Boise Linux Group February 3rd Meeting Notes

We had 11 in attendance at the Boise Public Library Gates Lab as the meeting got under way right at 6:30 with the introduction of one guest and the main presenation by member Matthew Kunzman on installing, configuring and using Conky, the Linux Desktop Monitor. Note: All links now are embedded so anywhere you see a hyperlinked words, right click and open in a new window or tab to view. Matthew did a brief intro to Conky including a number of sample screens, where you can download and use the scripts with some editing. Another good resource for sample screens, scripts, and help is the Ubuntu Forums. Many of these scripts will require editing before using. You can test the scripts with the terminal command "conky -c /path-to-script/scriptname. What nice about editing scripts is that conky will automatically reload them everytime you save your changes so you can immediately see the effects of your edits and is recommended that you save frequently so that you will know if "blow" the script up. Matthew then did a programmer level deep dive into how to script Conky and spent a good deal of time showing what could be done by editing lines in his scripts. One important must have reference in editing scripts is the variable reference. This variable reference should not be considered inclusive as showing all the commands currently supported by Conky script variables; one example is "border_margin" which was "deprecated" a couple years back, not supported currently as it will throw an error, and the replacement variable is "border_limit_margin" which is not to found anywhere in the current variable listing. Another example variable not found in the list is "alignment [position]". Not mentioned in Matthew's presentation was the SciTE Editor, a highly capable programming level text editor which is available from the Ubuntu repositories and can be installed using synaptic or apt-get and can be used instead of the standard gnome text editor gedit for editing scripts. Towards the end of the presentation, one of the members asked another member about his conky monitor display that he had on his laptop computer and it was found out that he had used a tool call the "Conky Wizard" which builds a very specific Ubuntu Conky Display complete with logos! The Conky Wizard allows you to edit the configuration including location and transparency. Be advised that all conky implementations are not created the same and Conky Wizard is no exception. When you start a Conky Wizard created Conky monitor display, you need to use ".ConkyWizardLunch", a hidden file located in your home directory and it has a depends on the contents of the ".ConkyWizardTheme" directory where the conkyrc file is located and named "ConkyWizardTheme" so if you wanted to test this conky script, you could use the command "conky -c ~/.ConkyWizardTheme/ConkyWizardTheme". ConkyWizard is configured using the graphical tool ConkyWizard_32bits_v1.0_Beta1, an execuable program, which is extracted to a location of your choosing from the downloaded tar.gz file. Other notes, when installing conky, you should install conky-all so you get everything needed in Conky to make scripts work, along with curl and Qt4.26 (required by ConkyWizard) Having Python 2.x installed as well as bash knowledge is also useful in "programming" the conky scripts. It is worth mentioning that any programming language can be used to create scripts, since it takes the output of what is printed to CRT (std out) into the conky script. Matthew has used Perl and its DBI module for a few things requiring database calls. A couple of Google search terms that may be useful to you is conkyrc and conky tools. After Matthews presentation, Clint did a short demo on his implementation of Conky on his laptop which he first showed at the May, 2010 meeting and is documented in that meeting notes. Attached to those meeting notes are Clint's conkyrc script along with screen shots (You must be logged in to download them). Clint had derived his conkyrc script by copying the conkyrc script from the PartedMagic LiveCD (circa, early 2010) and then added some lines purloined from another script for a more a more useful Conky Monitor display. Linux Mint also offers an excellent tutorial. For your own "deep dive" into Conky, it is recommended that you install conky-all as prescribed, grab a simple working script such as the one from the PartMagic Live CD or you can use the script to generate a .conkyrc that is specific to your system, can be found on the Ubuntu based Ultimate Edition 2.7 or 2.8 Live DVD. Once you have a .conkyrc located in your home directory (have a spare copy just in case something happens), then with your favorite editor, have fun! It is also recommended that you have a /scripts directory to keep all your Conky scripts in. The second half of the meeting was the showing of a webm formatted video on the future on IPV4 and IPV6 titled "The Coming IPocalypse." which he had downloaded from the MontanaLinux. The movie is kind of scary but also enlightening on the state of IPV4 as well as the future of the Internet. During the open discussion and Q&A time, we had a question on configure the superuser login which clint demonstrated using visudo to configure the permissions for the admin user and then used vi to edit the group admin in the group file to add the userID's to that group. Clint also took a few minutes to evangelize the Boise CodeCamp on February 26th and 27, free to attend, and a free lunch along with some nice prizes that will be given away at the event to ticket holders. It is asked that you register on the website so that they can have count on attendees and expedite the checkin process. Our next meting is March 3rd. Right now the meeting is open and taking suggestions and/or volunteers to present at the meeting.