Install/Set-up Conky on Ubuntu

To Linux newbies who have seen that geeky looking desktop system monitor but don't know what it is or how to get and install it, well it's called Conky and you too can easily have it, and you don't have to be a computer hacker to set it up.

Here is a step-by-step guide on installing and configuring Conky on Ubuntu:

1. You can install Conky via Synaptic Package Manager or using the terminal with this command:

sudo apt-get install conky

2. Make a config file named ".conkyrc" in your home directory using this command:

gedit ~/.conkyrc

3. Paste the following code into your configuration file then save and exit.

background yes
use_xft yes
xftfont DejaVu Sans Mono:size=8
xftalpha 0.8
out_to_console no
update_interval 5.0
total_run_times 0
draw_shades no

# Create own window instead of using desktop (required in nautilus)
own_window yes

# If own_window is yes, you may use type normal, desktop or override
own_window_type override

# Use pseudo transparency with own_window?
own_window_transparent yes

double_buffer yes
default_color 586F86
color1 white
alignment bottom_left
gap_x 2
gap_y 2
#no_buffers yes
use_spacer yes

$nodename:${color1}$kernel${color} up:${color1}$uptime${color} cpu1:${color1}${cpu cpu1}% ${cpubar 6,30 cpu1}${freq cpu1}MHz${color} cpu2:${color1}${cpu cpu2}% ${cpubar 6,30 cpu2}${freq cpu2}MHz${color} mem:${color1}$memperc% ${membar 6,30}${color} dsk:${color1}${fs_used /}/${fs_size /}${fs_bar 6,30 /}${color} load:${color1}$loadavg ${color} ip:${color1}${addr wlan0}${color} trafc:${color1}${downspeed wlan0}/${upspeed wlan0}Kb/s${color} bat:${color1}$battery

4. Automatically start Conky by adding it to "Startup Programs".

Go to System —> Preferences—> Sessions.

Under "Sessions" window, select "Startup Programs" tab and click "Add".

Browse and navigate to /usr/bin, find and select "conky", and click "Open".

Click "OK" and then close.

5. Conky will now start automatically after rebooting, or you can test it immediately by typing "conky" (minus the quotes) from the command line.

Take note that from the config file above, the conky system monitor will be placed at the bottom part of the screen, so if you have a panel at the bottom, you will need to move it to see conky in action.

Here's how my desktop looks when using the (above) configuration file:

click on the image for a larger view

A closer view...

Anyway, don't be contented with the simple config file that I gave you because you can do a lot of things with Conky. In fact, you can download some conky config files HERE, or just use Google to find some more.

UPDATE: Conky: Install/Set-up and Auto-start Fix on Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope)


  1. Typo in: file named "conkyrc" in

    There should be ".conkyrc"
    Dot is part of filename

  2. hey, one question...
    how do you install that fabulous terminal window????
    can you post it please?
    Thanks for all the help you've provided me and the rest of your readers.

  3. @Rafael G

    Here's a link to an article that may help you:

  4. You should not use "sudo" with GUI programs, use "gksudo" instead. However, when editing files in your homedir you should never use any sudo variant at all.

    So instead of "sudo gedit .conkyrc" you should do "gedit ~/.conkyrc"

  5. @Anonymous: Thanks for the correction and sorry for the oversight.

  6. AnonymousJune 30, 2010

    Hello, am new in ubuntu....
    I am not able to create .conkyrc, the terminal is saying:
    /home/indepat/.conkyrc is a directory.
    Please check that you typed the location correctly and try again.

  7. thanks

  8. thank you for sharing. works very well for me

    rgds, 9w2zsh, 73