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In different screenshots of people's linux desktops, I've seen different apps that overlay the desktop with information about their computer. Often this gadget/app shows CPU and HDD information. Sometimes it has network and temperature information as well. I've seen these a lot but they often have different looks and different information.

What program does this? Is it built-in to any linux distro?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

I use conky to display date, battery, cpu, ram and swap information. You can find my conky file here or take a look at a thread about conky configs in the arch-linux forum. There you find many different configs and screenshots of conky in use.

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Great. That's exactly what I was looking for. –  mouche Aug 11 '10 at 6:41
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I use the conky-colors theme/scripts for one of my desktops. It's a fairly user-friendly way to begin with conky.

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