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Old 24. Nov 2012, 07:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Superkaramba Custom Themes

Several folks have asked me about the Superkaramba themes shown in my desktop screenshots. As these are all custom builds I’ve put together a basic guide so anyone who is interested can experiment with these themselves.

Superkaramba is a highly versatile monitoring system that works across a variety of Linux desktops including Gnome and KDE. There are plenty of themes available from KDE-LooK.

Search for Karamba in the side menu to see those *available.

*Please note that some of the lesser rated themes may not work too well, but you can filter your search to show only those with a higher rating.

You can of course play around with whichever you want but for the purpose of this guide I am going to recommend the “Furius Karamba Suite” because it contains a range of separate monitors, making custom builds easier to achieve.

Because of the image number limitations, a screenshot of the custom build I am referring to is shown in the post under this.

To start, it’s a good idea to create a separate folder for Superkaramba so you always know where to find your configs. I already have a “Themes” folder in my home directory so I just created a separate “Karamba” folder inside that.

Once you’ve downloaded Superkaramba itself, it will either appear in your apps menu or if not you can launch it from the command line by just typing “superkaramba”. To make a shortcut, create a custom launcher with “superkaramba” as the command. You can also instruct Superkaramba to launch at boot by adding the same command into your startup options. Depending on your system, this will then launch the configs that were running at last shutdown, or it will just open the main window in which case you will need to physically select which configs you want to run each time you start your computer.

To launch a monitor theme click the “open” button in the Superkaramba “Open Local Theme” window and simply navigate to the file for the one you want.

Before you start experimenting with custom builds, be sure you keep a backup copy of your original download so you can easily revert to this if necessary.

When you open a config folder you will see something similar to that shown in the first screenshot.

In this particular case, the background images are stored in “skins” (see second screenshot) and these are the easiest component to change. First you need to obtain an image you wish to use for the background and copy it into the same folder as the original(s). Make sure to name it differently to anything that is already there. Next, looking at screenshot 3, you can see at the top where the image path is defined. To change the background, simply edit the file name before “.png” to that of your chosen image. Right-click the open config on your desktop and select “Reload Theme” to activate.

Deleting an image line altogether achieves just that which is great if you want to see your text and sensor bars directly on the screen.

Having changed the background image you will now notice that the monitoring components no longer fit, so you will need to adjust these positions until they do.

To access the monitor config file, click (in this case) the “Furius.CPU.theme” file. On some systems you may have to right-click and choose “Open as administrator”.

Again looking at screenshot 3, you can see the config lines for text, sensors and bars etc., all have an “x” and a “y” value. “x” represents the lateral position of a component and “y” the vertical. If you therefore change an “x” value from say 120 to 85, it will move by that amount to the left. Increasing the number moves it further to the right. Similarly, changing a “y” value from 10 to 15 will move it downwards, or reducing this figure, upwards. Remember that some components are linked such as bar background images and the values shown on them. These settings always need to be changed by the same values to avoid your indicators overlapping their respective backgrounds. It is always a good idea to write down the original “x” and “y” values before you start so you can easily work out by how much to move everything else once you have achieved the desired position for the first component.

You might also want to change the colour of your text. In the screenshot, the base value is set to: “204,204,204“ which is silver. Simply edit the value on the lines to want to change. There’s a guide here:

Be sure to use the same format as the original (in this case RGB code). Some might use Hex code instead which for silver is #CCCCCC.

If there are components in a particular monitor you don’t want to keep, just delete all of the relevant lines and reload the theme.

Adding components is not too difficult either. (This assumes your knowledge level does not allow you to write the necessary code lines yourself). First, you need to find a monitor that does contain what you want to see in your custom build. If using the Furius suite, it’s more than likely these will exist already. Just keep loading different monitors from the suite and then make a note of which one contains the components you want. (You can import settings from a completely different theme though if necessary). Next, open the config file you are working on for your custom build and also that for the second config file together. You can usually fit these side by side on your desktop. Now, simply copy and paste the component lines you want from the second monitor into your working file. When you reload the theme, these new components will be displayed. They will of course be out of place so you will need to adjust their positions as already described above. If they are not showing at all, it either means the readings you want to see are not compatible with your system, or the “x” and “y” values are out of sync with the space you have available. There’s nothing you can do about the first situation, but changing the “x” and “y” values to something close to what are already in your custom build should then make the new components visible. You can then fine tune these positions from there.

Some of the sensor values might also need changing to reflect your system setup such as CPU1, CPU2, temp1, temp2 etc. You may also need to change your network settings. The default is usually “eth0“ but I have a DSL connection so I need to edit this to read “ppp0“ instead. If you use mobile broadband, this might be “usb0“.

Notice how easy it is to include text within the sensor lines such as:

text x=25 y=81 sensor=memory format="RAM: %umb" color=204,204,204

In the above line, “RAM” is my custom text but you could easily edit this to read “Memory” or anything else. To add a separate text line that isn’t tied to a sensor reading simple create one like this:

text x=25 y=20 value="Net:" color=204,204,204

In the above, “Net” is the text that will be displayed in your config although you can have a whole sentence if you want (and have the room for it).
Again, adjusting the “x” and “y” values will position this text where you want it to appear, and in a different colour if you change the code.

Screenshot 4 just illustrates how the image for the network graph is defined and positioned. Underneath this I have added some variable values for the sensors so the network chart fills, rather than being displayed as just a single line.

The above is just a taster of what you can do with Superkaramba, but these basics will satisfy the needs of most users without any need to learn how to code items from scratch.

Buy a Hoover and prove technology sucks.

Last edited by MidnightCowboy; 24. Nov 2012 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 24. Nov 2012, 07:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Superkaramba custom build:
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