It’s no secret I’m actively involved with BOINC. I’ve learned a lot about computers from running their software and helping out in the various project forums. It was one of the project administrators that so kindly helped me get Linux up and running on my computer (current uptime 15 days, 10:07 and still going strong). Because running BOINC tends to stress your system, I was looking for a lightweight monitor for things like memory usage and temperatures. I know all about top to get processor/memory usage, but having nice little program with everything in the same place is preferable. So I found Conky.
If I had Debian or Gentoo or just about any other Linux distro, I would have been free and clear because there are pre-compiled packages. But of course there wasn’t an rpm for it (I use Fedora 7).
Compiling from source was supposed to be as easy as configure, make, make install. Note the use of the term “was supposed to be”. I guess if I actually had my system set up as a development box (and I actually knew slightly more than nothing) it would have been easy. My experience with compiling from source was limited to mplayer and that basically just worked (once I got g++ installed).
I knew I was going to need the X11 development libraries so I installed those. I bravely opened up the terminal (actually I’ve gotten quite comfortable with it) and unpacked the source archive. I changed over to that directory and told it to go do the configure. I watched it churn away and spit out an error. Grumble grumble grumble. This was a few weeks ago. I asked a friend for help, but he wasn’t familiar with the libs. I Googled. No joy. Nothing looked relevant and what I read went so far over my head that I needed binoculars to see it. I posted on the Conky forums, but no response. So I put the whole project on the back burner for a few weeks.
I was bored this morning and decided to see if anyone on the BOINC forums might know where I needed to go from where I was. Within thirty minutes I had a response. Thank you Trog Dog! Just by seeing what I needed to install I also saw how to read the error message. So I installed what I needed and ran configure again. Another error. So I downloaded and installed some more developer stuff. Later, rinse, repeat about three more times. And then the configure succeeded. Yippee!
Make and install went flawlessly. I ran the program. And BINGO! I now have Conky on my desktop.
Now I have some reading to do on how to best configure Conky for my use. What is shown in the picture is the default configuration. But after getting it compiled I needed to go and finish my grocery shopping. So that little project will have to wait for another day.