifetime of the application, it would probably just consume more resources than it would help you shave off when you are running your machine at max.

    1. Opera 10.54 Opera 10.54 Windows 7 Windows 7
      Opera/9.80 (Windows NT 6.1; U; en) Presto/2.5.24 Version/10.54

      If you’re running your machine at max, then sure you don’t want to waste resources. If you’re remotely interested in the consumption of your computer then you use this application. Don’t judge without understanding…

      …to assume just makes an “ASS out of U and ME” 😛

      Just because you don’t use an application doesn’t mean its useful or liked by others!

  2. Opera 10.60 Opera 10.60 GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
    Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux i686; U; en) Presto/2.6.30 Version/10.60

    Laptop users should be careful. If you make a bad configuration Conky tends to eat battery.

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