Conky is an open source, free, advanced, lightweight and highly configurable system monitoring utility for the X Window System, based on the Torsmo application. It will display customizable desktop widgets on your GNU/Linux operating system.
In other words, Conky will provide real-time information the kernel version, uptime, system time, network interface, memory usage, swap usage, hostname, machine/system name, temperatures, battery, number of processes running or sleeping, as well as filesystem statistics.
Conky is designed in such a way that it can display just about anything, and thanks to its many built-in objects, you will also be able to run scripts and programs directly from it. It is implemented in C and uses Lua for its configuration files.
Getting started with Conky
It is quite easy to get started with Conky on your GNU/Linux distribution. All you have to do is to install the package either by using the pre-built binaries found on the main software repositories of your operating system, or by compiling the sources.
Of course, the easiest way is to open the package manager app of your distribution, search for the ‘conky’ package and install it, along with all of its runtime dependencies. If Conky is not available for your OS, download the latest version from Softpedia.
After downloading the source archive, unpack it, open a Terminal app, navigate to the location of the extracted archive files (e.g. cd /home/softpedia/conky-1.9.0), run the ‘./configure && make’ command to configure and compile Conky, and then run the ‘sudo make install’ command to install it. To use it, simply run the ‘conky’ command in a terminal emulator.
Among the Conky’s command-line options, which can be viewed at a glance by running the ‘conky --help’ command in a terminal emulator, we can mention the ability to specify a custom configuration file, to create a new default config file, to force the program to run in background as a daemon, as well as to specify the widget’s alignment on the screen.
Additionally, users will be able to specify the font to use, the X11 display to use, the window ID to draw, the x and y position on the screen, the text to render, the number of times to update Conky, and the update interval.