Maybe I am trying do something impossible, but after hours of Googling I didn't get 100% answer yet.

So - it is possible put Conky on Desktop backgroud (behind desktop icons)?

The usual config:

own_window yes
own_window_type normal # (desktop, override) - I have the same result for all this attributes
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,skip_taskbar,sticky,skip_pager

Is giving me Conky with (pseudo)transparent background in front of icons (they are completely hidden behind it, even if in background of Conky is shown background image), while I am trying achieve opposite...

My system:

  • SuSE 11.4
  • KDE 4.4 (Release 3)
  • x86_64

3 Answers 3


The pseudo-transparency of conky is achieved by repainting the part of the wallpaper that is covered by conky. Therefore conky can't show desktop icons behind it.

Note that conky is a normal window whithout border and titlebar.

You can, however, make a screenshot of your Desktop without conky and use it as wallpaper so you can see the desktop icons behind conky, but you won't be able to click on them.

  • I've been afraid of this. Pity, it would be nice if Conky would really work on Desktop background, so it wouldn't interfere with workspace at all - and still be showing nice things as a callendar...
    – Michal Gow
    Oct 5, 2012 at 13:19
  • 1
    What kind of cruel prison is this!
    – dibs
    Mar 28, 2015 at 21:32

Yes. you CAN do this.

own_window_argb_visual yes


  • Can you provide more information on how this is done specifically?
    – Ramhound
    Jan 9, 2016 at 18:12
  • 1
    In this case you can not drag the icons
    – SAYE
    Jan 1, 2022 at 8:19

After trying to work around this issue for a long time I've finally got my desktop icons working normally with conky overlapping them. Turns out the issue was the new syntax.

My conkyrc had originally had own_window_type = 'desktop' (which is the new syntax) but changing it to own_window_type desktop allowed my desktop icons to become clickable through the conky overlap.

If own_window_type desktop doesn't work for you then try own_window_type = 'desktop',.

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