The Perfect Conky Setup

Posted in Gentoo, Linux, Open Source by Rahul on March 8, 2010

EDIT: New Location for post and the blog.

A picture is worth a thousand words, have a look for yourself.

Conky on KDE4

So, how to get this goodness on your computer. Quite easy. Simply follow the following steps and you will have a similarly amazing desktop.

  • Firstly, install conkyForecast.
  • Gentoo users, go here.
  • Ubuntu users, head over to here.

Everyone now head over to and register yourself. Obtain your XML Partner ID  and License key. Use the following command to search for your location code. Change Zurich to your city name.

$ curl

You can then get the location code from the output of the above command.

Next, copy the conkyForecast configuration file over to your home folder and fill in the Partner ID, Location Code and License Key.

cp /usr/share/conkyforecast/conkyForecast.config ~/.conkyForecast.config
vi ~/.conkyForecast.config

Download the conky configuration file from this link and save it to your home folder as .conkyrc.

Now download Conky Colors from gnome-look. Extract the archive and install all the fonts that are present in the package. Even though not all of the fonts are required for the setup (you can take a quick look at the conky configuration file to see which fonts are actually needed) the fonts are quite nice and having them on your computer won’t hurt at all.

Install conky if you have not already done so. IMP: This theme is tested with conky-1.8.0_rc2 so make sure you are using this or a newer release of conky. If you are on gnome please edit the configuration file to suit your needs (in particular change the location code to get the weather of the city you reside in) and then launch conky. If there are any particular hacks that are needed to integrate conky and gnome, my apologies for not being aware of them. Please feel free to add any such suggestions in the comments section, I will update the post with it.


If you are using KDE4, also install feh, an image loader which will help us to integrate conky seamlessly into the KDE environment. Now create this script, which we will use to launch conky.

$ nano
#! /bin/bash
conky -&
sleep 3
feh --bg-scale `grep 'wallpaper=' ~/.kde4/share/config/plasma-desktop-appletsrc | tail --bytes=+11`

The above script is supposed to read your wallpaper settings and use that to redraw the background of conky. For some reason, it is not working for me so I hard-coded my wallpaper in to the script.

$ nano
#! /bin/bash
conky &
sleep 3
feh --bg-scale /home/rahul/Pictures/Wallpapers/wall_abstract.jpg

Use whatever method suits you. Do remember to make the script executable.

chmod +x

Take a final look at conkyrc. Make sure that you have the right location ID for the weather. Use KDE system settings to add this script at startup and voila! We are done. We now have the perfect conky setup. For immediate testing, launch the script.


P.S. The music part will only work if you use MPD.

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The way KDE4 should look

Posted in Linux, Open Source by Rahul on November 21, 2009

EDIT: New Location for post and the blog.

In case you were not aware of it, the best theme for KDE4 is Bespin. Not Oxygen, not qtcurve. You might say that themes are like desktop wallpapers – to each his own. I would disagree. KDE4 brought along a slew of improvements and new paradigms to the Linux Desktop Environment and in its small way Bespin does that as far as theming on the desktop is concerned. Insanely customizable, it will allow your desktop to have the sort of look that you will fall in love with it.

Some features that I especially like about it:

  • “Air Like circle Overlays in Window backgrounds”
  • “Behave rather Maccish – except file management most other things activate on single click”
  • “Slim Sliders”
  • “Hacks – Animate all Tree views”
  • “Presets – switch configurations on the fly”
  • And some more ..

So, go ahead and try it! Most popular distros have a package for it. For Gentoo grab it from the kde-testing overlay (x11-thems/bespin-9999).

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