Conky is a free, lightweight, software system monitor available for the X Window System used by Linux. Conky is very flexible when it comes to customizing the system to your specific needs. The program gives you the ability to monitor all of the intricate workings of your monitor, including things like weather updates, batter power disk storage, memory, the status of your CPU, and even music players, all in one convenient location. Conky also possesses the unique characteristic in that it takes up fewer resources than other system monitor that you might find in offered in other locations.
The program’s main use is to gather and display location in one consolidated location, and can be installed and used on many devices seamlessly. It is also distinguishable in that many different users have coded different scripts and versions of Conky, so you can basically get any aesthetic that you want with this product. Conky’s lightweight widget sits wherever you place it on your desktop and displays a customizable range of system info such as RAM usage, current processes and uptime. It is compatible with either GNOME Classic (not sure about GNOME3) or Unity, and in fact any Environment you happen to be running. However, especially for new users, it might be a little bit hard to navigate around this program and know exactly what information is being shown, because the default appearance of Conky looks something like this:
Yeesh. It does not look simple or user-friendly at all. Fortunately, Linux users have created dozens of much more attractive and intuitive Conky designs. For new users, these are much more interactive and easier to use, and for seasoned coders, it’s just nicer to look at a pretty background instead of lines of white code and a black screen. Here’s our list of the top nine useful, beautiful Conky themes.
Conky Semi-Transparent by Bugich
This theme is wonderfully minimal and clean, but you can see how well it goes with a bold, artistic wallpaper. Conky Semi Transparent works especially well with Apple products, since all of the icons are at the bottom of the screen on that platform, and it is much easier to navigate through. The program gives you all the most important stats about your CPU usage along with the date, time, and the track you are currently listening to. This is a great theme if you want to be able to leave your desktop up while working, without having to refresh or click through to get to key info.
Black Pearl Conky
This theme is quite a departure from the first two options mentioned earlier that you have seen in this review. It is quite dark, and rather futuristic. The format itself is quite clean and easy to navigate, and suggests the controls of an almost spaceship like operating system. Fans of sci-fi games like X-Com, Halo, EVE Online etc. should be attracted to the use of font and info-heavy HUD-style display as well as Black Pearl’s dark and slightly metallic color-scheme.
Although the display takes up a fair amount of desktop space, the actual information is not cluttered at all and quite easy to read. This style will be easiest to use for those who refrain from filling their desktop with icons, since the information provided by Conky replaces the area where those icons would be. Elegant, efficient, sleek and futuristic, the Black Pearl Conky theme should appeal to many readers. If you are a gamer, the Black Pearl Conky will also appeal to you since you are already accustomed to receiving information that is presented in this general format.
Cloud Conky Theme
The Cloud Conky is just plain weird, but is more artistically framed than the previous themes. It is extremely minimal, and almost looks like it should be interactive. Cloud Conky does not call to mind sci-fi video games in the way that Black Pearl does – Cloud Conky is futuristic but looks more like it would be at home in the film Her than in one of the Terminator movies.
It’s also pretty cute, if having an adorable desktop background is more important to you than having all the information about your monitor available at a moment’s notice in a cluttered and busy fashion. Cloud Conky is very clean too, so it’s easy to read and a breeze to navigate through. You should take a look at Cloud Conky theme if only to see how unusual the design is for yourself. Choose this theme if you are hesitant to go outside and look at the clouds for yourself, but still enjoy looking at the sky now and again.
Conky Vision Theme
If you prefer a very simple design with legible data, and only the key information that you need, you might want to try Conky Vision Theme. Conky Vision Theme font and spacing is actually similar to those already installed app on your phone that are immediately accessible when you first purchase a new smart device, easy to read and pleasant to look at.
Using this app gives you the ability to get a prominent display of the date and time along with an up-to-date weather forecast for the next five days, complete with obvious-at-a-glance weather icons. No need for clunky widgets that you constantly need to search for and install, this theme puts everything you need in one place, easy for you to find. Conky Vision Theme is more like an Android or iOS widget than most of the Conky themes, but do not let that undersell it – Apple’s design is legendarily user friendly and there is no reason your Linux device should not be beautiful and simple too. Besides, there is a reason those devices use this format for their products: it is easy to navigate and nice to look at!
Crunchbang Conky Theme
Crunchbang has all of the data display toggles of Black Pearl and Black Diamond, but with a much edgier, grungier finish to it. This theme is for anyone who is a fan of an industrial aesthetic and early nineties digital effects but also wants to see the weather and their current system stats.
This theme is also practical in that it leaves your whole left side of the screen free for desktop icon, which is different from other themes in that it does not fill up your space with information and instead leaves it free and empty. No need for a grungy desktop background, this theme provides enough angst to make your punk heart happy. Or ticked off. Whatever works for you.
Conky Black Diamond Theme
This theme is a great combination of the sleek, iOS-like interface of Conky Vision and the useable extra data that most users are looking for when they download Conky in the first place. Use this with a simple desktop background, and it will blend nicely into the background when you are not looking at it. Additionally, the Conky Black Diamond Theme has a shadow effect that makes the theme appear at first like it has the transparency effect common in nicer Android and iOS widgets. Black Diamond will show you the time, the date, the forecast for upcoming weather, all the usual CPU data, and even the music track you are currently playing. Each different group of data is contained in a separate box on the desktop, making the theme extra clear at a glance and easy to read for even the newest user.
Helix Conky Theme
Providing another incredibly simple Conky theme here. Helix displays only the date and time, creating a beautiful minimalist overlay with no box outline or background colors whatsoever, perfect for placing over the top of aesthetically pleasing desktop wallpapers. We can imagine the Helix Conky Theme being favored among young architects, artists, app EUI designers and photographers. It does not take up a lot of artistic space, but still provides the most essential and basic of information at a quick glance.
Conky, Conky, Conky
If you are looking for a futuristic theme but Black Pearl is too gamer and Cloud is too silly and minimal, check out Conky, Conky, Conky. The main widget data is organized and displayed around a graphic of concentric circles that make it look like you should be able to hover your hand above your monitor and twist it like a dial. At a glance you are provided with the time, date, current storage levels, the three top processes that are employing your RAM; plus how full your battery is, and whether it is recharging or losing power.
The font is reminiscent of Icelandic, which is a really nice touch to keep the futuristic elements of Conky, Conky, Conky feeling truly modern rather than RPG. If you want to feel like the future of the world is in your hands and only you can save it, choose this theme. Over to the far right of the widget you can hit buttons, which shift the widget graphics between different customized settings on the circles, so you can flick through different tabs for system stats, weather, storage information etc. This level of simple customizability makes this theme unique and extremely user friendly. You can change your theme to meet all of your specific needs very easily.
Jelly Conky is the prefect Conky Theme for you if you love the clean, pure, featherweight appearance of Android’s Jellybean OS. This Conky Theme gives you a simple, central read out of the time, date and weather, and of all the Conky themes we have reviewed here today, Jelly Conky is the most suitable for using on a mobile or tablet, which is unique and valuable, since the other themes are mostly designed for use on a desktop.
RED NSA CONKY
Red NSA Conky is actually pretty similar to Black Pearl Conky, in that it provides all of your information in a futuristic, dark format, but if all black isn’t your thing, Red NSA Conky provides a bit of color, as well as an American theme to inspire you when you are feeling a bit unpatriotic. Various disk shaped icons show you the data that you installed a Conky theme onto your desktop for. It is incredibly easy to use, and clean to look at.
Once again, Arch Conky is similar to Black Pearl Conky and Red NSA Conky, with clean lines and easy to read features, but it provides a bit of a different feel with a large amount of information spread out all over your desktop, and many half-circles that let you know the levels of your device, like how much space you have left and battery levels.
CONKY GOOGLE NOW
Conky Google Now, as the name suggests, partners with your Google account in order to put all of your information, like weather, time, battery level and even stock prices in the same location. It is structured more like a widget on your phone, placed off to the side of your desktop background, and is both very easy to use, a convenient consolidation of information, and very practical.
NotifyOSD Conky divides your information into three categories: CPU information and temperature, space left, and Wi-Fi information. This makes finding all of your data incredibly easy, and simple to read unlike some of the other, more complicated themes. The interface is clean, but it still contains some more technical information instead of just weather and the date or time.
If a plain black theme isn’t your cup of tea, then Conky Colors is for you. The theme is packed with information, and goes best with a fairly plain desktop background. However, it is laid out in an organized way, and if you want all of your desktop’s information at your fingertips, then this theme is the way to go. It combines a lot of the other theme’s key features, like a block to the side with information like weather and data availability, as well as a calendar, and wheels with memory, CPU information, and even time.
If you are only after information presented in a simple way, then this theme is exactly what you are looking for. It gives you all the information in a compact, organized and minimalistic way, while still being rich with data on memory availability, and even a small calendar. It may not be information at a glance, but it’s still in one place.