My occasional quest or project to get my desktop Mac working with Linux continues when appropriate. One of my issues with the Mac has been that it has been so slow, especially when you consider the ‘power under the hood’. As this was the case I thought it was important to monitor the system load in normal usage. The best way to do that on Linux is http://conky.sourceforge.net/.
Conky is almost infinitely customisable, but it isn’t always trivial to get the look and feel that you are after. I wanted a transparent set of functions in the right hand side of my desktop, indicating such useful information as the load on each processor (as a graph and a constantly updating figure), the top ‘top’ processes and available disc space.
This is what I have at the moment:
It fulfills my requirements and looks pretty good to boot.
When I was creating the configuration file I took much of the inspiration from the version that I have on my laptop. But initially it left me with a non-transparent window (black background, or, alternatively, it was transparent but all of the icons from the rest of the desktop disappeared.
The solution in my case was to enable the built-in compositing for the xfwm4 window manager. I don’t appear to be able to use full blown Compiz compositing (it won’t play with my graphics card), but the compositing in xfwm4 is able to support a bit of transparency for windows and multiple desktops, and makes both the icons on the desktop and Conky visible at the some time.