i3 is a neat, tiling window manager. This post describes how to use conky to output a status line which is displayed in i3bar.
i3bar allows any command that generates a line of text to be used as the status_command. Therefore, we use conky to generate the desired line of text. In order to use conky to generate a line of text for i3bar, the important configuration options are
my own conky configuration file is below, which produces an output similar to that produced by i3status, but with some more information. It includes CPU %load, frequency, temperature as well as percentage of RAM being used and current weather conditions. The weather information is fetched using a program called weather-util, which is available in the debian repositories.
you can test the conky output with the command
conky -c /path/to/conkyrc
and it should show the line of status text. Next, set i3 bar to display this text by modifying the status_command line in the i3bar section of your i3 config file (which is usually $HOME/.i3/config). For example, the relevant part of my .i3/config is
# Start i3bar to display a workspace bar (plus the system information i3status
# finds out, if available)
# Show status text in light blue color
status_command conky -c ~/.conkyrc
This gives a status bar similar to the picture below
If you prefer to have pretty icons for the information, instead of text like "CPU" or "RAM", there are two possibilities. The first possibility (which is rather hacker-ish) is to use unicode symbols as icons. Of course, you should make sure that the font being used by i3 supports the unicode symbols you are using. The other option is to use special fonts (.ttf or .otf) which are made especially for being used as icons. An example font is the Weather font. Conky can use these fonts and then the text output by conky will contain the icon symbols, but the symbols will still be "text" since they are part of a font. This latter approach requires using the latest version of i3 (the git "next" version, as of this writing, which is 4.2.1-0+g4.2-298-gcfa74c51) obtained from the i3 debian repository. This because the latest version supports Xft fonts in addition to X core fonts.
You can use an Xft font in the latest version of i3 by including a line like the following in you your .i3/config file