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#1 2013-04-22 10:03:48

hetal
New Member
Registered: 2013-04-22
Posts: 5

Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

Hello,

I've been looking into switching to Crunchbang as my main OS for quite a while now. I've been booting in via live USB for the past month configuring kinks and ironing out issues. I've gotten everything into a way I like it, except for one thing:

I've been on gnome2 for quite some time now (please don't shoot me). On the task bar on the top, I have 2 gnome applets that monitor my CPU usage and MEM usage in graphs, and also something to show my CPU temps.

For #!, I see that everyone uses conky. Conky looks beautiful, except that it's not always there. I have to switch to an empty desktop to see my information.

Can anyone suggest a good way to have that information always visible to me while browsing in an unobtrusive way? I obviously can make a conky setup always be on top of everything, but that kinda gets in the way.

I'm open to any suggestions, and thanks in advance for your help.

Extra information:
I have my tint2 on the bottom instead of the default top, with a 20 pixel height. My screen resolution is 1280x800, which isn't much to work with.

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#2 2013-04-22 10:24:55

DebianJoe
#! Code Whisperer
From: The Bleeding Edge
Registered: 2013-03-13
Posts: 1,207
Website

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

Post your .conkyrc, as that's where the issue is 99% likely to happen.

I use something like what you're talking about...sort of.   Mine is a bar at the bottom of the screen.
blank.jpg

Last edited by DebianJoe (2013-04-22 10:28:24)

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#3 2013-04-22 10:29:56

hetal
New Member
Registered: 2013-04-22
Posts: 5

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

My .conkyrc is still the default. My question is not "How do I format my conky rc," rather I'm wondering if there are any good suggestions about good ways to do this. Should I use conky to begin with? Is there a way to add that information to tint2?

I'm more or less asking about brainstorming this issue, where I get to see if suggestions fit the bill for what I consider to be persistent and unobtrusive.

I hope this clarifies the issue. I could have been more clear in the OP.

Edit:

I use something like what you're talking about...sort of.   Mine is a bar at the bottom of the screen.

That looks really nice. Is that achieved using conky? And what is the bar at the top? tint2?

Last edited by hetal (2013-04-22 10:32:59)

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#4 2013-04-22 10:37:08

joek
#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-09-06
Posts: 495

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

That looks like tint2 as the top bar, and conky on the bottom, yes.
My conkyrc is set in a similar way, except that conky is on the top of my screen.

For reference, my current .conkyrc:

alignment top_middle
default_color D6D6D6
double_buffer yes
draw_shades none
gap_x 0
gap_y 2
if_up_strictness link
minimum_size 1366
no_buffers yes
own_window yes
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_type desktop
update_interval 1
use_spacer right
use_spacer left
use_xft yes
xftfont mono:pixelsize=10

TEXT
${offset 5}/ ${fs_bar 9,100 /} | /home ${fs_bar 9,100 /home} | CPU ${cpugraph 9,100 859900 dc322f -t} | RAM ${mem} ${if_up eth0}| PROC ${processes}:${running_processes} | UP ${totalup eth0} | DN ${totaldown eth0} ${endif}${if_up wlan0}| UP ${totalup wlan0} | DN ${totaldown wlan0} | WIFI ${wireless_link_qual_perc wlan0} ${endif} ${alignr} ${acpitemp}°C | BAT ${battery_percent} | ${uptime_short} | ${time  %H:%M %d-%m} 

Basically, the key points are the alignment: top_middle or bottom_middle, depending on which you want; and having your entire config on one line. On most window managers, you can set things so a maximised window will not overlap your conky.

ETA: In openbox, you want to use the <margins> option in your rc.xml.

...
<margins>
  <top>16</top>
  <bottom>0</bottom>
  <left>0</left>
  <right>0</right>
</margins>
...

ETA 2:

A simple conky which shows CPU usage, Mem usage, and core temperature might look something like this:

alignment top_middle
default_color D6D6D6
double_buffer yes
draw_shades none
gap_x 0
gap_y 2
minimum_size 1366
no_buffers yes
own_window yes
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_type desktop
update_interval 1
use_spacer right
use_spacer left
use_xft yes
xftfont mono:pixelsize=10

TEXT
${offset 5}CPU ${cpugraph 9,100 859900 dc322f -t} | RAM ${mem} ${alignr} ${acpitemp}°C 

Last edited by joek (2013-04-22 10:50:12)

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#5 2013-04-22 10:52:16

DebianJoe
#! Code Whisperer
From: The Bleeding Edge
Registered: 2013-03-13
Posts: 1,207
Website

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

hetal wrote:

That looks really nice. Is that achieved using conky? And what is the bar at the top? tint2?

Why thank you, and yes, the bar at the bottom is conky.

    #avoid flicker
    double_buffer yes
     
    #own window to run simultanious 2 or more conkys
    own_window  yes
    own_window_transparent no
    own_window_type override
    own_window_hints undecorate,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
     
    #borders
    draw_borders yes
    draw_graph_borders no
    border_width 0
    border_margin 3
     
    #shades
    draw_shades no
     
    #position
    gap_x 0
    gap_y 4
    alignment bottom_left
     
    #behaviour
    update_interval 1
     
    #colour
    default_color 000000
    #default_shade_color 000000
    own_window_colour 000000
    #font
    use_xft yes
    xftfont lime:size=7
     
    # Force UTF8? note that UTF8 support required XFT
    override_utf8_locale yes
     
    #to prevent window from moving
    use_spacer none
    minimum_size 1366 0
     
    #mpd
    #mpd_host localhost
    #mpd_port 6600
     
    TEXT
    ${color #9BBAF1} moc: ${color ffffff}${execpi 10 mocp -Q %state} | ${color #9BBAF1}${execpi 10 mocp -Q %artist}${color ffffff} >> ${color #9BBAF1}${execpi 10 mocp -Q %song}${color ffffff} |  ${color #9BBAF1} ${color #9BBAF1} ${alignr} ${color #9BBAF1}Kernel >> ${color ffffff}$kernel  ${color #9BBAF1}Up >> ${color #9BBAF1}${color #ffffff}${uptime_short} ${color #9BBAF1}| Cpu >> ${color #ffffff}${cpu}% ${color #ffffff} ${color #9BBAF1}Ram >> ${color #ffffff}${memperc}%  ${color #9BBAF1}Swap >> ${color ffffff}${swapperc}%  ${color #9BBAF1}Disk >> ${color ffffff}${fs_used_perc /}% ${color #9BBAF1}| Up Speed >> ${color ffffff}${upspeedf eth0} kb/s ${color #9BBAF1}Down Speed: ${color ffffff}${downspeedf eth0} kb/s${color #9BBAF1} | ${color #9BBAF1}${time %d/%m/%y}${color #9BBAF1} ${time %H:%M}

The bar at the top is XFCEpanel, but the same idea could be applied to tint2.  By setting up the margins as joek explained, other windows won't cover it.  It makes it a persistent, yet unobtrusive system monitor.

Now, you COULD actually use something like the pager-bar from awesomeWM and use lua to script in the meters that you have requested.  That's how I have my awesomewm set up, and it's very much out of the way.  As a matter of fact, if you're trying to maximize screen real-estate, that would be my #1 suggestion.

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#6 2013-04-22 12:14:48

PackRat
#! Die Hard
From: USA
Registered: 2011-03-03
Posts: 1,101

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

In openbox you can go into the window settings and specify the margins between the window and edge of screen; easy to fit a small one line conky in the margins so you can always see it.

I fluxbox, you can set the own_window_type in the conkyrc to dock, then dock a one line conky that will always be on top of other windows - I think the openbox dock works the same way:

Screenshot of my fluxbox setup:

abdJIGMJ.jpg

Visit the mega conky thread for more examples of what you're trying to accomplish.


"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce tribe

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#7 2013-04-22 13:10:42

Naik
#! Die Hard
From: Leipzig
Registered: 2012-11-16
Posts: 528

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

There You go hetal.

The only thing i would add is that you can also put your tint2 to a maximum length of -let`s say - 66% and use the rest of 36% for a little conky-bar. in this way if tint2 stays visible (you know how to do so?) conky will most likly too.

greetz -naik


*kaum macht man es richtig, funktioniert es sofort* | my blog

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#8 2013-04-22 16:15:35

johnraff
#!Drunkard
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2009-01-07
Posts: 2,701
Website

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

Yet another alternative (Linux is about choice smile ) - I use a couple of small conkys with transparent backgrounds that float at the top of the screen. With maximized windows they fit in the usually unused space in the title bar.
taTZuZQThe one on the left is RAM and CPU, on the right network up and down.

Here's the code, but you'd want to tweak the alignment to match your display and theme:

background yes
update_interval 1.0
total_run_times 0

use_xft yes
xftfont Bitstream Vera Sans Mono:size=8
xftalpha 1.0

own_window yes
own_window_type normal
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_argb_visual yes
own_window_hints undecorated,above,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

double_buffer yes

minimum_size 200 0

draw_shades yes
draw_outline no
draw_borders no
draw_graph_borders no

default_color white
default_shade_color black
default_outline_color black

alignment top_left
gap_x 55
gap_y -1

no_buffers yes
uppercase no
cpu_avg_samples 2
override_utf8_locale no

use_spacer none

TEXT
${color}RAM:${color 97C73F} ${mem} ${membar}
${color}CPU:${color F08F22} ${cpu cpu0}% ${cpubar cpu0}

andand

background yes
update_interval 0.3
total_run_times 0

use_xft yes
xftfont Bitstream Vera Sans Mono bold:size=12
xftalpha 1.0

own_window yes
own_window_type normal
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_argb_visual yes
own_window_hints undecorated,above,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

double_buffer yes

minimum_size 100 10
maximum_width 160

draw_shades yes
draw_outline no
draw_borders no
draw_graph_borders no

default_color white
default_shade_color black
default_outline_color black

alignment top_right
gap_x 65
gap_y 0

uppercase no

cpu_avg_samples 2
net_avg_samples 2
if_up_strictness address

override_utf8_locale no

TEXT
Dn: ${color FF2222}${downspeedgraph eth0 12,50 -l} ${alignr}${color}Up: ${color FFFF00}${upspeedgraph eth0 12,50 -l}

John
--------------------
( a boring Japan blog , idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
#! forum moderator

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#9 2013-04-22 16:19:57

hhh
Caught in the Vortex
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 1,885

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

I'm not a conky fan, so I use xfce4-panel, which has  panel plugins for CPU and RAM usage, power management, weather, core temp, etc...
http://goodies.xfce.org/projects/panel-plugins/start

For a minimal install use...

sudo apt-get install xfce4-panel --no-install-recommends

Then you can install the plugins all at once with sudo apt-get install xfce4-goodies , or one by one (ex. sudo apt-get install xfce4-cpugraph-plugin)

Here's some screenshots of my current desktop...
http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic. … 22#p303522

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#10 2013-04-22 18:21:48

hetal
New Member
Registered: 2013-04-22
Posts: 5

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

I made a post thinking I would have to debate the pros and cons about the proposed solutions, but I'm surprised to see that every post here was quality material that just solved the issue.

I'll be trying both horizontal conky scripts, and xfce4-panel to see which I prefer. Thanks everyone for your time!

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#11 2013-04-22 18:56:21

PackRat
#! Die Hard
From: USA
Registered: 2011-03-03
Posts: 1,101

Re: Unobtrusive yet persistent system monitor

There are also dzen2 and xmobar which come with some pre-configured plugins for memory, and cpu usage; if you can code scripts, it's not too difficult to write your own. Both can function as docks and stay above maximized windows. It's easy to pipe conky to dzen2 - good HowTo on the Arch Wiki and some examples in the #! conky thread.


"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce tribe

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