Conky configuration for XFCE4+Compiz

Lately I’ve been very interested in monitoring my system, mainly temperatures. When I use Windows I like to monitor temperatures with realtemp and to monitor my linux temps I use lm_sensors.

Constantly typing in “sensors” in terminal to view the cpu temperature got me a bit annoyed. So I installed Conky, a fancy configurable monitoring program that sits on your desktop and displays system information. However, even though Conky was easy to install and configure to display what I needed, making it work properly in the XFCE4, Compiz and Avant Window Navigator scenario turned out to be very difficult.

When I looked for solutions I found many, but none of them worked with my setup. The problem was that with any ‘default’ .conkyrc from the Conky website, Conky would dissapear when I opened any window and minimized it. I tried some own_window variables but there was always a new problem when the old one was fixed. Finally I though I had found a working config, but no, Conky would flash from beneath windows every now and then, making, for example, Firefox browsing very irritating. Finally I figured out the culprit, it was own_window_type. The workaround was to completely forget own_window_type and only use and arsenal of own_window_hints. Here’s what worked for me and I have a feeling that it could work for others having the same problem:

double_buffer yes
own_window yes
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,sticky,below,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

See there’s no own_window_type. Amazing when all the possible solutions that I ran into had something to do with own_window_type, e.g. own_window_type desktop or own_window_type override. Now Conky works fine and I can move to calibrating the sensors output. Please comment if this helped, or if you need help 😀


8 Responses to “Conky configuration for XFCE4+Compiz”

  1. 1 Jim October 2, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Interesting, thanks for that idea.

    I use conky with KDE and Compiz under Fedora 8. I have had the occasional problem since I installed it including, at worst, x crashing and rebooting for no obvious reason. I’ll give this a go and see if it helps.

  2. 2 Inquistor January 10, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    It works 😉
    Thank you for tip.

  3. 3 trepo April 4, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Thanks for the tip regarding conky. BUT. “When I use Windows I like to monitor temperatures with realtemp, the reason being that it gives a more accurate reading of the e8400 chip than other programs.” Please tell how you know. “To monitor my linux temps I use lm-sensors, and even though the displayed temperatures are off, I get a good idea of the real deal when I subtract around 6 degrees.” How do you know the lm_sensors readings are the ones that are off by +6 degrees and not the “realtemps” ones are off by -6? Did you measure the temps yourself? (i’m not assuming you didn’t, i’d just like to see it mentioned if you did.)

  4. 4 morphex April 6, 2009 at 12:24 am

    trepo, thanks for pointing out that I really hadn’t explained the temperature reading difference of the two programs. When I wrote this post I had a lot of trust in the realtemp readings, mainly because it was designed with the e8400 in mind and it was widely accepted by the community. I haven’t done any testing myself, although I’m planning to. Ironically, since this post, realtemp 3.0 has been released and the tj max has been changed to 100 which changed the temperatures about +6C. So in the end the lm_sensors temps were “correct” 😀 Like I mentioned before, I’m planning on doing my own tests with an IR temperature monitor. Thank you again for the question 🙂

  5. 5 reinhard January 31, 2010 at 12:59 am


    now conky works fine …


  6. 6 Robert Spencer February 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    this worked for me with xfce 4.6.1 and conky 1.8.0_rc2 on gentoo. I don’t know what changed recently but conky was not working. Taking out the own_window_type override worked. Thank You!

  7. 7 Rijal May 4, 2010 at 10:50 am

    i will share my configuration below:

    background yes
    font Xenu:size=8
    xftfont Xenu:size=8
    use_xft yes
    xftalpha 0.1
    update_interval 1.0
    total_run_times 0
    own_window yes
    own_window_type override
    own_window_transparent yes
    own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
    double_buffer yes
    draw_shades yes
    draw_outline no
    draw_borders no
    draw_graph_borders no
    minimum_size 206 5
    maximum_width 206
    default_color ffffff
    default_shade_color 000000
    default_outline_color 000000
    alignment top_right
    gap_x 6
    gap_y 22
    no_buffers yes
    cpu_avg_samples 2
    override_utf8_locale no
    uppercase no # set to yes if you want all text to be in uppercase
    use_spacer no


    ${font Arial:style=Bold:pixelsize=13}Ubuntu 10.04 – Lucid Lynx${font Xenu:size=8} ${hr 1 }
    laptopnya $alignr$nodename – $machine
    menggunakan kernel $alignr$kernel
    dan sudah menyala selama $alignr$uptime
    dengan kekuatan daya batere ${battery_percent BAT1}%
    untuk menjalankan ${alignr}$processes proses kegiatan

    ${font Arial:style=Bold:pixelsize=13}Beban Kerja Mesin${font Xenu:size=8} ${hr 1 }
    ${top_mem name 1} ${alignr}${top_mem pid 1} ${top_mem cpu 1} ${top_mem mem 1}
    ${top name 2} ${alignr}${top pid 2} ${top cpu 2} ${top mem 2}
    ${top_mem name 3} ${alignr}${top_mem pid 3} ${top_mem cpu 3} ${top_mem mem 3}
    ${top name 1} ${alignr}${top pid 1} ${top cpu 1} ${top mem 1}
    ${top_mem name 2} ${alignr}${top_mem pid 2} ${top_mem cpu 2} ${top_mem mem 2}
    ${top name 3} ${alignr}${top pid 3} ${top cpu 3} ${top mem 3}
    ${top_mem name 4} ${alignr}${top_mem pid 4} ${top_mem cpu 4} ${top_mem mem 4}
    ${top name 4} ${alignr}${top pid 4} ${top cpu 4} ${top mem 4}
    ${top_mem name 5} ${alignr}${top_mem pid 5} ${top_mem cpu 5} ${top_mem mem 5}
    ${cpugraph 000000 ff0000}
    CPU 1 bekerja seberat ${cpu cpu1}% ${cpubar 4 cpu1}
    CPU 2 bekerja seberat ${cpu cpu2}% ${cpubar 4 cpu2}
    panasnya mencapai ${acpitemp} derajat Celcius! ${alignr}

    ${font Arial:style=Bold:pixelsize=13}Penggunaan SWAP – RAM${font Xenu:size=8} ${hr 1 }
    RAM $memperc% Terpakai: ${alignr}$mem dari $memmax
    ${membar 4}
    SWAP $swapperc% Terpakai: ${alignr}$swap dari $swapmax
    ${swapbar 4}

    ${font Arial:style=Bold:pixelsize=13}Kapasitas Ruangan Partisi${font Xenu:size=8} ${hr 1 }
    /File System terpakai: ${alignr}${fs_free /} dari ${fs_size /}
    ${fs_bar 4 /}
    /home/fr terpakai: ${alignr}${fs_free /home} dari ${fs_size /home}
    ${fs_bar 4 /home}

    ${font Arial:style=Bold:pixelsize=13}Koneksi Internet${font Xenu:size=8} ${hr 1 }
    IP Kabel USB: ${addr usb0}${font Xenu:size=8}
    Datang ${downspeed usb0}/detik ${alignr}Pergi ${upspeed usb0}/detik
    Total ${totaldown usb0} ${alignr}Total ${totalup usb0}
    ${hr 1 }
    IP Sinyal Nirkabel: ${addr eth1}${font Xenu:size=8}
    Datang ${downspeed eth1}/detik ${alignr}Pergi ${upspeed eth1}/detik
    Total ${totaldown eth1} ${alignr}Total ${totalup eth1}
    ${hr 1 }
    IP Colokan Kabel: ${addr eth0}${font Xenu:size=8}
    Datang ${downspeed eth0}/detik ${alignr}Pergi ${upspeed eth0}/detik
    Total ${totaldown eth0} ${alignr}Total ${totalup eth0}

    ${alignc}>> ${time %H:%M – %A, %d %B %Y} <<
    ${alignc}fakhrul rijal

    hope you enjoy this conkyrc 😉

  8. 8 oboedad55 May 9, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Thanks for the tips. I used some of them to fix up my .conkyrc on Arch with XFCE 4.10. Some of the text would blur when refreshing processes and that seems fixed now.

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