conky is really nice. I followed the instructions from Club Ubuntu and was able to getting running. here are the basics:

sudo apt-get install conky

i used the .conkyrc file they recomend and then made some changes to fit my taste. some of the things i did:

  • Removed the Logging section.
  • Modified the Wireless to be Networking and edited to show external, wired, vpn, and wireless ip addresses.
  • i included more in the memory usage list
  • i edited the header to include uptime, processor info and gave it a title.

there are lots of examples online of how other folks have modified it to show more, and i played around with some of them, like trying to show the weather like they’ve done here but i had some difficulties getting to work correctly.

vim .conkyrc OR gedit .conkyrc

paste in this code:

# UBUNTU-CONKY
#

# Create own window instead of using desktop (required in nautilus)
own_window yes
own_window_type override
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

# Use double buffering (reduces flicker, may not work for everyone)
double_buffer yes

# fiddle with window
use_spacer right
use_xft yes

# Update interval in seconds
update_interval 3.0

# Minimum size of text area
minimum_size 150 800

# Draw shades?
draw_shades no

# Text stuff
draw_outline no # amplifies text if yes
draw_borders no
font arial
uppercase no # set to yes if you want all text to be in uppercase

# Stippled borders?
stippled_borders 3

# border margins
border_margin 9

# border width
border_width 10

# Default colors and also border colors, grey90 == #e5e5e5
default_color grey

own_window_colour brown
own_window_transparent yes

# Text alignment, other possible values are commented
#alignment top_left
alignment top_right
#alignment bottom_left
#alignment bottom_right

# Gap between borders of screen and text
gap_x 10
gap_y 10

# number of cpu samples to average
# set to 1 to disable averaging
cpu_avg_samples 2

text_buffer_size 1024

# stuff after ‘TEXT’ will be formatted on screen

TEXT
$color${font arial:size=9}
${color orange}SYSTEM MONITOR $color
$nodename@$sysname $kernel on $machine${font arial:size=8}
${color}Uptime:$color $uptime ${color}
${execi 1000 cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep 'model name' | sed -e 's/model name.*: //'}

Battery ${battery_bar 6 BAT0}

${color orange}CPU $color
${freq}MHz${alignr}Load: ${loadavg}
${alignr}${loadgraph 20,250 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}
CPU Total:${color} ${cpu cpu0}% ${color}${alignr}Temp:${color} ${acpitemp}
${alignr}${cpugraph 0 20,250 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}
Core one: ${color}${cpu cpu1}% ${alignr} Core two: ${color}${cpu cpu2}%
${cpugraph 1 20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}${alignr}${cpugraph 2 20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}
NAME${alignr}PID         CPU%        MEM%
${top name 1}${alignr}${top pid 1}       ${top cpu 1}          ${top mem 1}
${top name 2}${alignr}${top pid 2}       ${top cpu 2}          ${top mem 2}
${top name 3}${alignr}${top pid 3}       ${top cpu 3}          ${top mem 3}
${top name 4}${alignr}${top pid 4}       ${top cpu 4}          ${top mem 4}
${top name 5}${alignr}${top pid 5}       ${top cpu 5}          ${top mem 5}
${top name 6}${alignr}${top pid 6}       ${top cpu 6}          ${top mem 6}
${top name 7}${alignr}${top pid 7}       ${top cpu 7}          ${top mem 7}
${top name 8}${alignr}${top pid 8}       ${top cpu 8}          ${top mem 8}
${top name 9}${alignr}${top pid 9}       ${top cpu 9}          ${top mem 9}

${color orange}MEMORY $color
Total: ${color}${memmax} ${alignr} Free: ${color}${memfree}
RAM: $memperc% ${alignr}Swap: $swapperc%
${memgraph 20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E} ${alignr} ${swapbar 20,120 }

${color orange}DISK USAGE $color
${fs_free /}/${fs_size /} ${alignr} ${fs_free_perc /}% Free
${fs_bar 6 /}$color

${color orange}NETWORK $color
External IP$alignr${execi 3600 wget -O - http://whatismyip.org/ | tail}
Wired ${alignr}${addr eth0}
UM External${alignr}${addr tun0}
Wireles${alignr} ${addr wlan0}
${wireless_essid wlan0} ${wireless_link_bar 6 wlan0}
Down: $color${downspeed wlan0} k/s ${alignr}Up: ${upspeed wlan0} k/s
${downspeedgraph wlan0 20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E} ${alignr}${upspeedgraph wlan0
20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}$color
Total: ${totaldown wlan0} ${alignr}Total: ${totalup wlan0}
Inbound: ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 count} Outbound: ${tcp_portmon 32768
61000 count}${alignr}Total: ${tcp_portmon 1 65535 count}