As the question goes, is there a way to get conky work even when is the system is locked?


1 Answer 1


This is possible with xscreensaver:

1) Install xscreensaver

sudo apt-get install xscreensaver xscreensaver-data

2) run "xscreenserver-demo" once in order to create an initial configuration file


3) Edit the configuration file .xscreensaver in your home directory

gedit ~/.xscreensaver

4) Append the following line to the list of programs (in my case, directly after the line containing "unicode -root \n\")

"Conky"  conky -q --window-id=$XSCREENSAVER_WINDOW -c ~/.conkyrc-screensaver \n\

5) Put your conky config file under the name .conkyrc-screensaver in your home directory.

Here an example for a sample conky config file for displaying the cpu load:

wget http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=iBD8bHqj -O ~/.conkyrc-screensaver

6) Start the xscreensaver daemon and open settings in the opening window

xscreensaver &

7) Select "Conky" as screensaver


You can find more information on how to set xscreensaver as default screensaver in Configure screensaver in Ubuntu.

Source: How To: Conky as a Screensaver for xscreensaver

  • can you please elaborate the 5th step please
    – Shash
    Nov 4, 2014 at 15:54
  • Is it more comprehensible now? If not, can you tell me what exactly is unclear?
    – fret
    Nov 4, 2014 at 16:39
  • 1
    this works.. but I have one problem. When I lock the system with super+l then this does not work. Is there a fix even for that.
    – Shash
    Nov 6, 2014 at 13:53
  • access to the source is denied. :yalam.co.uk/blog/how-to-conky-as-a-screensaver-for-xscreensaver
    – MycrofD
    Mar 26, 2018 at 14:49

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