Conky disappears on clicking desktop on Linux Mint Cinnamon ? Fix it

By | June 15, 2014

Conky on Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon

I recently installed Conky on Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon and chose the Gotham theme widgets to display on the desktop. However the next minute I noticed, that on going to the desktop by clicking the show desktop applet on the panel, made the conky widgets disappear.

I checked all configurations in Conky Manager and tried to find any relevant option to control this behaviour but there was none. Then looked up google and came across many forum posts discussing the same issue. It had to do with the conky configuration file.

Fix the Conky configuration file

However it was a bit tricky to find and fix the right configuration file. Most of the forums posts and blogs talk about editing the ~/.conkyrc file which might not exist on your system. Some mention about editing the /etc/conky/conky.conf file which will have no effect.

The correct configuration file lies in the theme directory inside the directory named conky-manager in the home directory.

desktop ~ $ cd conky-manager/
desktop ~/conky-manager $ ls  themes

desktop ~/conky-manager $ cd themes/
desktop ~/conky-manager/themes $ ls
Conky MIUI    Cowon Conky  Gold&Grey  LSD       NvidiaPanel       verti-color
Conky Seamod  CPUPanel     Gotham     MaxConky  Torn Paper Clone

desktop ~/conky-manager/themes $ cd Gotham/
desktop ~/conky-manager/themes/Gotham $ ls
config  fonts  info.txt  preview.png

desktop ~/conky-manager/themes/Gotham $ cd config/
desktop ~/conky-manager/themes/Gotham/config $ ls

desktop ~/conky-manager/themes/Gotham/config $ cat Gotham

I am using the Gotham theme, so the configuration file to edit is


Find out the section for own_window settings. It should look something like this.

own_window yes
own_window_type normal
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
own_window_colour 000000
own_window_argb_visual yes
own_window_argb_value 0

Change the value of own_window_type to desktop

own_window_type desktop

Save the configuration file. Conky will automatically restart itself as soon as the configuration file is saved. Now the widgets do not disappear on clicking the show desktop applet on the panel.

linux mint 17 qiana

Note -

After changing the window type to desktop you shall have to change the values of horizontal and vertical gaps to fit the widget in the proper place on the screen. This can be done directly inside the configuration file by changing the values of following 2 fields

gap_x 730
gap_y 30

Keep changing the values till you find the widget in the right place.

Additional notes

Conky uses a startup script to launch the widgets. The startup script is located in the conky-manager directory. It is the startup script that specifies the configuration file to use.

~/conky-manager $ cat 
killall conky
cd "/home/mahaveer/conky-manager/themes/Gotham"
conky -c "/home/mahaveer/conky-manager/themes/Gotham/config/Gotham" &
About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].


Conky disappears on clicking desktop on Linux Mint Cinnamon ? Fix it
  1. Nacho

    Worked like a charm! Thank you very much, sir. Mine is the minimalistic one packed in Parted Magic and now works OK in my Linux Mint.

  2. Marcus Baw

    thanks. I am familiar with editing my ~/.conkyrc file and since the changes to this file do seem to work for everything else, I edited the ~/.conkyrc file but it doesn’t seem to have worked.

    I could not find any of these files or directories:

    anyone with any further ideas?

  3. Pierre

    Thanks. This did the trick for me on ubuntu 14.04.1 (unity desktop). The conky config file in this dirtribution is, as you mentioned, named ~/.conkyrc

  4. Goodlookingjedi

    I have enjoyed your help with the Conky app…thanks. I have a problem trying to follow this post however. I tried to change directory as listed above but none existed. So I searched for the file and found it, but cant get to it…. im a newbie and need help. My config file for the gotham theme seems to be located at usr/share/conky-manager/themepacks/ and is in a compressed file called default-themes-2.0cmtp.7z, I can open it in a text editor but dont have permission or ability to save it in the compressed file. how do I use the terminal to get to it and fix it as you have done.

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