Displaying Conky on an Old Android Phone

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I have had my old HTC Dream sitting around collecting dust for months. I have been trying to come up with a cool use for it for months. After all that time, I think I finally may have come up with a good use: running a small Conky status display on it via VNC.

External Conky display on an Android phone using VNC

How to do it

Install a VNC server and Conky:

apt-get install vnc4server conky-all

I am running Ubuntu and chose to install the VNC version 4 server. This ought to work on Debian as well.

Download and install my Conky configuration file and VNC xstartup file:

wget https://blog.patshead.com/Assets/conky-phone/conkyrc-phone -O ~/.conkyrc
mkdir ~/.vnc
wget https://blog.patshead.com/Assets/conky-phone/xstartup ~/.vnc/xstartup
chmod +x ~/.xstartup

Then fire up the VNC server:

vnc4server -geometry 480x320 :10

If all goes well, there should be a VNC server waiting for a connection on port 5910. I am currently using the Mocha Lite VNC client on my phone. It is the second client I tried and I am not very happy with it. If I end up finding this hack useful, I will probably try to hunt down a better client. I’d like one that will let me disable the status bar and hide the mouse pointer.

My Conky configuration is rather boring. I just trimmed, condensed, and slightly expanded on an old configuration I used to use a long time ago. It is quite utilitarian.

How useful is this?

I am not entirely sure how useful this is going to be; I haven’t been running this for very long. It has already kept me from having to fire up htop a few times already.

I would like to come up with a good way to attach the phone to my monitor stand if I actually end up finding it useful.