From ArchWiki

polybar is a fast and easy-to-use tool for creating status bars. It aims to be easily customizable, utilising many modules which enable a wide range of (editable) functionality, such as displaying workspaces, the date, or system volume. Polybar is especially useful for window managers that have a limited or non-existent status bar, such as awesome or i3. Polybar can also be used with desktop environments like Plasma.


Install the polybar package. The development version is polybar-gitAUR.


Copy the configuration example from /etc/polybar/config.ini to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/polybar/config. By default, polybar will load the config file from ~/.config/polybar/config.ini, /etc/xdg/polybar/config.ini, or /etc/polybar/config.ini depending on which it finds first.

Running Polybar

Polybar can be run with the following arguments:

Usage: polybar [OPTION]... [BAR]

  -h, --help                   Display this help and exit
  -v, --version                Display build details and exit
  -l, --log=LEVEL              Set the logging verbosity (default: notice)
                               LEVEL is one of: error, warning, notice, info, trace
  -q, --quiet                  Be quiet (will override -l)
  -c, --config=FILE            Path to the configuration file
  -r, --reload                 Reload when the configuration has been modified
  -d, --dump=PARAM             Print value of PARAM in bar section and exit
  -m, --list-monitors          Print list of available monitors and exit (Removes cloned monitors)
  -M, --list-all-monitors      Print list of all available monitors (Including cloned monitors) and exit
  -w, --print-wmname           Print the generated WM_NAME and exit
  -s, --stdout                 Output data to stdout instead of drawing it to the X window
  -p, --png=FILE               Save png snapshot to FILE after running for 3 seconds

However you will probably want to run Polybar with your window manager's bootstrap routine. See #Running with a window manager.

Sample configuration

A very basic polybar configuration may look like this:

modules-right = date

type = internal/date
date = %Y-%m-%d%

It defines a bar named mybar with a module called date.

Polybar will also install the default configuration with many preconfigured modules in /etc/polybar/config.ini.

Running with a window manager

Create an executable file containing the startup logic, for example $HOME/.config/polybar/launch.sh:


# Terminate already running bar instances
killall -q polybar
# If all your bars have ipc enabled, you can also use 
# polybar-msg cmd quit

# Launch Polybar, using default config location ~/.config/polybar/config.ini
polybar mybar 2>&1 | tee -a /tmp/polybar.log & disown

echo "Polybar launched..."

This script will mean that restarting your window manager will also restart Polybar.


If using bspwm, add the following to bspwmrc:



If using i3, add the following to your i3 configuration:

exec_always --no-startup-id $HOME/.config/polybar/launch.sh

See also