I wanted to try out conky on my gentoo machine, just too see how it looks like. There is a nice tool called Conky Manager which allows you to try out different Conky themes with ease, so let’s install it.

Conky Manager Prerequisites

First we need to install valac, we can use a utility called e-file to find out which package a file belongs to:

elatov@gen:~$e-file valac
[I] dev-lang/vala
    Available Versions: 0.8.1-r0 0.8.1 0.8.0-r0 0.7.10-r0 0.7.9-r0 0.7.8-r0 9999-r0 0.7.7-r0 0.7.5-r0 0.7.4-r0 0.6.1-r0 0.7.10 0.9.8 0.9.5 0.9.3
    Last Installed Ver: 0.24.0-r1(Thu 11 Dec 2014 10:40:47 PM MST)
    Homepage:       https://wiki.gnome.org/Vala
    Description:        Compiler for the GObject type system
    Matched Files:      /usr/bin/valac;

Now let’s install it:

sudo emerge -av vala

Lastly let’s create a symlink

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/valac-0.24 /usr/bin/valac

We also need the gee-0.8.pc file:

elatov@gen:~$e-file gee-0.8.pc
[I] dev-libs/libgee
	Available Versions:	0.10.3 0.16.1 0.18.0
	Last Installed Ver:	0.6.8(Sat 21 Feb 2015 01:55:23 PM MST)
	Homepage:		https://live.gnome.org/Libgee
	Description:		GObject-based interfaces and classes for commonly used data structures
	Matched Files:		/usr/lib64/pkgconfig/gee-0.8.pc; /usr/lib/pkgconfig/gee-0.8.pc;

It looks like a specific version has that file, let’s see what available versions we can install:

elatov@gen:~eix libgee
[I] dev-libs/libgee
     Available versions:
     (0)    0.6.7 0.6.8
     (0.8)  0.14.0 0.16.1(0.8/2) 0.18.0(0.8/2)
     Installed versions:  0.18.0(0.8)(11:57:50 AM 11/28/2015)(introspection)
     Homepage:            https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/Libgee
     Description:         GObject-based interfaces and classes for commonly used data structures

So from the e-file output we can see that versions 0.10.3 0.16.1 0.18.0 of libgee have our desired file. And from the eix output we can see that 0.8 is the sub version of all the said versions. So we can just install the latest version and we will be okay:

sudo emerge -av libgee

We also need gtk+-3 and I already had that installed:

elatov@gen:~$equery l gtk+:3
 * Searching for gtk+:3 ...
[IP-] [  ] x11-libs/gtk+-3.16.7:3

Lastly we need to install bzr so we can get the source. I ended up enabling a couple of use flags for the package:

$ cat /etc/portage/package.use/bzr
dev-vcs/bzr curl

and then installed it with the following command:

$ sudo emerge -av bzr

Installing Conky Manager

To get the source we can run the following:

$ bzr branch lp:conky-manager
You have not informed bzr of your Launchpad ID, and you must do this to
write to Launchpad or access private data.  See "bzr help launchpad-login".
Branched 136 revisions.

If you want you can also get the tar archive of the source from here:


Now let’s build the software:

$ cd conky-manager
$ make

By default it wants to install the software under /usr let’s fix that by modifying the conky-manager/src/makefile file as such:

- prefix=/usr
+ prefix=/usr/local/conky-manager

And let’s prepare the destination install directory:

$ sudo mkdir /usr/local/conky-manager
$ sudo chown elatov:elatov /usr/local/conky-manager

To finally install it we can just run the following:

$ make install

More Prerequisites

The Conky Manager uses external tools to load the themes so let’s install them. First is 7zip:

$ sudo emerge -av p7zip

Next we need to install the import tool from imagemagick, I already had that installed and here were my use flags:

$equery u imagemagick | grep '\+'

Other wise you will get errors like this:

$ /usr/local/conky-manager/bin/conky-manager
[12:01:52] Error: Commands listed below are not available:

 * import

Please install required packages and try running it again

Import Conky Themes into Conky Manager

Now let’s go ahead and grab all the themes from Official Theme Pack #1 (15 MB)

Then start conky-manager:

$ /usr/local/conky-manager/bin/conky-manager

And import the themes:


And then you can click on widget and get a preview of how they will look like:


After you are done with choosing and previewing the themes or widgets the conky manager will create a startup script that can be launched at started up. For example here is what I had:

$ cat .conky/conky-startup.sh
sleep 20s
killall conky
cd "/home/elatov/.conky/Conky Seamod"
conky -c "/home/elatov/.conky/Conky Seamod/conky_seamod" &
cd "/home/elatov/.conky/Emays"
conky -c "/home/elatov/.conky/Emays/conkyrc" &
cd "/home/elatov/.conky/NvidiaPanel"
conky -c "/home/elatov/.conky/NvidiaPanel/NvidiaPanel" &

Conky Screenshots

I ended up using 3 different widgets, one on the right screen:


And the two on the left screen:


Published by Karim Elatov

10 January 2016