I recently installed Crunchbang and want to change the color of Conky, which is installed by default and shows system status info on the desktop. However, changing the config settings doesn't seem to make a difference, even when I manually restart conky.


I found two config files:



They have color settings. If I change the settings and run

$ conky

then a terminal-looking panel appears that DOES reflect my changes. I noticed that in order to refresh the desktop Conky, not this terminal-looking Conky, I have to do

$ sudo killall conky
$ sudo conky -q

Killing it makes Conky disappear off the desktop. Starting it again as root makes it reappear on the desktop. But none of changes I make to the config files show up in the "root desktop" Conky, only when I run it as a "subsystem" Conky.

Please help me understand what is going on, and what I am missing.

  • 2
    Could you please edit and clarify a little? What do you mean by "root desktop"? Are you logging into the GUI as root? If so, why sudo? Is there a ~/.conkyrc file? Is there a /root/.conkyrc file? Which config file are you editing, /etc/conky/conky.conf? – terdon Jul 5 '14 at 12:41
  • "Root desktop" is a term that conky uses in the documentation to refer to the GUI desktop and not a background forked process that runs an instance of Conky. The ~/.conkyrc file existed. I edited that file and ran the script /usr/bin/conkywonky to refresh the "desktop" instance of conky. If you post your response as an answer I will mark it as correct. – paperduck Jul 5 '14 at 17:37
  • Also worth noting that ~/.conkyrc was a hidden file – paperduck Jul 5 '14 at 17:45
  • I remember that conky has some auto reload boolean in the config file, but I don't remember its name. Check out the conky configuration reference. – psimon Jul 5 '14 at 17:47
  • @psimon Yes you are right, after a while I realized that after I wrote changes to the config file, the changes were automatically updated on the desktop. – paperduck Jul 7 '14 at 19:41

The default configuration file for conky is ~/.conkyrc. This follows classic *nix convention that wants configuration files to be hidden (dot files) in ~/.

If that file exists, it will be read when you launch conky and the files in /etc will be ignored as you have seen. You can override the default with the -c flag (at least in conky 1.9.0):

   -c | --config= FILE
          Config file to load instead of $HOME/.conkyrc

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