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What is a System Monitor?

System monitors show various system indicators like HDD, Network, and CPU usage. If you want to learn more about your computer, it’s a must have tool.

I guide you to install conky, which is extremely powerful and customizable system monitor tool.

Installing Conky

To install bare conky on Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint;

sudo apt-get install conky-all

In the same fashion, you may want to install the following packages which will extend conky’s abilities.

sudo apt-get install **conky curl lm-sensors hddtemp

Congratulations, you have just installed conky. You can start it by typing conky on your favorite console. Check out your desktop and you will see something like this.

!(Conky bare)[http://kaskavalci.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Screenshot-from-2015-10-22-112318.png]

Pretty ugly, isn’t it? Let’s make it prettier. Kill the current conky with

  killall -SIGUSR1 conky

Installing Conky Themes

There are tons of conky themes on Internet. You can check them out on devianart. I will install Conky-Colors by helmuthdu. His theme requires python-statgrab package but it is not available on Ubuntu repositories. Therefore, we need to manually install it.

  • Install its dependancy libstatgrab or download the package directly from here.
  • Install the packages:
    sudo apt-get install aptitude python-keyring python-statgrab ttf-ubuntu-font-family hddtemp curl lm-sensors conky-all
  • Make hddtemp executable.
sudo chmod u+s /usr/sbin/hddtemp
  • Now answer all yes.
    sudo sensors-detect
  • Restart your session.
  • Download the theme from devianart. Unzip the package.
  • Enter the directory.
  • Compile the package
  • Install the package
sudo make install

Now you have installed the conky-colors package. You can type conky-colors in terminal and choose from endless options. Here is a jump-start for you. If you have more than 2 CPU, increase it to your number. If you don’t know how many CPUs you have, this will tell you: cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep cores

conky-colors --cpu=2 --calendar --photord --clementine=cd --hd=default --network --theme=wise

It will output how to run conky with the selected theme.

conky -c **~**/.conkycolors/conkyrc

Now, you will see something like this.


If you recieve errors like this:

convert: command not found

Conky: Unable to load image '/tmp/conkycolors/conkyCover.png'

/home/halil/.conkycolors/bin/conkyCover: identify: not found

Install imagemagick.

sudo apt-get install imagemagick

Run Conky on Startup

If you are using Ubuntu Unity, which is the one that you download by default then open unity start menu and run Startup Applications.

Startup Applications

Add a new entry and give command that the theme has produced. Change the username.

conky -c /home/**USERNAME**/.conkycolors/conkyrc


Now, conky will start on boot, automatically.