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% xmobar - A Minimalistic Text Based Status Bar

About

xmobar is a minimalistic, text based, status bar. It was originally designed and implemented by Andrea Rossato to work with xmonad, but it's actually usable with any window-manager.

xmobar was inspired by the Ion3 status bar, and supports similar features, like dynamic color management, output templates, and extensibility through plugins.

This page documents xmobar 0.16 (see release notes).

This screenshot shows xmobar running under sawfish, with antialiased fonts. And this one is my desktop with xmonad and two instances of xmobar.

Bug Reports

To submit bug reports you can use the bug tracker over at Google code or send mail to our Mailing list.

Installation

Using cabal-install

Xmobar is available from Hackage, and you can install it using cabal-install:

    cabal install xmobar

See below for a list of optional compilation flags that will enable some optional plugins. For instance, to install xmobar with all the bells and whistles, use:

    cabal install xmobar --flags="all_extensions"

From source

If you don't have cabal-install installed, you can get xmobar's source code in a variety of ways:

  • From Hackage. Just download the latest release from xmobar's hackage page.
  • From Github. You can also obtain a tarball in [Github's downloads page]. You'll find there links to each tagged release.
  • From the bleeding edge repo. If you prefer to live dangerously, just get the latest and greatest (and buggiest, i guess) using git:

    git clone git://github.com/jaor/xmobar
    

If you have cabal installed, you can now use it from within xmobar's source tree:

    cabal install -fall_extensions

Otherwise, run the configure script:

    runhaskell Setup.lhs configure

    # To enable UTF-8 support run:
    runhaskell Setup.lhs configure --flags="with_utf8"

    # To enable both XFT and UTF-8 support run:
    runhaskell Setup.lhs configure --flags="with_xft"

    # To enable all extensions
    runhaskell Setup.lhs configure --flags="all_extensions"

Now you can build the source:

    runhaskell Setup.lhs build
    runhaskell Setup.lhs install # possibly to be run as root

Optional features

You can configure xmobar to include some optional plugins and features, which are not compiled by default. To that end, you need to add one or more flags to either the cabal install command or the configure setup step, as shown in the examples above.

Extensions need additional libraries (listed below) that will be automatically downloaded and installed if you're using cabal install. Otherwise, you'll need to install them yourself.

with_dbus
Enables support for DBUS by making xmobar to publish a service on the session bus. Requires the dbus package.
with_threaded
Uses GHC's threaded runtime. Use this option if xmobar enters a high-CPU regime right after starting.
with_utf8
UTF-8 support. Requires the utf8-string package.
with_xft

Antialiased fonts. Requires the X11-xft package. This option automatically enables UTF-8.

To use XFT fonts you need to use the xft: prefix in the font configuration option. For instance:

font = "xft:Times New Roman-10:italic"
with_mpd

Enables support for the MPD daemon. Requires the libmpd package.

with_mpris

Enables support for MPRIS v1/v2 protocol. Requires the dbus and text packages.

with_inotify

Support for inotify in modern linux kernels. This option is needed for the MBox and Mail plugins to work. Requires the hinotify package.

with_iwlib

Support for wireless cards. Enables the Wireless plugin. No Haskell library is required, but you will need the iwlib C library and headers in your system (e.g., install libiw-dev in Debian-based systems).

with_alsa

Support for ALSA sound cards. Enables the Volume plugin. Requires the alsa-mixer package.

with_datezone

Support for other timezones. Enables the DateZone plugin. Requires timezone-olson and timezone-series package.

all_extensions

Enables all the extensions above.

Running xmobar

You can now run xmobar with:

    xmobar /path/to/config &

or

    xmobar &

if you have the default configuration file saved as ~/.xmobarrc

Signal Handling

Since 0.14 xmobar reacts to SIGUSR1 and SIGUSR2:

  • After receiving SIGUSR1 xmobar moves its position to the next screen.

  • After receiving SIGUSR2 xmobar repositions it self on the current screen.

Configuration

Quick Start

See samples/xmobar.config for an example.

For the output template:

  • %command% will execute command and print the output. The output may contain markups to change the characters' color.

  • <fc=#FF0000>string</fc> will print string with #FF0000 color (red).

Other configuration options:

font
Name of the font to be used. Use the xft: prefix for XFT fonts.
bgColor
Background color.
fgColor
Default font color.
position
Top, TopW, TopSize, Bottom, BottomW, BottomSize or Static (with x, y, width and height).
TopW and BottomW take 2 arguments: an alignment parameter (L for left, C for centered, R for Right) and an integer for the percentage width xmobar window will have in respect to the screen width.
TopSize and BottomSize take 3 arguments: an alignment parameter, an integer for the percentage width, and an integer for the minimum pixel height that the xmobar window will have.
For example:

position = BottomW C 75

to place xmobar at the bottom, centered with the 75% of the screen width.

Or

   position = Static { xpos = 0 , ypos = 0, width = 1024, height = 15 }

or

  position = Top
lowerOnStart

When True the window is sent the bottom of the window stack initially.

hideOnStart

When set to True the window is initially not mapped, i.e. hidden. It then can be toggled manually (for example using the dbus interface) or automatically (by a plugin) to make it reappear.

persistent

When True the window status is fixed i.e. hiding or revealing is not possible. This option can be toggled at runtime.

border

TopB, TopBM, BottomB, BottomBM, FullB, FullBM or NoBorder (default).

TopB, BottomB, FullB take no arguments, and request drawing a border at the top, bottom or around xmobar's window, respectively.

TopBM, BottomBM, FullBM take an integer argument, which is the margin, in pixels, between the border of the window and the drawn border.

borderColor

Border color.

commands

For setting the options of the programs to run (optional).

sepChar

The character to be used for indicating commands in the output template (default '%').

alignSep

a 2 character string for aligning text in the output template. The text before the first character will be align to left, the text in between the 2 characters will be centered, and the text after the second character will be align to the right.

template

The output template.

Running xmobar with i3status

xmobar can be used to display information generated by i3status, a small program that gathers system information and outputs it in formats suitable for being displayed by the dzen2 status bar, wmii's status bar or xmobar's StdinReader. See i3status manual for further details.

Command Line Options

xmobar can be either configured with a configuration file or with command line options. In the second case, the command line options will overwrite the corresponding options set in the configuration file.

Example:

xmobar -B white -a right -F blue -t '%LIPB%' -c '[Run Weather "LIPB" [] 36000]'

This is the list of command line options (the output of xmobar --help):

Usage: xmobar [OPTION...] [FILE]
Options:
  -h, -?        --help                 This help
  -V            --version              Show version information
  -f font name  --font=font name       The font name
  -B bg color   --bgcolor=bg color     The background color. Default black
  -F fg color   --fgcolor=fg color     The foreground color. Default grey
  -o            --top                  Place xmobar at the top of the screen
  -b            --bottom               Place xmobar at the bottom of the screen
  -a alignsep   --alignsep=alignsep    Separators for left, center and right text
                                       alignment. Default: '}{'
  -s char       --sepchar=char         The character used to separate commands in
                                       the output template. Default '%'
  -t template   --template=template    The output template
  -c commands   --commands=commands    The list of commands to be executed
  -C command    --add-command=command  Add to the list of commands to be executed
  -x screen     --screen=screen        On which X screen number to start

Mail bug reports and suggestions to <xmobar@projects.haskell.org>

The DBus Interface

When compiled with the optional with_dbus flag, xmobar can be controlled over dbus. All signals defined in src/Signal.hs as data SignalType can now be sent over dbus to xmobar. Due to current limitations of the implementation only one process of xmobar can aquire the dbus. This is handled on a first-come-first-seved basis, meaning that the first process will get the dbus interface. Other processes will run without further problems, yet have no dbus interface.

  • Bus Name: org.Xmobar.Control
  • Object Path: /org/Xmobar/Control
  • Member Name: Any of SignalType, e.g. string:Reveal
  • Interface Name: org.Xmobar.Control

An example using the dbus-send command line utility:

    dbus-send \
        --session \
        --dest=org.Xmobar.Control \
        --type=method_call \
        --print-reply \
        '/org/Xmobar/Control' \
        org.Xmobar.Control.SendSignal \
        "string:Toggle"

The Output Template

The output template must contain at least one command. xmobar will parse the template and will search for the command to be executed in the commands configuration option. First an alias will be searched (plugins such as Weather or Network have default aliases, see below). After that, the command name will be tried. If a command is found, the arguments specified in the commands list will be used.

If no command is found in the commands list, xmobar will ask the operating system to execute a program with the name found in the template. If the execution is not successful an error will be reported.

The commands Configuration Option

The commands configuration option is a list of commands information and arguments to be used by xmobar when parsing the output template. Each member of the list consists in a command prefixed by the Run keyword. Each command has arguments to control the way xmobar is going to execute it.

The option consists in a list of commands separated by a comma and enclosed by square parenthesis.

Example:

[Run Memory ["-t","Mem: <usedratio>%"] 10, Run Swap [] 10]

to run the Memory monitor plugin with the specified template, and the swap monitor plugin, with default options, every second.

The only internal available command is Com (see below Executing External Commands). All other commands are provided by plugins. xmobar comes with some plugins, providing a set of system monitors, a standard input reader, an Unix named pipe reader, a configurable date plugin, and much more: we list all available plugins below.

To remove them see below Installing/Removing a Plugin

Other commands can be created as plugins with the Plugin infrastructure. See below Writing a Plugin

System Monitor Plugins

This is the description of the system monitor plugins that are installed by default.

Each monitor has an alias to be used in the output template. Monitors have default aliases.

Uptime Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to uptime
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below). The low and high thresholds refer to the number of days.
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: days, hours, minutes, seconds. The total uptime is the sum of all those fields. You can set the -S argument to "True" to add units to the display of those numeric fields.
  • Default template: Up: <days>d <hours>h <minutes>m

Weather StationID Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to the Station ID: so Weather "LIPB" [] can be used in template as %LIPB%
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: station, stationState, year, month, day, hour, wind, visibility, skyCondition, tempC, tempF, dewPoint, rh, pressure
  • Default template: <station>: <tempC>C, rh <rh>% (<hour>)
  • Requires curl in the $PATH to retrieve weather information from http://weather.noaa.gov

Network Interface Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to the interface name: so Network "eth0" [] can be used as %eth0%
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: dev, rx, tx, rxbar, txbar. Reception and transmission rates (rx and tx) are displayed in Kbytes per second, and you can set the -S to "True" to make them displayed with units (the string "Kb/s").
  • Default template: <dev>: <rx>KB|<tx>KB

Wireless Interface Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to the interface name with the suffix "wi": thus, Wirelss "wlan0" [] can be used as %wlan0wi%
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: essid, quality, qualitybar
  • Default template: <essid> <quality>
  • Requires the C library iwlib (part of the wireless tools suite) installed in your system. In addition, to activate this plugin you must pass --flags="with_iwlib" during compilation.

Memory Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to memory
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: total, free, buffer, cache, rest, used, usedratio, usedbar, freebar
  • Default template: Mem: <usedratio>% (<cache>M)

Swap Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to swap
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: total, used, free, usedratio
  • Default template: Swap: <usedratio>%

Cpu Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to cpu
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: total, bar, user, nice, system, idle, iowait
  • Default template: Cpu: <total>%

MultiCpu Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to multicpu
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: autototal, autobar, autouser, autonice, autosystem, autoidle, total, bar, user, nice, system, idle, total0, bar0, user0, nice0, system0, idle0, ... The auto* variables automatically detect the number of CPUs on the system and display one entry for each.
  • Default template: Cpu: <total>%

Battery Args RefreshRate

  • Same as BatteryP ["BAT0", "BAT1", "BAT2"] Args RefreshRate.

BatteryP Dirs Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to battery
  • Dirs: list of directories in /sys/class/power_supply/ where to look for the ACPI files of each battery. Example: ["BAT0","BAT1","BAT2"]. Only the first 3 directories will be searched.
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below), plus the following specif ones:

    • -O: string for AC "on" status (default: "On")
    • -o: string for AC "off" status (default: "Off")
    • -L: low power (watts) threshold (default: -12)
    • -H: high power threshold (default: -10)
    • -l: color to display power lower than the -L threshold
    • -m: color to display power lower than the -H threshold (watts)
    • -n: color to display power lower than the -H threshold (left, leftbar)
    • -h: color to display power higher than the -H threshold
    • -p: color to display positive power (battery charging)
    • -f: file in /sys/class/power_supply with AC info (default: "AC/online")
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: left, leftbar, timeleft, watts, acstatus

  • Default template: Batt: <watts>, <left>% / <timeleft>
  • Regular monitor options: left, leftbar
  • Battery specific options: watts
  • Example (note that you need "--" to separate regular monitor options from Battery's specific ones):

     Run BatteryP ["BAT0"]
                  ["-t", "<acstatus><watts> (<left>%)",
                   "-L", "10", "-H", "80", "-p", "3",
                   "--", "-O", "<fc=green>On</fc> - ", "-o", "",
                   "-L", "-15", "-H", "-5",
                   "-l", "red", "-m", "blue", "-h", "green"]
                  600
    

    In the above example, the thresholds before the "--" separator refer to the <left> field, while those after the separator affect how <watts> is displayed.

TopProc Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to top
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below). The low and high thresholds (-L and -H) denote, for memory entries, the percent of the process memory over the total amount of memory currently in use and, for cpu entries, the activity percentage (i.e., the value of cpuN, which takes values between 0 and 100).
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: no, name1, cpu1, both1, mname1, mem1, mboth1, name2, cpu2, both2, mname2, mem2, mboth2, ...
  • Default template: <both1>
  • Displays the name and cpu/mem usage of running processes (bothn and mboth display both, and is useful to specify an overall maximum and/or minimum width, using the -m/-M arguments. no gives the total number of processes.

TopMem Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to topmem
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below). The low and high thresholds (-L and -H) denote the percent of the process memory over the total amount of memory currently in use.
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: name1, mem1, both1, name2, mem2, both2, ...
  • Default template: <both1>
  • Displays the name and RSS (resident memory size) of running processes (bothn displays both, and is useful to specify an overall maximum and/or minimum width, using the -m/-M arguments.

DiskU Disks Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to disku
  • Disks: list of pairs of the form (device or mount point, template), where the template can contain <size>, <free>, <used>, <freep> or <usedp>, <freebar> or <usedbar> for total, free, used, free percentage and used percentage of the given file system capacity.
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below). -t/--template is ignored.
  • Default template: none (you must specify a template for each file system).
  • Example:

     DiskU [("/", "<used>/<size>"), ("sdb1", "<usedbar>")]
           ["-L", "20", "-H", "50", "-m", "1", "-p", "3",]
           20
    

DiskIO Disks Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to diskio
  • Disks: list of pairs of the form (device or mount point, template), where the template can contain <total>, <read>, <write> for total, read and write speed, respectively.
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below). -t/--template is ignored.
  • Default template: none (you must specify a template for each file system).
  • Example:

     Disks [("/", "<read> <write>"), ("sdb1", "<total>")] [] 10
    

ThermalZone Number Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to "thermaln": so ThermalZone 0 [] can be used in template as %thermal0%
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: temp
  • Default template: <temp>C
  • This plugin works only on sytems with devices having thermal zone. Check directories in /sys/class/thermal for possible values of the zone number (e.g., 0 corresponds to thermal_zone0 in that directory).
  • Example:

     Run ThermalZone 0 ["-t","<id>: <temp>C"] 30
    

Thermal Zone Args RefreshRate

  • This plugin is deprecated. Use ThermalZone instead.

  • Aliases to the Zone: so Thermal "THRM" [] can be used in template as %THRM%

  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: temp
  • Default template: Thm: <temp>C
  • This plugin works only on sytems with devices having thermal zone. Check directories in /proc/acpi/thermal_zone for possible values.
  • Example:

     Run Thermal "THRM" ["-t","iwl4965-temp: <temp>C"] 50
    

CpuFreq Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to cpufreq
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: cpu0, cpu1, .., cpuN
  • Default template: Freq: <cpu0>GHz
  • This monitor requires acpi_cpufreq module to be loaded in kernel
  • Example:

     Run CpuFreq ["-t", "Freq:<cpu0>|<cpu1>GHz", "-L", "0", "-H", "2",
                  "-l", "lightblue", "-n","white", "-h", "red"] 50
    

CoreTemp Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to coretemp
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: core0, core1, .., coreN
  • Default template: Temp: <core0>C
  • This monitor requires coretemp module to be loaded in kernel
  • Example:

     Run CoreTemp ["-t", "Temp:<core0>|<core1>C",
                   "-L", "40", "-H", "60",
                   "-l", "lightblue", "-n", "gray90", "-h", "red"] 50
    

Volume Mixer Element Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to the mixer name and element name separated by a colon. Thus, Volume "default" "Master" [] 10 can be used as %default:Master%.
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below). Also accepts:
    • -O string On string
      • The string used in place of <status> when the mixer element is on. Defaults to "[on]".
      • Long option: --on
    • -o string Off string
      • The string used in place of <status> when the mixer element is off. Defaults to "[off]".
      • Long option: --off
    • -C color On color
      • The color to be used for <status> when the mixer element is on. Defaults to "green".
      • Long option: --onc
    • -c color Off color
      • The color to be used for <status> when the mixer element is off. Defaults to "red".
      • Long option: --offc
    • --highd number High threshold for dB. Defaults to -5.0.
    • --lowd number Low threshold for dB. Defaults to -30.0.
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: volume, volumebar, dB, status
  • Note that dB might only return 0 on your system. This is known to happen on systems with a pulseaudio backend.
  • Default template: Vol: <volume>% <status>
  • Requires the package alsa-core and alsa-mixer installed in your system. In addition, to activate this plugin you must pass --flags="with_alsa" during compilation.

MPD Args RefreshRate

  • This monitor will only be compiled if you ask for it using the with_mpd flag. It needs libmpd 5.0 or later (available on Hackage).
  • Aliases to mpd
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below). In addition you can provide -P, -S and -Z, with an string argument, to represent the playing, stopped and paused states in the statei template field. The environment variables MPD_HOST and MPD_PORT are used to configure the mpd server to communicate with.
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: bar, state, statei, volume, length lapsed, remaining, plength (playlist length), ppos (playlist position) name, artist, composer, performer album, title, track, file, genre
  • Default template: MPD: <state>
  • Example (note that you need "--" to separate regular monitor options from MPD's specific ones):

     Run MPD ["-t",
              "<composer> <title> (<album>) <track>/<plength> <statei> ",
              "--", "-P", ">>", "-Z", "|", "-S", "><"] 10
    

Mpris1 PlayerName Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to mpris1
  • Requires dbus and text packages. To activate, pass --flags="with_mpris" during compilation.
  • PlayerName: player supporting MPRIS v1 protocol, in lowercase.
  • Args: default monitor arguments.
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: album, artist, arturl, length, title, tracknumber
  • Default template: <artist> - <title>
  • Example:

     Run Mpris1 "clementine" ["-t",
                              "<artist> - [<tracknumber>] <title>"] 10
    

Mpris2 PlayerName Args RefreshRate

  • Just like Mpris1. Supposed to be used with mediaplayers which support MPRIS v2.

Mail Args Alias

  • Args: list of maildirs in form [("name1","path1"),...]. Paths may start with a '~' to expand to the user's home directory.
  • This plugin requires inotify support in your linux kernel and the hinotify package. To activate, pass --flags="with_inotify" during compilation.
  • Example:

     Run Mail [("inbox", "~/var/mail/inbox"),
               ("lists", "~/var/mail/lists")]
              "mail"
    

MBox Mboxes Opts Alias

  • Mboxes a list of mbox files of the form [("name", "path", "color")], where name is the displayed name, path the absolute or relative (to BaseDir) path of the mbox file, and color the color to use to display the mail count (use an empty string for the default).
  • Opts is a possibly empty list of options, as flags. Possible values: -a --all (no arg) Show all mailboxes, even if empty. -d dir --dir dir a string giving the base directory where mbox files with a relative path live. -p prefix --prefix prefix a string giving a prefix for the list of displayed mail coints -s suffix --suffix suffix a string giving a suffix for the list of displayed mail coints
  • Paths may start with a '~' to expand to the user's home directory.
  • This plugin requires inotify support in your linux kernel and the hinotify package. To activate, pass --flags="with_inotify" during compilation.
  • Example. The following command look for mails in /var/mail/inbox and ~/foo/mbox, and will put a space in front of the printed string (when it's not empty); it can be used in the template with the alias mbox:

     Run MBox [("I ", "inbox", "red"), ("O ", "~/foo/mbox", "")]
              ["-d", "/var/mail/", "-p", " "] "mbox"
    

XPropertyLog PropName

  • Aliases to PropName
  • Reads the X property named by PropName (a string) and displays its value. The samples/xmonadpropwrite.hs script in xmobar's distribution can be used to set the given property from the output of any other program or script.

NamedXPropertyLog PropName Alias

  • Same as XPropertyLog, but a custom alias can be specified.

Brightness Args RefreshRate

  • Aliases to bright
  • Args: default monitor arguments (see below), plus the following specif ones:
    • -D: directory in /sys/class/backlight/ with files in it (default: "acpi_video0")
    • -C: file with the current brightness (default: actual_brightness)
    • -M: file with the maximum brightness (default: max_brigtness)
  • Variables that can be used with the -t/--template argument: hbar, percent, bar
  • Default template: <percent>
  • Example:

    Run Brightness ["-t", "<bar>"] 60

Kbd Opts

  • Registers to XKB/X11-Events and output the currently active keyboard layout. Supports replacement of layoutnames.
  • Aliases to kbd
  • Opts is a list of tuple:
    • first element of the tuple is the search string
    • second element of the tuple is the corresponding replacement
  • Example:

    Run Kbd [("us(dvorak)", "DV"), ("us", "US")]
    

Monitor Plugins Commands Arguments

These are the arguments that can be used for internal commands in the commands configuration option:

  • -t string Output template
    • Template for the monitor output. Field names must be enclosed between pointy brackets (<foo>) and will be substituted by the computed values. You can also specify the foreground (and optionally, background) color for a region by bracketing it between <fc=fgcolor> (or <fc=fgcolor,bgcolor>) and </fc>. The rest of the template is output verbatim.
    • Long option: --template
    • Default value: per monitor (see above).
  • -H number The high threshold.
    • Numerical values higher than number will be displayed with the color specified by -h (see below).
    • Long option: --High
    • Default value: 66
  • -L number The low threshold.
    • Numerical values higher than number and lower than the high threshold will be displayed with the color specified by -n (see below). Values lower than number will use the -l color.
    • Long option: --Low
    • Default value: 33
  • -h color High threshold color.
    • Color for displaying values above the high threshold. color can be either a name (e.g. "blue") or an hexadecimal RGB (e.g. "#FF0000").
    • Long option: --high
    • Default: none (use the default foreground).
  • -n color Color for 'normal' values
    • Color used for values greater than the low threshold but lower than the high one.
    • Long option: --normal
    • Default: none (use the default foreground).
  • -l color The low threshold color
    • Color for displaying values below the low threshold.
    • Long option: --low
    • Default: none (use the default foreground).
  • -S boolean Display optional suffixes
    • When set to a true designator ("True", "Yes" or "On"), optional value suffixes such as the '%' symbol or optional units will be displayed.
    • Long option: --suffix
    • Default: False.
  • -p number Percentages padding
    • Width, in number of digits, for quantities representing percentages. For instance -p 3 means that all percentages in the monitor will be represented using 3 digits.
    • Long option: --ppad
    • Default value: 0 (don't pad)
  • -d number Decimal digits
    • Number of digits after the decimal period to use in float values.
    • Long option: --ddigits
    • Default value: 0 (display only integer part)
  • -m number Minimum field width
    • Minimum width, in number of characters, of the fields in the monitor template. Values whose printed representation is shorter than this value will be padded using the padding characters given by the -c option with the alignment specified by -a (see below).
    • Long option: --minwidth
    • Default: 0
  • -M number Maximum field width
    • Maximum width, in number of characters, of the fields in the monitor template. Values whose printed representation is longer than this value will be truncated.
    • Long option: --maxwidth
    • Default: 0 (no maximum width)
  • -w number Fixed field width
    • All fields will be set to this width, padding or truncating as needed.
    • Long option: --width
    • Default: 0 (variable width)
  • -c string
    • Characters used for padding. The characters of string are used cyclically. E.g., with -P +- -w 6, a field with value "foo" will be represented as "+-+foo".
    • Long option: --padchars
    • Default value: " "
  • -a r|l Field alignment
    • Whether to use right (r) or left (l) alignment of field values when padding.
    • Long option: --align
    • Default value: r (padding to the left)
  • -b string Bar background
    • Characters used, cyclically, to draw the background of bars. For instance, if you set this option to "·.", an empty bar will look like this: ·.·.·.·.·.
    • Long option: --bback
    • Default value: ":"
  • -f string Bar foreground
    • Characters used, cyclically, to draw the foreground of bars.
    • Long option: --bfore
    • Default value: "#"
  • -W number Bar width
    • Total number of characters used to draw bars.
    • Long option: --bwidth
    • Default value: 10

Commands' arguments must be set as a list. E.g.:

Run Weather "EGPF" ["-t", "<station>: <tempC>C"] 36000

In this case xmobar will run the weather monitor, getting information for the weather station ID EGPF (Glasgow Airport, as a homage to GHC) every hour (36000 tenth of seconds), with a template that will output something like:

Glasgow Airport: 16.0C

Executing External Commands

In order to execute an external command you can either write the command name in the template, in this case it will be executed without arguments, or you can configure it in the "commands" configuration option list with the Com template command:

Com ProgramName Args Alias RefreshRate

  • ProgramName: the name of the program
  • Args: the arguments to be passed to the program at execution time
  • RefreshRate: number of tenths of second between re-runs of the command. A zero or negative rate means that the command will be executed only once.
  • Alias: a name to be used in the template. If the alias is en empty string the program name can be used in the template.

E.g.:

    Run Com "uname" ["-s","-r"] "" 0

can be used in the output template as %uname% (and xmobar will call uname only once), while

    Run Com "date" ["+\"%a %b %_d %H:%M\""] "mydate" 600

can be used in the output template as %mydate%

Other Plugins

StdinReader

  • Aliases to StdinReader
  • Displays any text received by xmobar on its standard input.

Date Format Alias RefreshRate

  • Format is a time format string, as accepted by the standard ISO C strftime function (or Haskell's formatCalendarTime).
  • Sample usage: Run Date "%a %b %_d %Y <fc=#ee9a00>%H:%M:%S</fc>" "date" 10

DateZone Format Locale Zone Alias RefreshRate

  • Format is a time format string, as accepted by the standard ISO C strftime function (or Haskell's formatCalendarTime).
  • If Locale is "" the default locale of the system is used, otherwise the given locale. If there are more instances of DateZone, using "" as input for Locale is not recommended.
  • Zone is the name of the TimeZone. It is assumed that the tz database is stored in /usr/share/zoneinfo/. If "" is given as Zone, the default system time is used.
  • Sample usage: Run DateZone "%a %H:%M:%S" "de_DE.UTF-8" "Europe/Vienna" "viennaTime" 10

CommandReader "/path/to/program" Alias

  • Runs the given program, and displays its standard output.

PipeReader "/path/to/pipe" Alias

  • Reads its displayed output from the given pipe.

BufferedPipeReader Alias [ (Timeout, Bool, "/path/to/pipe1") , (Timeout, Bool, "/path/to/pipe2") , .. ]

  • Display data from multiple pipes.
  • Timeout (in tenth of seconds) is the value after which the previous content is restored i.e. if there was already something from a previous pipe it will be put on display again, overwriting the current status.
  • A pipe with Timout of 0 will be displayed permanently, just like PipeReader
  • The boolean option indicates whether new data for this pipe should make xmobar appear (unhide, reveal). In this case, the Timeout additionally specifies when the window should be hidden again. The output is restored in any case.
  • Use it for OSD like status bars e.g. for setting the volume or brightness:

    Run BufferedPipeReader "bpr"
        [ (  0, False, "/tmp/xmobar_window"  )
        , ( 15,  True, "/tmp/xmobar_status"  )
        ]
    

Have your window manager send window titles to "/tmp/xmobar_window". They will always be shown and not reveal your xmobar. Sending some status information to "/tmp/xmobar_status" will reveal xmonad for 1.5 seconds and temporarily overwrite the window titles. - Take a look at samples/status.sh

XMonadLog

  • Aliases to XMonadLog
  • Displays information from xmonad's _XMONAD_LOG. You can set this property by using xmonadPropLog as your log hook in xmonad's configuration, as in the following example (more info here):

    main = do
      spawn "xmobar"
      xmonad $ defaultConfig {
        logHook = dynamicLogString defaultPP >>= xmonadPropLog
      }
    

    This plugin can be used as a sometimes more convenient alternative to StdinReader. For instance, it allows you to (re)start xmobar outside xmonad.

Plugins

Writing a Plugin

Writing a plugin for xmobar should be very simple. You need to create a data type with at least one constructor.

Next you must declare this data type an instance of the Exec class, by defining the 1 needed method (alternatively start or run) and 2 optional ones (alias and rate):

    start :: e -> (String -> IO ()) -> IO ()
    run   :: e -> IO String
    rate  :: e -> Int
    alias :: e -> String

start must receive a callback to be used to display the String produced by the plugin. This method can be used for plugins that need to perform asynchronous actions. See Plugins/PipeReader.hs for an example.

run can be used for simpler plugins. If you define only run the plugin will be run every second. To overwrite this default you just need to implement rate, which must return the number of tenth of seconds between every successive runs. See Plugins/HelloWorld.hs for an example of a plugin that runs just once, and Plugins/Date.hs for one that implements rate.

Notice that Date could be implemented as:

    instance Exec Date where
        alias (Date _ a _) = a
        start (Date f _ r) = date f r

    date :: String -> Int -> (String -> IO ()) -> IO ()
    date format r callback = do go
        where go = do
                t <- toCalendarTime =<< getClockTime
                callback $ formatCalendarTime defaultTimeLocale format t
                tenthSeconds r >> go

This implementation is equivalent to the one you can read in Plugins/Date.hs.

alias is the name to be used in the output template. Default alias will be the data type constructor.

Implementing a plugin requires importing the plugin API (the Exec class definition), that is exported by Plugins.hs. So you just need to import it in your module with:

    import Plugins

After that your type constructor can be used as an argument for the Runnable type constructor Run in the commands list of the configuration options.

This requires importing your plugin into Config.hs and adding your type to the type list in the type signature of Config.runnableTypes.

For a very basic example see samples/Plugins/HelloWorld.hs or the other plugins that are distributed with xmobar.

Installing/Removing a Plugin

Installing a plugin should require 3 steps. Here we are going to install the HelloWorld plugin that comes with xmobar, assuming that you copied it to src/Plugins:

  1. import the plugin module in Config.hs, by adding:

    import Plugins.HelloWorld
    
  2. add the plugin data type to the list of data types in the type signature of runnableTypes in Config.hs. For instance, for the HelloWorld plugin, change runnableTypes into:

    runnableTypes :: Command :*: Monitors :*: HelloWorld :*: ()
    runnableTypes = undefined
    
  3. Rebuild and reinstall xmobar. Now test it with:

    xmobar Plugins/helloworld.config
    

As you may see in the example configuration file, the plugin can be used by adding, in the commands list:

    Run HelloWorld

and, in the output template, the alias of the plugin:

    %helloWorld%

That's it.

To remove a plugin, just remove its type from the type signature of runnableTypes and remove the imported modules.

To remove the system monitor plugin:

  1. remove, from Config.hs, the line

    import Plugins.Monitors
    
  2. in Config.hs change

     runnableTypes :: Command :*: Monitors :*: ()
     runnableTypes = undefined
    

    to

     runnableTypes :: Command :*: ()
     runnableTypes = undefined
    
  3. rebuild xmobar.

Authors and credits

Andrea Rossato originally designed and implemented xmobar up to version 0.11.1. Since then, it is maintained and developed by Jose Antonio Ortega Ruiz, with the help of the greater Haskell community.

In particular, xmobar incorporates patches by Ben Boeckel, Roman Cheplyaka, John Goerzen, Juraj Hercek, Tomas Janousek, Spencer Janssen, Jochen Keil, Lennart Kolmodin, Krzysztof Kosciuszkiewicz, Dmitry Kurochkin, Svein Ove, Martin Perner, Jens Petersen, Petr Rockai, Andrew Sackville-West, Alexander Solovyov, Artem Tarasov, Sergei Trofimovich, Thomas Tuegel, Jan Vornberger, Daniel Wagner and Norbert Zeh.

Thanks

Andrea Rossato:

Thanks to Robert Manea and Spencer Janssen for their help in understanding how X works. They gave me suggestions on how to solve many problems with xmobar.

Thanks to Claus Reinke for make me understand existential types (or at least for letting me think I grasp existential types...;-).

jao:

Thanks to Andrea for creating xmobar in the first place, and for giving me the chance to contribute.

Useful links

License

This software is released under a BSD-style license. See LICENSE for more details.

Copyright &copy; 2007-2010 Andrea Rossato

Copyright &copy; 2010-2012 Jose Antonio Ortega Ruiz

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