Creating your .conkyrc File

20, Apr 2009


Further Configuration

Going back to Conky and its configuration, one thing that I quickly noticed, was that it liked to hide my desktop icons. Even though the monitor is on the right hand side of the screen, and my three lone icons occupy the left side, Conky would somehow place an overlay of my current desktop background on top of them. As an interesting note, the icons would re-appear whenever I would mouse over their location - only to promptly disappear again as soon as Conky refreshed. Some simple poking around on-line led me to this discovery:

Edit your .conkyrc file, and make the following changes. These attributes are generally listed near the top of the file:

own_window yes
own_window_type override
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

Doing this will give Conky its own transparent window, lock it to the desktop, and make sure that any window decorators that you have running don't apply to the Conky window. This means that there are no borders, or anything of the sort that appear around every other window in the system.


Now that I have a working and relatively good looking Conky configured, I needed to find a way to have it get started on log-in. To do so, I once again went searching on-line. The process to do so is rather straight forward. First, create a script to run Conky, I called mine, and saved it in ~/.scripts:

sleep 20 && conky;

The sleep command provides further insurance that the Conky window will not be affected by Compiz. Once it has been created, change the permissions on the file to make it an executable:

chmod a+x

Lastly, you need to add it to the services list that is called at start up. In Fedora, this is simply done through the main menu: Click System -> Preferences -> Personal -> Sessions, and select Add. Name the new service Conky, and put the full path to the command, in my case it was /home/username/.scripts/ The next time you log-in Conky should run automatically.


In my search to find a good starting point for my own .conkyrc file, I came across several useful resources that helped in creating my own setup file. This helpful page lists all the available variables that can be referenced within your .conkyrc file. Similar to the other page, here you can find a listing of all the config settings that can be set. It can be rather helpful to see what other people have done, and base your config file off of theirs. For a fairly extensive listing of what Conky can look like - both screen shots and config files, check out this Arch Linux forum thread.

For some general questions about Conky itself, visit the FAQ.


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