Diolinux

Conky – Overview and installation

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The unlimited ability to customize the system is one of the things that draws users’ attention to the world of Linux distributions. When it comes to personalization, Conky is one of the first things that comes to mind for many users, especially those new to this world.

Conky is a system monitor, however, different from the usual one for several reasons.

Most of the system monitoring applications, available for Linux distributions, have a layout and use well in the «standard molds». An icon available in the system’s menu / dock / desktop, which when accessed opens a window with information, such as: services, running applications, how much of your machine’s resources each of these services is consuming, CPU usage, RAM , disc, etc.

Conky, on the other hand, has a very peculiar way of «presenting» itself. Instead of a conventional window, the data is displayed in the form of a “HUD”. Windows, usually borderless, fixed to the work area, and not interactive. Natively, any and all modifications to Conky must be done manually by editing the settings script for each theme.

The application is capable of displaying basically any information on your desktop. From information about your hardware to weather, time and date, emails, music players, news, among many others. This information can be displayed in a number of different ways. Being able to switch between font styles, themes, screen position, size, etc.

Conky does not have an interface / settings window by default. If you want to configure it via the graphical interface, you will have to install a separate application, Conky Manager. This, however, is only able to manage a minimal part of all the multitude of options and configurations that Conky has. If you want to modify all these settings not available in Conky Manager, you will have to do it manually, editing the settings script for the desired theme.

With what has been said so far, we can see that the use of Conky in the “Linux world” is somewhat ironic.

You may be asking yourself: Ironic? As well? Okay. I’ll explain.

Conky is, without a doubt, a very well done program. It is currently being maintained, and new versions are released regularly. However, this is certainly not an application aimed at the novice user, so much so that, natively it does not even have a graphical interface for configurations. And even those options for management interfaces that are not their own, like Conky Manager, are extremely limited. Even so, it is precisely the novice user who most shows interest in the application.

I’ve used Conky for some time (And guess when? When I was a beginner.). However, nowadays, the app doesn’t miss me the least. In fact, I never found it necessary, I just felt like a “hackudão” for having all that information about the system being displayed on my screen. I even like some of the more minimalist themes of Conky, but there are other options of applications simpler and easier to use, for those who just want to display a clock on the desktop or something like that. So it is not very likely that I will ever use it again.

Finally, it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else thinks about Conky. In my opinion, this is true freedom in the software world. You are free to use what you want, when you want, for whatever reason, and there is nothing wrong with that.

The video below is the first video of a project that started on Instagram and is expanding to YouTube. This is the project The Creative Penguin, which was the main subject of one of our lives on Friday in Diolinux Friday Show. The video shows the step by step installation and basic configurations of Conky and Conky Manager on several Linux distributions.

What do you think about Conky? Have you tested it? Interested in testing? Tell us in the comments.

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