How to install and configure conky in elementary OS

Some people love it, others hate it, Conky’s the name. If you know what Conky is, skip the next paragraph.

If you’re new to the Linux desktop environment and haven’t heard of Conky before, it’s a highly configurable app window that stays pinned to your desktop and displays system information which it retrieves from your computer. Hence it can display the date, time, CPU and network information, fan speeds, etc. The main pull-factor of Conky is the extent to which you can customise the display. It may not be necessary to have a clock widget on your desktop for instance, but that bling it adds to you desktop is sometimes quite irresistible, and why not spruce up your workspace anyway?

(Most of this guide is based upon the guide for installing Conky in Ubuntu. This is a much simplified version. For extra configurations and options, see the guide: here.)

Installation instructions:

Bear in mind that the following steps worked for me, but that doesn’t mean it will definitely work for you :-/ I’m running (an almost new installation of) elementary OS Luna (beta 1). Good luck.

Open the terminal and type the following code:

sudo apt-get install conky-all
sudo apt-get install conky curl lm-sensors hddtemp

To run conky, type:

conky &

You should see something like this:
Default Conky

To close Conky, type:

killall conky

Next, search devianart and other websites for your favourite “Conky theme”. Once you’ve downloaded your theme, copy the file called .conkyrc to your home folder. You may need to show hidden files in pantheon. You can do this by pressing ctrl+h.
The downloaded theme may come with additional resources like fonts or wallpapers. Follow the instructions in the readme file or from the website where you downloaded the theme from.

Here are links to some themes:

My Conky setup

My conky setup

This will work very well if you have a resolution of 1600 x 900, but the theme can be modified for different resolutions.

Download the theme file: here

Download the font: here

Download the wallpaper: here.

Save the theme file to your home folder.

Open the font and click “Install Font” at the bottom right corner of the font preview window.

Conky shortcut

To add Conky to your dock, download the desktop file: here.

Conky in Dock

Save the file anywhere you like, preferably in /usr/share/applications/

Download the icon: here.

Save the icon in /usr/share/icons.

Open the folder with the desktop file and drag the desktop file to the dock. Click the icon on the dock to start Conky. Right click the icon to close Conky.

Configuring/Customising Conky

To configure a theme or to create your own one, see this page (Click here) for configuration options as a guide to editing/creating the .conkyrc file. ENJOY 🙂

Birdie tweets best – Birdie Twitter Client for Elementary

I came across this app via a post in the elementary community on Google+. I’ve never really used a twitter client on a desktop before as I find the web version of TwBirdieitter to be feature rich and more than sufficient. Most users of desktop clients I suppose look for the ability to use multiple accounts, a feature I don’t currently require. However, enter Birdie. There’s something so appealing about the interface. Of course, it’s designed to blend in with the elementary theme, but it’s also very clean and simple. Unlike other desktop Twitter clients, Birdie bears a bit of resemblance to official Twitter apps with the top (icon-based) menu bar. The app is still in early development, resulting in a missing “search” feature. The search icon is greyed out in this version, but should be included in later versions.

Bottom line, Birdie does what it’s meant to do, that’s provide a clean, easy-to-use desktop twitter client that looks and feels at home on an elementary desktop.

To install Birdie in elementary OS Luna; type the following code in a terminal window:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:birdie-team/daily

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install birdie

Remember: this is probably an early version of the software and may not work as expected. Installing the software and editing your software sources is done at your own risk.

WPS For Linux – First Impressions

What a find

Talk about finding a hidden treasure… the WPS Office Suite for Linux is an amazing find. Although considerably well known for the Android app, WPS Office (aka Kingsoft Office) is not as well adopted by desktop users, more specifically non-Chinese desktop users. That’s because WPS Office is offered in Chinese by default and to find and download the app, you need to make use of Google Translate to find your away around the WPS for Linux website.

I installed WPS Office in Elementary OS Luna. When you launch the office suite for the first time, there’s no escaping the acknowledgement that the app borrow’s most of its design aspects from Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010, but if you’re like me and are rather comfortable in that environment, then this will be a welcomed realisation. Unlike MS Office running under Wine, WPS Office is a native app which makes itself comfortable amongst other Ubuntu/Elementary apps.

WPS Office apps in the elementary Luna dock

WPS Office apps in the elementary Luna dock

Kingsoft Spreadsheet in elementary OS luna

Kingsoft Spreadsheet in elementary OS luna

Ah, I arranged the icons SWP :-/ too bad.. Anyway, as you’ve just noticed, WPS Office offers 3 apps; Kingsoft Writer, Kingsoft Presentation and Kingsoft Spreadsheet. From my initial inspection, all 3 apps are fully equipped with the features I most commonly use in MS Office and LibreOffice. Obviously I have not yet put the suite to a full-on test, so I cannot really say whether there are any bugs of sort. I found that WPS does not read open document formats, which is not such a big issue as one can easily save to .docx (etc) in Libre/OpenOffice. However, in compensation for that, WPS does a brilliant job in opening documents/spreadsheets and presentations created in MS Office. From the documents I’ve opened, everything was well preserved .

WPS Office boasts an awesome splash screen, a familiar UI and the ability to tweak the UI theme. If you’re used to the LibreOffice, non-ribbon style UI, it’s also possible to change the UI to that style with one click.

Selection_003

UI options in Kingsoft Writer

UI options in Kingsoft Writer

Another great feature in WPS, which MS Office even lacks, is the ability to open and work on multiple documents side by side, switching between them using tabs.

Tab Switcher in WPS

Tab Switcher in WPS

WPS Office apps also offer a wide range of templates and design tools that are similar to those found in MS Office. The downside is that the apps aren’t 100% translated into English, but it certainly doesn’t hinder productivity. All the core features are available in English and if not, the menu icons are familiar enough to understand.

How to install WPS Office for Linux in Ubuntu/Linux Mint/Elemenatry

Download the .deb file from http://community.wps.cn/download/ [Alternate versions are also available for other Linux distros]

Install the package either through Software Centre or whatever deb package manager you use.

Open Kingsoft Writer. You will be prompted with a form asking for your name and some stuff. The form is in Chinese. Fill in anything. After filling out the form, the app will open in full Chinese. To change the app to English, close the app and then run the following code in a terminal window:

cd /opt/kingsoft/wps-office/office6/2052

sudo rm qt.qm wps.qm wpp.qm et.qm

Open any Kingsoft app again and it should display in English.
Enjoy!