Conky remains one of the coolest ways of customizing your Linux desktop. Conky uses the X window system allowing you to monitor system variables such as CPU usage, swap space, temperatures, network download and upload speeds, time, calendar and much more.
Check out this article on how to set up Conky on your Ubuntu desktop. If you got Conky installed already, let us look at some awesome themes to get your desktop sparkling and make your friends jealous. These themes are quite varying in appeal and form and hopefully, there will be one or a few which surely would impress you. There are a ton of Conky themes out there and you can always find some from Deviantart.com and a few other sites. So let’s started.
5 Best Conky themes
The first theme I recommend is Conky Rings. Conky rings provide pretty simple but detailed specs for your system. First, there is information on drive usage, then there is a pretty cool clock with analog and digital readings with the day of the week and date on the side. There is information also for your CPU, RAM and a TO-DO list. All these are somewhat carried in rings around the clock. You just check out Conky rings for yourself.
Download it from here. The theme requires conky-lua. Install it first. Also, download and install Santana font.
The second on the list is Conky vision and it is probably my favorite. This is because it is simple and I love simple. For those of us who happen to like a clean desktop with no icons and the no fuss, Conky Vision is a winner. When it comes to the information provided with just a handful. All you are provided is a prominent time and date below it. Then you get five days of weather forecast beneath it. Conky vision is just awesome. You can download Conky Vision from here. It requires the Poiret One font.
Sidebar Conky theme provides you with pretty much all the information that you can ask for tacked in a cool sidebar on your desktop. There is time, date, operating system version, codename, and desktop environment. There is a cool CPU usage graph with the corresponding temperature. There is also information on top processes, memory usage, network signal, IP, Up speed and data usage. Then there is information on the weather conditions. Impressed? Download Sidebar Conky theme from here. With the right wallpaper with fewer distractions, you got yourself a winner.
Black Pearl Conky
Bluestar Linux is an Arch based Linux distro powered by the KDE desktop. The developers seek to provide up to date packages and a host of desktop and multimedia apps out of the box. The aim of the distro is to provide a solid operating system that provides a wide range of functionality and ease of use without sacrificing beauty and aesthetics.
Bluestar is available in three editions, desktop, Deskpro and developer options. Bluestar can be installed directly on a desktop or laptop or it can be run as a live disc straight from USB as it supports the addition of persistent storage for those who prefer a very flexible setup. Bluestar also provides and maintains a software repo in order to provide a permanent solution.
Download & Install Bluestar Linux Distribution
Bluestar is hosted and available for download via their Sourceforge page here. The ISO I downloaded came in at a huge 1.6GB and this is typical with most Linux distros that pack some software. To install Bluestar, you first have to burn it to a disc or make a bootable USB thumb drive and boot from it. You may only install Bluestar from the live desktop mode and I find that a little strange. This is the first distro that forces live mode.
So upon boot up, you will be presented with a very interesting take on the KDE desktop environment but more on that later. To install Bluestar, you have to go to the application launcher which is hidden at the top center and only available via a mouse over. Type Bluestar Linux installer into the application launcher to get to the installer. Once again, I am surprised that there is no shortcut to the installer on the desktop or on the dock below.
The installer is a Calamares based so the experience is streamlined and quite straightforward. You will be required to set up the usual like your keyboard, partitions, and user accounts with password. One interesting thing I noticed is that you get to choose your preferred desktop during installation under ‘Dock Preferences’. There are Cairo and Latte (default on live mode) options. There is also an option to select your preferred Bluestar installation mode. There are Base, Lite, Desktop, Deskpro and Developer modes to provide for options such as just the arch base to a full blown developers system. My installation to about 15 minutes on virtual box and thought this isn’t too long, I got worried for a while as it spent about half the time on 20 percent installation.
Bluestar Features At A Glance
Ok, so as I mentioned earlier, Bluestar provides a very different take on the KDE desktop and it is something that I happen to like quite a lot. There is the usual KDE splash screen.
Then you have a clean desktop with 2 widgets available by default. First is the Home folder to provide you quick access to your personal documents. Then there is a hard drive usage widget also available. There is a very nice looking dock at the bottom of the desktop. The default dock on the live desktop is a Latte dock and it is pretty to the core. You can also choose to use Cairo dock instead.
Then there is that “accessible on hover” panel at the top. I don’ t know why they choose to make this panel hidden by default as it took me a few minutes to figure it out that it was even there, especially considering that the application launcher is there. Upon discovery, it remains a cool concept though, the placement, not so much.The application launcher being transparent also does not help. Just look at the mess in the image below. The panel also hosts the time, a simple calculator app, a system resource usage app on the left. On the right, there is a notifications icon, removable media, system updates, network and volume icons.
The time out screen looks ok and it is typical of KDE desktops.
The logout/shutdown screen is neat but I believe it can be very messy if you have a busy background picture.
What is KDE without customization? Bluestar delivers as you would expect from every good KDE desktop. You can customize the overall look and feel with some curated options that will change the entire workspace including the plasma theme, mouse cursor, splash screen and lock screen or you can handle any of this on an individual level.
Bluestar is an Arch based distro but certainly, not one Arch lovers would love. Bluestar takes the hassle of setting up Arch away by providing a very interesting distro that has Arch as the cornerstone. For KDE lovers I am not quite sure how most will receive this. I have seen a few users impressed with Bluestar’s take but I believe there are going to be at least a few who are going to have some questions. All in all, Bluestar is a really nice distro and you if you love Arch and/or KDE, you should definitely check it out. Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below this article.
The thing with this theme is that everything appears in just black and white and that’s so cool. The widgets can be presented in two smooth columns on either side of the desktop. You can load widgets for all kinds of information. There is time, calendar, upload and download speeds, Wi-Fi and Ethernet, USB Devices, battery, CPU, RAM, and even a to-do list. It’s pretty smooth and clean. You can download the Black Pearl Conky theme from here.
Conky Config Black Diamond
Conky config Black Diamond theme provides a pretty clean setup with your information presented in clean simple and transparent panels. You get all the usual information, date, weather, CPU, Ram, Disk usage, Internet speed, signal strength, music, etc. If you need to have a lot of information provided by Conky, then Conky config Black Diamond is a pretty great choice. Check out the image below. If you love this theme, you can download it from here.
These wraps up the first part of awesome Conky themes to get you started. These cool Conky themes will get your desktop looking gorgeous and as I said in the beginning, they vary in a lot of areas especially in function and appeal, one would surely work for you.
The thing with most Conky themes is picking the right matching wallpaper so do not hasten to write them off. Consider changing your wallpaper if you can. If you got to stick to a particular wallpaper, then you can juggle around some of these themes to find the one that would work best with the wallpaper.
Also, keep in mind that Conky also tends to work better on some distros or desktop environments than others so you can switch if you can. There you have it until we are back with some more themes for Conky, and we are going to be back with some more themes for you to try your hands on, happy tweaking and tinkering. Thanks for reading and feel free to share your thoughts and comments with us right below.