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What Is Conky?
Conky is a free, light-weight system monitor for X, that displays any information on your desktop. Conky is free software and runs in X on Linux and BSD. Originally a fork of Torsmo, Conky's torsmo-based code is BSD licensed. New code in Conky has been licensed under the GPL 3.0.
Since its inception, Conky has changed significantly from its predecessor, while maintaining simplicity and configurability. Conky can display just about anything, either on your root desktop, in its own window. Not only does Conky have many built-in objects, it can also display just about any piece of information by using scripts and other external programs.
Although Conky was originally designed for X, newer versions can also be used to write to log files, display in GNU Screen ...
The name Conky comes from a character in the Canadian TV show titled "Trailer Park Boys". More info on the show can be found in the Wikipedia article.
Conky has more than 300 built in objects, including support for:
A plethora of OS stats (uname, uptime, CPU usage, mem usage, disk usage, "top" like process stats, and network monitoring, just to name a few).
Built in IMAP and POP3 support.
Built in support for many popular music players (MPD, XMMS2, BMPx, Audacious) ... and much much more.
Conky can display this info either as text, or using simple progress bars and graph widgets, with different fonts and colours.