My Favorite Tool for Live Monitoring Linux

Published on
3 mins read

Conky is my favorite tool for live monitoring my ubuntu machines (Github repo here). It is a light, performant, and highly customizable tool that usually peaks on the side of my second screen, so I can quickly keep an eye on most system's resources.


Config File

Here's my config file below which displays what I need with minimal overhead. Feel free to take it and use it for your needs by editing the configuration file: etc/conky/conky.conf

The documentation for conky is excellent and be found here.

conky.config = {
    use_xft = true,
    xftalpha = 0.8,
    update_interval = 1.0,
    total_run_times = 0,
    own_window = true,
    own_window_transparent = true,
    own_window_argb_visual = true,
    own_window_type = 'normal',
    own_window_class = 'conky-semi',
    own_window_hints = 'undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager',
    background = false,
    double_buffer = true,
    imlib_cache_size = 0,
    no_buffers = true,
    uppercase = false,
    cpu_avg_samples = 2,
    override_utf8_locale = true,

    -- placement
    alignment = 'top_right',
    gap_x = 5,
    gap_y = 25,

    -- default drawing
    draw_shades = false,
    draw_outline = false,
    draw_borders = false,
    draw_graph_borders = true,
    default_bar_width = 150, default_bar_height = 5,
    default_graph_width = 150, default_graph_height = 12,
    default_gauge_width = 20, default_gauge_height = 20,

    -- colors
    font = 'Liberation Mono:size=10',
    default_color = 'EEEEEE',
    color1 = 'a3c1e3',
    color2 = 'FF993D',
    color3 = 'AAAAAA',

    -- layouting
    template0 = [[${font Liberation Sans:bold:size=11}${color2}\1 ${color3}${hr 2}${font}]],
    template1 = [[${color1}\1]],
    template2 = [[${goto 100}${color}]],
    template3 = [[${goto 180}${color}${alignr}]],

conky.text = [[
${template0 System}
${template1 Hostname}                                                       ${template3}${nodename}
${template1 ${sysname}}                                                     ${template3}${kernel}-${machine}
${template1 Uptime}                                                         ${template3}${uptime_short}

${template0 Processors}
${template1 CPU Load/Temp}                                                  ${template3}${freq_g}GHz - ${acpitemp}°C
${template1 Load}               ${template2}${loadavg 1}                    ${template3}${cpugraph}
${template1 Core\ 1}            ${template2}${cpu cpu1}%                    ${template3}${cpubar cpu1}
${template1 Core\ 2}            ${template2}${cpu cpu2}%                    ${template3}${cpubar cpu2}
${template1 Core\ 3}            ${template2}${cpu cpu3}%                    ${template3}${cpubar cpu3}
${template1 Core\ 4}            ${template2}${cpu cpu4}%                    ${template3}${cpubar cpu4}
${template1 Proc/Thrds}	        ${template2}${processes}                    ${template3}${threads}
${template1 Top1}               ${template2}${top name 1}                   ${template3}${top cpu 1}
${template1 Top2}               ${template2}${top name 2}                   ${template3}${top cpu 2}
${template1 Top3}               ${template2}${top name 3}                   ${template3}${top cpu 3}

${template0 Memory}
${template1 Memory}             ${template2}${memperc}% used                ${template3}${mem} / ${memmax}
${template1 Top1}               ${template2}${top_mem name 1}               ${template3}${top_mem mem_res 1}
${template1 Top2}               ${template2}${top_mem name 2}               ${template3}${top_mem mem_res 2}
${template1 Top3}               ${template2}${top_mem name 3}               ${template3}${top_mem mem_res 3}

${template0 Filesystem}
${template1}${fs_type}          ${template2}${fs_free /} free               ${template3}${fs_used /} / ${fs_size /}
                                                                            ${template3}${fs_bar /}
${template1 IO\ Read}           ${template2}${diskio_read}                  ${template3}${diskiograph_read}
${template1 IO\ Write}          ${template2}$diskio_write                   ${template3}$diskiograph_write
${template1 Top1}               ${template2}${top_io name 1}                ${template3}${top_io io_perc 1}%
${template1 Top2}               ${template2}${top_io name 2}                ${template3}${top_io io_perc 2}%
${template1 Top3}               ${template2}${top_io name 3}                ${template3}${top_io io_perc 3}%

${template0 Networking}
${if_existing /proc/net/route wlp2s0}\
${template1 IP pub/pri}                                                     ${template3}${execi 600 curl} | ${addr wlp2s0}
${template1 AP}                                                             ${template3}${wireless_essid wlp2s0}
${template1 Signal}             ${template2}${wireless_link_qual_perc wlp2s0} ${template3}${wireless_link_bar wlp2s0}
${template1 Download}           ${template2}${downspeed wlp2s0}             ${template3}${downspeedgraph wlp2s0}
${template1 Upload}             ${template2}${upspeed wlp2s0}               ${template3}${upspeedgraph wlp2s0}
${template1 Total Down/Up}                                                  ${template3}${totaldown wlp2s0}↓  ${totalup wlp2s0}↑
${else}${if_existing /proc/net/route eth0}\
${template1 Ip}                                                             ${template3}${addr eth0}
${template1 Download}           ${template2}${downspeed eth0}               ${template3}${downspeedgraph eth0}
${template1 Upload}             ${template2}${upspeed eth0}                 ${template3}${upspeedgraph eth0}
${template1 Total Down/Up}                                                  ${template3}${totaldown eth0}↓/${totalup eth0}↑

If you have an AMD, you might have to replace the line above to show your temperature with below:

${template1 CPU\ Load/Temp}                                                 ${template3}${freq_g}GHz - ${hwmon 3 temp 1}°C

Run on Startup

If you want conky to run upon start up, you can add it as a startup application by adding this command: conky -p 15. Note that the 15-seconds pause is likely necessary on startup because your GUI takes some time to load before conky can properly load.