Conky Configuration.

Crunchbang introduced me to conky, and I love it. Here’s my conky config. It doesn’t use any plugins, or extensions so feel free to simply copy-paste and save this to your conky rc.


# Conky sample configuration # # the list of variables has been removed from this file in favour # of keeping the documentation more maintainable. # Check http://conky.sf.net for an up-to-date-list.
# set to yes if you want Conky to be forked in the background
 background yes
# X font when Xft is disabled, you can pick one with program xfontsel
 #font 5x7
 #font 6x10
 #font 7x13
 #font 8x13
 #font 9x15
 #font *mintsmild.se*
 #font -*-*-*-*-*-*-34-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
# Use Xft?
 use_xft yes
# Xft font when Xft is enabled
 xftfont Andale Mono:size=9
# Text alpha when using Xft
 xftalpha 0.8
# Print everything to stdout?
 out_to_console no
# MPD host/port
 # mpd_host localhost
 # mpd_port 6600
 # mpd_password tinker_bell
# Print everything to console?
 # out_to_console no
# mail spool
 mail_spool $MAIL
# Update interval in seconds
 update_interval 1.0
# This is the number of times Conky will update before quitting.
 # Set to zero to run forever.
 total_run_times 0
# Create own window instead of using desktop (required in nautilus)
 own_window yes
# If own_window is yes, you may use type normal, desktop or override
 own_window_type desktop
# Use pseudo transparency with own_window?
 own_window_transparent no
# If own_window_transparent is set to no, you can set the background colour here
 own_window_colour black
# If own_window is yes, these window manager hints may be used
 own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
# Use double buffering (reduces flicker, may not work for everyone)
 double_buffer yes
# Minimum size of text area
 minimum_size 200 5
 maximum_width 285
# Draw shades?
 draw_shades no
# Draw outlines?
 draw_outline no
# Draw borders around text
 draw_borders no
# Draw borders around graphs
 draw_graph_borders yes
# Stippled borders?
 stippled_borders 2
# border margins
 border_margin 4
#Transparency Settings
 own_window_argb_visual true
 own_window_argb_value 160 ##transparency maximum:255(no transparency), minimum:0(full transparency)
# border width
 border_width 1
# Default colors and also border colors
 default_color white
 default_shade_color black
 default_outline_color red
# Text alignment, other possible values are commented
 #alignment top_left
 alignment top_right
 #alignment bottom_left
 #alignment bottom_right
 #alignment none
# Gap between borders of screen and text
 # same thing as passing -x at command line
 gap_x 12
 gap_y 30
# Subtract file system buffers from used memory?
 no_buffers yes
# set to yes if you want all text to be in uppercase
 uppercase no
# number of cpu samples to average
 # set to 1 to disable averaging
 cpu_avg_samples 2
# number of net samples to average
 # set to 1 to disable averaging
 net_avg_samples 2
# Shortens units to a single character (kiB->k, GiB->G, etc.).
 short_units yes
# Force UTF8? note that UTF8 support required XFT
 override_utf8_locale no
# Add spaces to keep things from moving about? This only affects certain objects.
 use_spacer none
# Shows the maximum value in scaled graphs.
 show_graph_scale no
# Shows the time range covered by a graph.
 show_graph_range no
# Allow each port monitor to track at most this many connections (if 0 or not set, default is 256)
 #max_port_monitor_connections 256
# Maximum number of special things, e.g. fonts, offsets, aligns, etc.
 #max_specials 512
# Maximum size of buffer for user text, i.e. below TEXT line.
 #max_user_text 16384
# Timing interval for music player thread, e.g. mpd, audacious
 #music_player_interval (update_interval is default)
# Strictness of if_up. One of: up, link or address. The later ones imply the further ones.
 # Defaults to up.
 #if_up_strictness address
# variable is given either in format $variable or in ${variable}. Latter
 # allows characters right after the variable and must be used in network
 # stuff because of an argument
# stuff after 'TEXT' will be formatted on screen

 $nodename ${alignr}$sysname $kernel
 ${color DarkOliveGreen1}CPU Intel Q6600 ${offset 20} ${alignr}Speed: ${freq} MHz
 ${color}Uptime:$color ${alignr}$uptime
 ${color}Processes: $processes ${color DarkOliveGreen1}Running:$color $running_processes ${alignr}Load:$color $loadavg
 ${color}Core 1: ${color DarkOliveGreen1}${cpu cpu0}% ${color #cc2222}${cpubar cpu0 5}
 ${color}Core 2: ${color DarkOliveGreen1}${cpu cpu1}% ${color #cc2222}${cpubar cpu1 5}
 ${color}Core 3: ${color DarkOliveGreen1}${cpu cpu2}% ${color #cc2222}${cpubar cpu2 5}
 ${color}Core 4: ${color DarkOliveGreen1}${cpu cpu3}% ${color #cc2222}${cpubar cpu3 5}
 ${color red}${cpugraph 0000ff 00ff00}
${color}Name PID CPU% MEM%
 ${color DarkOliveGreen1}${top name 1} ${top pid 1} ${top cpu 1} ${top mem 1}
 ${color lightgrey}${top name 2} ${top pid 2} ${top cpu 2} ${top mem 2}
 ${color lightgrey}${top name 3} ${top pid 3} ${top cpu 3} ${top mem 3}
 ${color DarkOliveGreen1}Memory
 ${color}RAM: $mem/$memmax ${alignr}${color DarkOliveGreen1}$memperc% ${color #cc2222}${membar 5,100}
${color}Mem usage PID ${alignr}MEM (%)
 ${color DarkOliveGreen1}${top_mem name 1} ${top_mem pid 1} ${alignr}${top_mem mem_res 1} (${top_mem mem 1})
 ${color lightgrey}${top_mem name 2} ${top_mem pid 2} ${alignr}${top_mem mem_res 2} (${top_mem mem 2})
 ${color lightgrey}${top_mem name 3} ${top_mem pid 3} ${alignr}${top_mem mem_res 3} (${top_mem mem 3})
${color}File systems:
 ${exec df -h | grep "/dev/sd" | awk '{ printf "%s of %s \t : %s\n", $5, $2, $6 }' }
Root disk I/O: ${diskio /dev/sdb1}
 ${color red}${diskiograph /dev/sdb1}${color}
 ${color DarkOliveGreen1}Network${alignr}${color}IP: ${addr eth0}
Down:${color DarkOliveGreen1}${downspeed eth0}/s (${totaldown eth0})${color}${alignr}Up:${color DarkOliveGreen1}${upspeed eth0}/s (${totalup eth0})
 ${color DarkOliveGreen1}${downspeedgraph eth0 32,135 ff0000 0000ff} ${color DarkOliveGreen1}${alignr}${upspeedgraph eth0 32,135 0000ff ff0000}
 ${color DarkOliveGreen1}Port(s)${alignr}#Connections
 ${color}Inbound: ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 count} Outbound: ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 count}${alignr} All: ${tcp_portmon 1 65535 count}
${color DarkOliveGreen1}Inbound Connection ${alignr} Local Service/Port$color
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 0} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lservice 0}
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 1} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lservice 1}
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 2} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lservice 2}
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 3} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lservice 3}
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 4} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lservice 4}
 ${color DarkOliveGreen1}Outbound Connection ${alignr} Remote Service/Port$color
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rhost 0} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rservice 0}
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rhost 1} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rservice 1}
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rhost 2} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rservice 2}
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rhost 3} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rservice 3}
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rhost 4} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 61000 rservice 4}

Result: My conky screenshot.

Fonts used are Andale Mono, just follow this link


Crunchbang #! Config.

I came across Crunchbang while looking for a Debain based Opennbox distribution. I first used Openbox on a Ubuntu minimal install and was impressed by the minimalism and the responsiveness. Within fifteen seconds of switching my PC on, I’d be presented with the Desktop with all startup application working in the background. The file manager(Thunar) was also quite zappy and stable. The only trouble was the sound. For some reason, no matter what I used, Alsa or Pulse, sound refused to work. I checked the volume manager through the terminal and saw that the sound was muted. Unmuting the sound only produced an extremely loud beep. I gave it up after a couple of days, and switched back to Ubuntu.

But then Ubuntu never felt the same again. It felt bloated and sluggish in comparison, with a ton of stuff that I would never use. I kept searching for a Debian based Openbox distribution on Distrowatch, which led me to Crunchbang.( In case you are wondering “why Debian based?”, It’s because I love the apt package manager.) Before downloading the distribution however, I registered on their forums. There were a lot of guides and HOW-TO’s to help new users set up their install. I then went on to download the ISO, and installed the OS via a pendrive.

I’ve been using Crunchbang for over a month now and I just love it. Sound worked out of the box. It’s quick and stable. Tint2 has been configured such that accessing multiple workspaces is a breeze. Conky is installed by default. Every other basic application such as VLC, Xchat, word processor, picture viewer and Nitrogen wallpaper manager comes pre-installed. Yet there is nothing ‘extra’ . No clutter, just the stuff you need!

The first time you run Crunchbang a script called ‘cb-welcome’ helps you configure default settings, install additional applications(such as Java) and update the distro. It adds printer support if you want it, and will allow you to download and use the Zen Kernel if you wish to.

My main purpose behind writing this article though, is to document the changes I made to the distribution. This should help me in the future.

  • Un-installed default chat client. Installed Pidgin.
  • Installed Deluge.
  • Installed Dropbox.
  • Installed Opera.
  • Installed Geany.
  • Installed VirtualBox OSE.
  • Tweaked and changed the Openbox Themes.
  • Tweaked Thunar.
  • Made Opera the default browser using the following commands :-

sudo update-alternatives –install /usr/bin/x-www-browser x-www-browser /usr/bin/opera 90

sudo update-alternatives –config x-www-browser

  • Installed the NVIDIA Graphics driver. Followed Instructions from:-


  • Installed ntfs-config for NTFS support.
  • Installed OpenOffice.
  • Added shortcuts for installed application in rc.xml.

~Edit: 22nd July 2011.~

  • Was unable to access the WWW, but torrents were working fine. Had to change the DNS to OpenDNS in /etc/resolv.conf

Can download torrents but not access the WWW.

~Edit 11th August 2011.~

  •  Installed Clementine from DOWNLOAD CLEMENTINE. Player is quite similar to Amarok but much more responsive.


I will continue to update this post whenever I make changes.



The PSU on my PC conked off last Thursday. This is the second time this has happened in the last 4 months and although it doesn’t take too long to replace , it is rather annoying.

Unable to use my PC, I borrowed a friend’s spare laptop. This machine is running on an Intel Dual core with 1GB of RAM and integrated graphics. When I got it, it was running Windows 7 with Aero enabled and was doing so rather well. The disk I/O was slightly slow, but otherwise it was quite smooth. Kudos to Microsoft.

After running Windows 7 for a day, I decided I’d try out Ubuntu(Ubuntu 11.04). Installation is similar to previous versions and I did not encounter any issues. The first thing you notice when you boot-up Unity is the new application launcher. It’s theme is different from the GNOME panels and it appears out-of-place. It resembles the Windows 7 Taskbar to a great extent. Unfortunately, the distribution offers no way of customizing it. You have to install Compiz Settings Manager (can be installed through the Ubuntu Software Center) and even then the options are extremely limited. The lack of customization options in general is quite disheartening. I have grown accustomed to customizing my OS just the way I like it. But here just to be able to revert back to the old settings you have to log out. Even turning off the window effects requires you to log out.

The application launcher is quite nifty though. You can arrange applications in the order you like them and then you can start them by pressing the <super> + <1,2,3,4…> key based on the position of the application on the launcher. <super>+<A> bring up the applications and you can immediately start typing the name of the application that you want to start. <super>+<F> does the same for files and folders. <super>+<D> brings up the desktop. The application launcher could be built to be smarter. For example typing define hello world could bring up the dictionary entry for hello world or google hello world could bring up the Google search related to that query.

Another thing that will take getting used to is the application menu bar. Application menu bar is placed on the top most gnome panel. The panel displays the name of the application currently in focus and when we browse over it, it displays the menu bar for that application. Right clicking on the panel doesn’t do anything which is a waste. The notification area appears on the right hand corner of this panel but refuses to show any other application notification on it other than what’s already there. Manual configuration was required to display Pidgin and XChat icons in the system tray. You could say that they have done away with the entire system tray.  What lead them to make that choice, beats me. System settings can be accessed through the Power button at the corner of the screen, which I must state is totally out-of-place.

The top panel needs to evolve according to the user input because at the moment there is a lot that requires work. Hopefully in a couple of releases they will be able to find the right balance between workspace and ease of use.

Ubuntu 11.04 also comes with the Libre office suite which I used to write this article. Luckily the menu bar for the Office suite is integrated with the application itself. I failed to see anything out of the ordinary in the LibreOffice writer in the brief time that I used it.

Regarding performance, I have serious trouble while copying data from one drive partitions to another. The entire laptop becomes unusable during heavy disk I/O. I also have some trouble running the default theme. I am not sure whether it is because of the lack of a powerful graphics chip but the animations are slightly rough. The UI response time is slightly high as well.

I might continue using Unity for a couple more days before trying something else out while I have this laptop. If I like something then I’ll be putting it on my PC later. I’ll keep this updated.


The Way Back

I recently watched the English movie “The Way Back”. It’s a war drama about a group of people who escape from a Siberian labor camp and their epic 4000 mile journey from Siberia to freedom in India. The cast includes Collin Ferrel(In Bruges), Ed Harris(The Beautiful Mind), Jim Sturgess(21, the film) and Saoirse Ronan. Mark Strong(Body of Lies) makes an appearance in the earlier part of the film.

The film starts off showing how Janusz(Jim Sturgess), a polish prisoner of war, is framed for spying and sabotage against the Soviet Union and sent to a labor camp in Serbia. His wife is forced to make a statement condemning Janusz. Luckily the movie does not dwell on the imprisoned part for too long and although their escape from the camp feels slightly rushed, I was glad when it was over, since that was the only boring portion of the film. While in the camp , Janusz meets the party that begins the journey – Mr. Smith(Ed Harris), Valka (Collin Ferrel) and four others including a priest, a funny accountant and a cook. Their journey takes them through  Serbia to Lake Baikal, and then to Mongolia. On reaching Mongolia they learn that it is now a Communist state too implying that it is no longer safe for them. It is then decided that they need to make their way to India. They move through the Gobi Desert, through Tibet and finally across the Himalayan mountains to a warm welcome in India. The film ends with Janusz reunited with his wife nearly fifty years later at the end of the communist rule in Europe.

During their journey they meet Irena (Saorise Ronan) who quickly becomes the life and soul of the party. She is an orphaned polish girl who is on the run from Soviet Russia. Although Irena perishes on their journey through the Gobi desert,  by then she has already made her place in the hearts of the journeymen forever. Saorise Ronan is perfect for the character. This is the second time I’ve seen her in the movies and she is, currently, one of the most promising young actress in Hollywood . Very beautiful, elegant and just delightful to watch. Rest of the cast also give very credible performances which makes the amazingly epic journey believable. It’s one of those movies where you actually care whether the characters make it or not.

The movie takes us through some of the most breath-taking locations in the world. It’s ironic that these beautiful locations are also one of the most dangerous and deserted places in the world. Maybe the reason that they are so beautiful is because they are deserted. It’s like a review I read says, “It’s Man vs Wild for real.” The movie depicts the resilience of the human spirit and the will to survive through these harsh environments. It also gives a personal account of how the situation in Europe was during World War II, how families were destroyed, people stripped of their businesses in the name of the country, churches and monasteries burnt, priests killed. But the movie does a good job of not getting indulged too much in the intricacies of war and it’s horrors.

A few months ago I saw a documentary of the hundred most important events of the 20th century, which made the montage about the communist rule in Europe at the end of the movie, slightly familiar. Yet an eight hour documentary can hardly be called enough to form an opinion about the events that shaped the world we are in. It’s high time I got back to studying history. Through my childhood I was never really interested in the subject but over the past few months I’ve come to believe that not knowing how the world that I live in came to be the way it is, is rather ignorant. So making myself familiar with the important events of the last century is on my to-do list.

But as far as the movie at hand is concerned, it never intends to be a lesson in history..It’s about a bunch of people,  fueled by their will to survive and the determination to meet their loved ones,  make a journey through some of the harshest yet most beautiful places in the world, to freedom.


Blog Stats

  • 731 hits