Conky new_mails and tcp_portmon problems

Hi all,
I spent this weekend fooling around with Conky and trying to customize it. Although it’s a powerful little system monitor, Conky is by no means “easy on the resources” as stated in many places all over the web. Specifically, there are two issues I couldn’t solve no matter how I tried:

  1. The Conky home page on Sourceforge states that Conky can read your mail folders and notify you of new mails; well, I couldn’t make the command new_mails work with Kmail no matter what. The command mails for listing your entire Inbox folder works seamlessly, problem is, I’d like to be notified of new mail only, I honestly don’t care that my entire Inbox folder contains 17689 mails. I’ve also experimented with the command mailboxes and what not – to no avail. Has anyone succeeded in making Conky work with Kmail without resorting to workarounds/scipts?
  2. Several of the Conky configuration files circulating the web contain a section for listing your current incoming and outgoing connections. The snippet goes something like this:
Inbound Connections: ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 count} $alignr${color7}Local Service/Port
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 0} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lport 0}
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 1} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lport 1}
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 2} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lport 2}
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 3} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lport 3}
 ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 rhost 4} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 lport 4}
Outbound Connections: ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 count}$alignr Remote Service/Port$color1
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rhost 0} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rport 0}
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rhost 1} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rport 1}
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rhost 2} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rport 2}
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rhost 3} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rport 3}
 ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rhost 4} ${alignr} ${tcp_portmon 32768 65535 rport 4}

Basically, what it does is list five of your incoming and five of your outgoing connections by domain name and port. Well, I’ve noticed that this snippet (probably due to extensive DNS lookups that it performs?) slows down Conky almost to a halt; sometimes it takes as much as 10 seconds for it to just redraw its window, which is quite incredible on my dual-core 2GHz machine! Er… make that 15 seconds. Also, with the above snippet enabled, Conky will take as much as 3-4% of processor time, frequently reaching the first place in my Top window and surpassing even Xorg itself! Needless to say, all those problems go away if I delete the above snippet from Conky’s config file.
Now, is it only me, or are those assertions about Conky being extremely light on your resources, just a plain lie? What are your personal experiences with Conky – if any? Specifically regarding the above two points?

Update. I’ve actually managed to track down the “new mails” issue to a supposed “feature” (or bug) in Kmail: apparently Kmail doesn’t use “new” folders at all – although it does set them up when you create an account. It just cunningly keeps them permanently empty. Go figure… Anyway, the “resource hogging” issue still holds. Any ideas anyone?

Well it does say: Conky is generally very good on resources. That said, the more you try to make Conky do, the more resources it is going to consume. so depends on what you are doing.

Calling in extra fonts consumes resources.
Check out the commands that start with: “exec” where it says:

warning: this takes a lot more resources than other variables.

and the other exec starting commands:

Same as exec,

i.e. consumes resources.

So you can go for a vanilla conky with just the info you need and it will be lighter then one that’s been dressed up with a lot of “exec----” type calls.

Have a nice day.