A Guide To Adding Ubuntu Desktop Widgets

As we know that the majority uses either windows operating system or Mac operating system, but there exists a significant number of people that use the Linux ubuntu operating software.  Now adding widgets is one thing that serves two purposes: getting handy reach for applications and software and for giving a neat and an organized look to your ubuntu desktop with the help of ubuntu desktop widgets. 

Conky becomes that one such easy method that you can use for getting Linux desktop. Though this type is a little bit technical and complex, especially for those who are new to using the Linux operating system. 

Also read: Linux-powered Laptop : A Complete Guide To Buying

Another way is via screenlets which is an open-source python-based tool that is used to add widgets to the ubuntu desktop and also other screenlets like RSS readers, weather countdown, folder view, sensors, countdown, calendar, etc that is pretty much like the widget screen you will get in conky.

Yet conky still preferred over other methods that are involved in ubuntu desktop widgets as it comes with many features like reporting the current usage of CPU, about your computer memory, your disk storage, the temperature of the monitor/laptop, how many users are logged in, currently playing song, etc. all in the form of a little widget on the side of your screen. 

Why use conky for ubuntu desktop widgets?

Despite the complexity that it carries, it is the preferred choice for most linux users because of the sleek and classy interface that it carries. It is extremely lightweight and easily configurable without appearing as if it does not belong to a monitor or give a negative impact to the viewers. 

How to enable ubuntu desktop widgets with the help of conky?

With conky program that can run all time that never stands out from the desktop, people want it to open whenever the computer system boots. Therefore, To add ubuntu desktop widgets with conky, follow the steps given below:

  1. Tap and open the ubuntu’s application launcher and in the search box type ‘startup.’ This will open the startup applications. 
  2. In the list of options under the startup applications menu, you will see the option of add. This will add a new program. 
  3. This will open a pop-up menu of the add startup program. Here you will enter the name of your program i.e. conky system monitoring and then type the full command to open conky, which will be as follows: /usr/bin/conky
  4. After you have done typing the name and the command, tap on the add option on the bottom of the menu and finish up with the procedure and finally close the Startup Applications Preferences window. 
  5. When you are done, reboot or re-login to your Ubuntu 20.04 system. 
  6. After you are done rebooting then log in back to your desktop and here you will find the conky widgets. 

Read: 2 Quick Fixes On How To Fix Ubuntu Not Booting

This is how you add Ubuntu desktop widgets with the cronly program. Now the desktop might look a little plain and dull right,therefore, let us learn how to customize conky and add more ubuntu desktop widgets to your desktop. 

How to customize ubuntu desktop widgets using conky? 

ubuntu desktop widgets

As you have done setting up conky on your ubuntu desktop, then go to conky’s universal configuration file that is located in etc/conky/conky.conf. Therefore if you’re looking to make universal changes, work directly with this file as editing as this will change entire settings for every user.

Otherwise, if you want to edit the settings for your specific user, then first create a single user-defined Conky configuration file : /etc/conky/conky.conf ~/.conkyrc

To apply and implement the above changes, you would have to reload and reboot your desktop and then again log out to log in again. Then again use a text editor and open the configuration file to open it with gedit: $ gedit ~/.conkyrc

Now you need to get your network interface name and then replace it with the eth0 on line 76 with the name of your network interface. You can also try adding the following lines to the conky program  to make conky look more fluid and then save your changes to see subtle and sleek changes on the desktop. 

own_window_argb_visual = true,

own_window_argb_value = 50,

double_buffer = true,

Read: Linux Terminal For Windows: 6 Step Useful Guide

Apart from this, you can configure more and add more widgets to the ubuntu screen of your desktop. Here are some other configurations to get a polished look.

  • update_interval = 1,
  • cpu_avg_samples = 2,
  • net_avg_samples = 2,
  • out_to_console = false,
  • override_utf8_locale = true,
  • double_buffer = true,
  • no_buffers = true,
  • text_buffer_size = 32768,
  • imlib_cache_size = 0,
  • own_window = true,
  • own_window_type = ‘normal’,
  • own_window_argb_visual = true,
  • own_window_argb_value = 50,
  • own_window_hints = ‘undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager’,
  • border_inner_margin = 5,
  • border_outer_margin = 0,
  • xinerama_head = 1,
  • alignment = ‘bottom_right’,
  • gap_x = 0,
  • gap_y = 33,
  • draw_shades = false,
  • draw_outline = false,
  • draw_borders = false,
  • draw_graph_borders = false,
  • use_xft = true,

Related: 10 Best Linux Launchers You Must Know About

There were easy and quick methods  to ubuntu desktop widgets. These are just some of the basic configurations that can help you with many ubuntu desktop widgets. 

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