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I have a conky setup that I've used on a number of desktops (here's the conkyrc). It works fine in Ubuntu Unity, XFCE, Gnome and Openbox, but not Lubuntu (LXDE). The problem is that I cannot get it to stay on the Lubuntu LXDE desktop reliably. Either the conky window disappears if I click the desktop or if I minimize all windows (show desktop).

I've tried all variations in the configuration file for "own_window", "own_window_colour", "own_window_transparent" and "own_window_type" and have Googled quite a bit to resolve this. If it edit the conkyrc file and set the own_window_type to "normal", conky disappears if I minimize all windows. If I set it to "desktop" it disappears if I click anywhere on the desktop. If I use "override" it doesn't display at all. And the other options don't work well for obvious reasons.

On another Ubuntu Unity install I had a similar problem, but got around it by using Compiz Config Settings Manager to ignore my conky window. On my netbook Lubuntu install I don't have compiz installed.

How can I get conky to stay on my desktop.

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Conky doesn't seem to play well with Openbox. –  Uri Herrera Aug 29 '12 at 8:06
Did you try the "panel" mode?.. BTW I also have similar problems with conky under Unity; can you please tell me how you used Compiz Config Settings Manager to ignore conky window? –  Sadi Mar 7 '13 at 6:35
Sadi: The following conky setting should normally work for Unity: own_window yes own_window_transparent yes own_window_type normal own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager If you have problems with compiz (and weird shadows), use Compiz Config settings manager to set the following: * Under "Window Decoration" area, set the "Shadow windows" field to any & !(name=Conky) Note that panel mode is intended to let conky behave like a panel. This means that normally windows won't cover it and it should only be docked to the side of your screen. This isn't what I wanted. –  aspersieman Mar 8 '13 at 8:25

10 Answers 10

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Seems like setting window type to desktop is not enough sometimes.


own_window_type desktop
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

Got it from here.

Works for me in XFCE. I'm guessing it'll be fine for lxde/openbox as well.

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How is this answer accepted? In LXDE, clicking the desktop makes conky disappear. –  Redsandro Jun 23 '13 at 15:29
I also have no idea why that is. The question (not its title though) explicitly states that the issue is present ONLY in LXDE and the author ask for help to resolve that particular issue. The reply marked as "Answer" does not answer the question. I landed here while looking for an answer to the exact same problem but with Debian (latest stable), running LXDE. –  rbaleksandar Oct 22 '13 at 19:38
this doesn't help. it keep disappearing –  nazar_art Dec 29 '13 at 10:03
For simple Ubuntu with Unity own_window_type override works just fine –  MInner Jun 19 at 1:10

This config works, on Gnome and Cinnamon and is the way to do it.

own_window yes
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_type dock
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
own_window_argb_visual yes
own_window_argb_value 100
gap_x 940
gap_y 20

The last 2 attributes absolutely position it on screen and need to be changed for your configuration. A working complete configuration file can be found here on Github.

Edit: From the comments: If own_window_type set to "dock" doesn't work well for you, try "override" and "normal" as well.

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own_window_type dock isn't always optimal as the conky window will be treated like a dock. –  aspersieman Mar 8 '13 at 8:12
@aspersieman I found nothing different with it so far. It is the only setting which prevented it going off when clicking the desktop or super+windows+D. –  Anirudh Ramanathan Mar 8 '13 at 8:40
Try own_window_type override and changing the setting in Compiz Config Settings Manager I described to Sadi above. –  aspersieman Mar 10 '13 at 14:32
dock to me makes it a permanent part of my screen, like panel, i.e full screen windows cant cover it –  Karthik T Apr 26 at 6:20

The above did not work for me. What did work was to set the "own_window_type" to "normal" in /etc/conky/conky.conf.

own_window_type normal

As per this thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2039399

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I also needed "own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager` on LXDE. –  Motiejus Jakštys Nov 14 '13 at 12:55
This causes the "minimize all windows (show desktop)" case as in the OP, even with the addition of @MotiejusJakštys 's line –  Karthik T Apr 26 at 6:19

You could try to add a script that executes on startup.

For example:

conky ;

(don't forget to chmod +x it ;)

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Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately though, I've already tried this and it doesn't change anything. I've even tried to make it sleep for a few seconds. Any other suggestions? –  aspersieman Aug 29 '12 at 8:21
sorry dude no other suggestion. i have solved mine this way but if i remember correctly i was using gnome. –  user981916 Aug 29 '12 at 9:18
No worries. Thanks for your help though. –  aspersieman Aug 29 '12 at 9:22

The accepted answer does not account for "Show Desktop".

You can use the hack I explained in this answer to show conky after Win+D for Show Desktop is pressed:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
zenity --info --text "Remapping Conky..." &
sleep 0.3
kill $pid
xdotool windowmap `xdotool search --classname 'conky'`
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For Unity my problem was solved by using

own_window_type override
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For Lubuntu with LXDE:

own_window yes
own_window_class Conky
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_type desktop
double_buffer yes

If the conky window disappears when press button minimize all windows (show desktop) go in Settings->Default applications for LXsession->Running applications->Desktop and select "feh" instead "filemanager"

Work for me in Lubuntu 13.10.

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Linux with Mate/Gnome2 GUI Ubuntish ;)

use_xft yes
own_window_type dock

Will dock on top screen, disaffecting any desktop actions.

Put to position setting:

gap_x ...
gap_y ...

Depending from your resolution.

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My solution to this problem is add these two lines in your bash script

conky -c /home/ajay/.conkycolors/conkyrc >/dev/null 2>&1 &
conky -c /home/ajay/.conkycolors/conkyrc >/dev/null 2>&1 &

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The question includes 3 different problems: 1) conky disappearing when desktop is clicked in "desktop" mode, 2) same when all windows are minimized (using Show Desktop command) in "normal" and "conky" modes, 3) conky not displayed in "override" mode... Which problem does this solve? What does it do really? –  Sadi Mar 7 '13 at 6:25

What worked for me:

own_window_type override
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
share|improve this answer
could you explain the difference between yours and Gerhard's answer? –  Braiam Sep 5 '13 at 21:03

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