Amazing Conky powered theme in Ubuntu using Emerald & Avant Window Navigator from startup
Here’s my my new Ubuntu Intrepid Installation running the Quicktweaks Conky setup. Conky is a powerful little tool that allows amazingly detailed levels of system monitoring and can easily be modified to perform other tasks. If you want to find out more, visit the Conky website here and see how it can be customised here. This desktop is a wonderful example of real time system monitoring and the display is even checking my Gmail inbox status and the outdoor temperature from Weather.com!
(click the image for a nice, full resolution version…)
First of all thank you to the Ubuntu Team for fixing the problems with the Nvidia drivers! I’ve successfully installed Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex now and I’m really pleased with it so far. Obviously the screenshot you can see above isn’t the default installation, it is in fact the good work of ashokgelal at Quick Tweaks.
Want to have a go at this yourself? Give it a try at Quick Tweaks…
The Quick Tweaks guide is very comprehensive but there are some tiny details missing that I kept a note of as I discovered them. Hopefully you’ll find these useful along your way, and save you a few hours of head scratching and hunting around the internet for answers!
Adding those MAC style buttons with Avant Window Navigator
The guide doesn’t really mention how the “Mac style” buttons at the bottom of the desktop came to be there. If you want buttons like this too, you’ll need Avant Window Navigator. I found a perfectly good guide on installing AWN, though you don’t need to add the recommended repositories with Intrepid Ibex. For Intrepid users, I wrote an improved guide to installing and setting up Avant Window Navigator. Enjoy!
Want Avant Window Navigator to run on startup? Here’s how:
Go to: System> Preferences> Sessions
In Sessions Preferences, go to the Startup Programs tab, click the Add button, and in “Name” type: Avant Window Navigator; in “Command” type: avant-window-navigator then click OK
The same can be said for Conky and Emerald, you’ll need both of these executing when Ubuntu starts if you’d like your new theme to remain intact on your first reboot!
Running Conky on startup
To enable Conky at startup, just repeat the process above, like this:
Go to: system> preferences> sessions then add:
“Name” – Conky “Command” – conky “Comment” – start Conky
How to run emerald at Startup
Getting Emerald to run at startup was quite tough. If you run the terminal command emerald –replace then Emerald will become the current Window decorator. As soon as you close Terminal or restart the machine, your change is lost.
You’re going to need the Compiz Settings Manager to get this to work easily. I wrote a post on how to install compiz a while ago, so that may come in handy for some background.
The package is called: compizconfig-settings-manager. Installing it in Ubuntu is easy – go to Synaptic Package Manager (System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager) and do a search for compizconfig-settings-manager. Check the install box and click apply.
Now, if you go to System>Preferences you’ll see that a new menu item has appeared – “CompizConfig Settings manager”. Open the menu.
Next, open “Window Decoration” and add “emerald –replace” into the command section like this:
That should help speed things up a little! Finally, two quick notes that I found extremely useful:
1) Make sure you follow the capitalisation carefully in the Quick Tweaks walk-through. Naming the folder where you dump the mail/weather scripts “Scripts” instead of “scripts” will cause problems. 2) The provided .conkyrc file reports network data by default from eth1. If you’re not seeing network activity showing on your desktop, run ifconfig in a terminal, note the name of the device you primarily use (wlan0 in my case), and replace all references to eth1 with your own network.
Hopefully you’ll have an awesome setup just like this one after an hour or two! Starting from scratch? Try my guide on how to install Ubuntu!
Update – a few folks have asked me for a little more detail on how to install Avant Window Navigator – you ask, I deliver!