What is Conky? Edit

Conky is a program which can display arbitrary information (such as the date, CPU temperature from i2c, MPD info, and almost anything else you desire) to the root window in X11. Conky normally does this by drawing to the root window, however Conky can also be run in windowed mode (though this is not how conky was meant to be used).

What's wrong with torsmo? Edit

First, Conky is a fork of torsmo, so there is nothing stopping anyone from continuing to use torsmo. Second, torsmo is unmaintained. It has bugs and lacks features. Although Conky isn't perfect, it's still maintained. Also, Conky 2.x is entirely original code. Only Conky 1.x is based on the torsmo code. Full credit is also given in the code to the original torsmo authors (who deserve plenty of credit for originally creating such a cool little application).

Conky won't stop flickering Edit

Conky is designed to draw to the root desktop window. However, there are several other applications which like drawing to the root desktop window. Because of this, Conky has two options available to get around this problem:

double_buffer yes

to your ~/.conkyrc. Conky's double-buffer option uses the X double-buffer extension to provide a flicker-free Conky.

  • Conky can run in windowed mode, meaning that instead of drawing the the root window it draws to it's own window. You can move this window around and resize it by right-clicking or left-clicking on the window while holding down the Alt key.

Double buffer isn't working! Edit

More than likely you aren't loading the double buffer extension when Xorg starts. Luckily, its easy to fix. Open up the Xorg configuration file (usually /etc/X11/xorg.conf) with your favourite text editor, and find the line that says:

Section "Module"

Then, after that line, add:

Load "dbe"

Restart Xorg (my preferred method is the good-old control+alt+backspace) and enjoy.

Why doesn't Conky work with Gnome/KDE/nautilus/enlightenment/fluxbox/Xfce/WindowManager/blackbox/<insert any other WM/DE/application that draws to the root window here> Edit

Please see "#Conky won't stop flickering"

Transparency doesn't work! Why is this and how can I fix it? Edit

Conky uses "pseudo"-transparency. What this means is that is not a truly "transparent" window. What it does is read the background of the root window, and changes it's own background to the section of the image it finds. Some Window or Desktop Managers do not set a background to the "real" root background, and instead place it on a layer above the root window. To fix this, you can use an application such as qiv (, "Esetroot" which is included with Eterm (, "fbsetbg" which is included with fluxbox (, or feh (

Specifically, for KDE4 you could call feh from inside your .conkyrc with the following line:

${texeci 3600 feh --bg-scale "`grep 'wallpaper=' ~/.kde/share/config/plasma-appletsrc | tail -n1 | tail --bytes=+11`"}

Where did the default .conkyrc go? I ran conky and looked in my home directory, and I couldn't find it! Edit

No .conkyrc is created by default. In the conky tarball there is a file called conkyrc.sample.gz (Which will be installed on some distributions in /usr/share/doc/conky-*/). Also, check the screenshots page for more examples.

Is it possible to make conky read two config files? Edit

No, it's not possible. However, you can have two or more conkys running at the same time with different config files, e.g.

conky -c ~/.conkyrc1
     conky -c ~/.conkyrc2

You might consider launching it in own window (-o arg) in this case.

Can I monitor another computer with conky? Edit

Conky is not network transparent so far, though we have plans about adding network support. While it's not ready, you can use X forwarding to run a conky window on another computer. Since conky can output the result of an arbitrary script, you can alos have the network layer in a script, and conky will happily display your script result. more needed for this section

How can I get involved? Edit

There is always plenty to be done (find/fix bugs, write docs, write new code) so you shouldn't have much problem there. If you want to get involved in Conky's development, the best thing to do would be to come to the Conky IRC channel #conky on There is usually at least one developer there at any given time. If you don't like IRC, you can start submitting patches uses the SourceForge trackers or the mailing lists.

Conky doesn't compile on NetBSD! Edit

NetBSD is not supported by Conky at this moment. The support existed in Torsmo, however many features were added in Conky and it wasn't able to link on NetBSD because of not implemented functions. So NetBSD parts were disconneted from the build few months ago. Anyway, it should not be hard to add NetBSD support, all you need is just uncomment appropriate lines in and and then add emtpy stubs for missing functions to src/{net,open}bsd.c. If you're really willing to make Conky work, please mail to novel!

My question wasn't answered here; where can I get help? Edit

The best place to get assistance is the Conky IRC channel #conky on If thats no good, you can try the many services available from SourceForge on the Conky project page at

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