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There are two Conky configurations I've been wanting to write about for a while, but I didn't have the time to do it, until today, so here it is: the first one has been created by Satya, it's called Conky Google Now and is very easy to set up while the second one, created by Pressian, is more advanced and requires some experience with Conky to set it up.

Conky is a lightweight, highly configurable system monitor tool which can display the information on your desktop, in different shapes and forms.

Before proceeding, make sure you've firstly installed Conky. In Ubuntu, install it using the following command:
sudo apt-get install conky-all

Conky Google Now

Download Conky Google Now

Conky Google Now is a Conky configuration created by Satya which tries to imitate Google Now. This should be very easy to use as there isn't much to configure: you only need to get the Yahoo Weather ID for your city and enter it in the Conky configuration file.

This Conky config displays the current weather, a forecast for the next two days, wind speed as well as the network up / down speed and total sent / received data.

To use Conky Google Now, download the configuration files from Deviant Art (link above) - there's a download link on the right.

Now, install the Open Sans (Light) font which is used by Conky Google Now. Download the font from HERE, extract the archive and place the font(s) under ~/.fonts (if the folder doesn't exist, create it), then update the font cache using the following command:
sudo fc-cache -fv

The next step is to extract the downloaded archive, then press CTRL + H inside the extracted folder to be able to see all the files (all are hidden except the README) and copy the ".conky-google-now" and ".conkyrc" in your home folder. If you want to use the dark Conky Google Now, copy ".conkyrc-dark" in your home folder instead and rename it to ".conkyrc".

Conky Google Now Dark
Conky Google Now dark

Now go to weather.yahoo.com, search for your city (under "Enter city or zip code"), and once you reach your city weather page, note down the numbers (this is the WOEID) from the end of the URL, e.g., in my case, the URL is: "http://weather.yahoo.com/romania/bucuresti/bucharest-868274/" so the WOEID is "868274". Now open the ~/.conkyrc file, search for "2294941" (without the quotes) and replace it with your WOEID, then save the file.

Now, to run conky, simply open a terminal or type ALT + F2 and enter: "conky".

Conky by Pressian

Conky y Pressian

Download Conky by Pressian

The second Conky configuration has been created by WebUpd8 reader Pressian and take a bit more to set up than Conky Google Now, but it also displays more information. The configuration is especially created for laptops that come with Nvidia Optimus technology and 4 CPU cores so if you don't have this system configuration, you'll need to tweak this Conky setup which may need some experience with Conky.

Please note that this Conky configuration uses transparency, so it won't work properly in Unity (if you know a way to get it to display properly, without shadows, etc., let us know in the comments, but I've already tried basically everything and at least in Ubuntu 13.04, I can't get it to display properly in Unity, but it works great in GNOME Shell for instance).

Information displayed by this Conky configuration includes: system info (uptime, system load, battery status, processor and video card), top 5 processes, CPU stats (frequency, usage, temperature), optimized for 4 cores so if you have less or more, you'll need to tweak the configuration file, memory stats (RAM used and free, HDD used as well as the HDD temperature, network stats (up/down speed, local and public IP and Wifi bitrate and signal strength if available, as well as the GPU stats for laptops using the Optimus technology (Nvidia driver, Nvidia GPU state as well as the temperature and frequency but only when the Nvidia GPU is in use).

To use it, download the archive from HERE, extract it and then press CTRL + H to see the Conky configuration files (they are hidden by default). Then, copy the ".conky" and ".fonts" folders as well as the ".conkyrc" file into your home folder.

Then, you need to update the font cache:
sudo fc-cache -fv

Since this Conky configuration displays a lot of information, there are also some dependencies you need to install: lm-sensors, hddtemp, curl and bumblebee. In Ubuntu, install the first three using the following command:
sudo apt-get install lm-sensors hddtemp curl

Then, set up lm-sensors using the following command:
sudo sensors-detect

And answer "yes" to everything, then run the following command to load the sensors modules:

- Ubuntu 13.04 and newer:
sudo service kmod start
- Ubuntu versions older than 13.04:
sudo service module-init-tools start

For hddtemp, also run this command (might be required for some Linux distributions / Ubuntu versions):
sudo chmod u+s /usr/sbin/hddtemp

For how to install Bumblebee (specific for those with Optimus laptops, see THIS article.

Now, to run Conky, simply press ALT + F2 and enter: "conky".

Adding Conky to startup

If you want Conky to start automatically when you log in, you must add it to the startup applications and for this we'll need to use a script (we need to start it with a delay so it doesn't show up on top) so create a file somewhere, e.g.: in a folder called "scripts" in your home directory - let's call the file "start_conky". And in this file, paste this:
#! /bin/bash
sleep 20
Then save the file and make it executable. If you've followed our exact instructions and the file is called "start_conky" and is located in the "scripts" folder in your home directory, you can make it executable using the following command:
chmod +x ~/scripts/start_conky

Now open the Startup Applications dialog, click "Add", under "Name" enter "Conky" and under "Command", select "Browse" and here, select the "start_conky" file, then click "Add" and you're done.

For more Conky configurations, browse our Conky tag.