Ideally, I could use something like colortail or multitail and have conky configured to pass the color through, if that is possible. If not, then I need a way to do it some other way. Apologies for the cruft. It's a work in progress and theres probably stuff in here that doesn't need to be.

# **********************************************************************
# **********************************************************************

text_buffer_size 512

background yes
double_buffer yes

alignment bottom_left

border_width 1
cpu_avg_samples 2
#default_color white
#default_outline_color white
#default_shade_color white
draw_borders no
#draw_graph_borders yes
draw_outline no
draw_shades no

gap_x 0
gap_y 0
net_avg_samples 2
no_buffers yes
out_to_console no
out_to_stderr no
extra_newline no

own_window yes
own_window_type normal
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_colour 000000
own_window_argb_visual yes
own_window_argb_value 0
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

minimum_size 280 230
stippled_borders 0
update_interval 1.0
uppercase no
use_spacer none

show_graph_scale no
show_graph_range no

use_xft yes
xftalpha 0.1
xftfont Droid Sans:size=9
#color0 white
#color1 EAEAEA
#color2 FFA300
#color3 grey

color0 white
color1 slate grey
color2 red
color3 blue
color4 green

${color gray}
${exec tail -n 15 /var/log/syslog }

1 Answer 1


You can convert any ansi escape sequences into conky colour commands and use execp instead of exec to then have the output parsed.

For example, (not ansi), you can highlight in red the text systemd: with

${execp tail -n 15 /var/log/syslog |
  sed 's/systemd:/${color red}&${color gray}/g'
  • 2
    So, write a script that replaces any of the basic ANSI sequences with an appropriate color code. Something like that would be very useful to others.
    – user447607
    Sep 21, 2015 at 2:18
  • 1
    I wrote a simple script to do that: github.com/pawamoy/ansito. Only works for conky right now. Use it like command_that_outputs_ansi | ./ansito.
    – pawamoy
    Nov 11, 2018 at 20:24

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