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A minimal status bar for macOS

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spacebar is a minimal status bar for macOS. Ideal for use with tiling window managers like yabai.

spacebar demo


A package and service to install and manage spacebar is provided in two flavours: Homebrew & Nix.
There is also a precompiled binary archive available in the latest release assets.


spacebar can be installed using Homebrew from the cmacrae/formulae tap

brew install cmacrae/formulae/spacebar
brew services start spacebar


A package is generally available to Nix users on macOS in the various channels.
A Flake is also available in this repository and can be used like so:

  inputs.darwin.url = "github:lnl7/nix-darwin";
  inputs.spacebar.url = "github:cmacrae/spacebar/v1.4.0";

  outputs = { self, darwin, spacebar }: {
    darwinConfigurations.example = darwin.lib.darwinSystem {
      modules = [
          nixpkgs.overlays = [

Or try it out with nix run github:cmacrae/spacebar/v1.4.0!

spacebar can be configured and managed in a declarative manner using the services.spacebar module in nix-darwin

Accessibility Permissions

spacebar makes use of the macOS Accessibility APIs - after starting spacebar, you should be prompted to grant access.
Open System and navigate to Security & Privacy, then Privacy, then Accessibility. Click the lock icon at the bottom and enter your password to allow changes to the list. Check the box next to spacebar to allow accessibility permissions.


spacebar is configured by setting config properties via its messaging socket. Not only does this mean you can try out config changes live, it also means spacebar's configuration file is simply a shell script - usually just a sequence of spacebar -m config <option> <value> statements.

spacebar's configuration file must executable and is looked for in the following locations (in this order) by default:

  • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/spacebar/spacebarrc
  • $HOME/.config/spacebar/spacebarrc
  • $HOME/.spacebarrc

Getting started

To get started, create an empty configuration file and make it executable:

mkdir -p ~/.config/spacebar
touch ~/.config/spacebar/spacebarrc
chmod +x ~/.config/spacebar/spacebarrc

Here's a configuration taken from examples/:

#!/usr/bin/env sh

spacebar -m config position             top
spacebar -m config height               26
spacebar -m config title                on
spacebar -m config spaces               on
spacebar -m config clock                on
spacebar -m config power                on
spacebar -m config padding_left         20
spacebar -m config padding_right        20
spacebar -m config spacing_left         25
spacebar -m config spacing_right        15
spacebar -m config text_font            "Helvetica Neue:Bold:12.0"
spacebar -m config icon_font            "Font Awesome 5 Free:Solid:12.0"
spacebar -m config background_color     0xff202020
spacebar -m config foreground_color     0xffa8a8a8
spacebar -m config space_icon_color     0xff458588
spacebar -m config power_icon_color     0xffcd950c
spacebar -m config battery_icon_color   0xffd75f5f
spacebar -m config dnd_icon_color       0xffa8a8a8
spacebar -m config clock_icon_color     0xffa8a8a8
spacebar -m config power_icon_strip      
spacebar -m config space_icon_strip     I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X
spacebar -m config space_icon           
spacebar -m config clock_icon           
spacebar -m config dnd_icon             
spacebar -m config clock_format         "%d/%m/%y %R"
spacebar -m config right_shell          on
spacebar -m config right_shell_icon     
spacebar -m config right_shell_command  "whoami"

echo "spacebar configuration loaded.."

Note: Ensure fonts are installed to use glyphs

For further configuration documentation, please see man spacebar

Declarative configuration with Nix

If you're using the services.spacebar module from nix-darwin, you can configure spacebar like so:

  services.spacebar.enable = true;
  services.spacebar.package = pkgs.spacebar;
  services.spacebar.config = {
    position                   = "top";
    display                    = "main";
    height                     = 26;
    title                      = "on";
    spaces                     = "on";
    clock                      = "on";
    power                      = "on";
    padding_left               = 20;
    padding_right              = 20;
    spacing_left               = 25;
    spacing_right              = 15;
    text_font                  = ''"Menlo:Regular:12.0"'';
    icon_font                  = ''"Font Awesome 5 Free:Solid:12.0"'';
    background_color           = "0xff202020";
    foreground_color           = "0xffa8a8a8";
    power_icon_color           = "0xffcd950c";
    battery_icon_color         = "0xffd75f5f";
    dnd_icon_color             = "0xffa8a8a8";
    clock_icon_color           = "0xffa8a8a8";
    power_icon_strip           = " ";
    space_icon                 = "";
    space_icon_strip           = "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10";
    spaces_for_all_displays    = "on";
    display_separator          = "on";
    display_separator_icon     = "";
    space_icon_color           = "0xff458588";
    space_icon_color_secondary = "0xff78c4d4";
    space_icon_color_tertiary  = "0xfffff9b0";
    clock_icon                 = "";
    dnd_icon                   = "";
    clock_format               = ''"%d/%m/%y %R"'';
    right_shell                = "on";
    right_shell_icon           = "";
    right_shell_command        = "whoami";

Integration with yabai

yabai provides the external_bar config option. This can be used so yabai plays nice with spacebar.
Take a look at this excerpt from the yabai man page

  external_bar [<main|all|off>:<top_padding>:<bottom_padding>]
      Specify top and bottom padding for a potential custom bar that you may be running.
      main: Apply the given padding only to spaces located on the main display.
      all:  Apply the given padding to all spaces regardless of their display.
      off:  Do not apply any special padding.

So, if you like having spacebar at the bottom, you'd use yabai -m config external_bar all:0:26

You can also use the command spacebar -m config height with no argument to get the current height, which you could then use in conjunction with external_bar:

SPACEBAR_HEIGHT=$(spacebar -m config height)
yabai -m config external_bar all:0:$SPACEBAR_HEIGHT

Debug output and error reporting

In the case that something isn't working as you're expecting, please make sure to take a look in the output and error log. To enable debug output make sure that your configuration file contains spacebar -m config debug_output on or that spacebar is launched with the --verbose flag.


If you're using the Homebrew service, the log files can be found in the following directory:

# directory containing log files (HOMEBREW_PREFIX defaults to /usr/local unless you manually specified otherwise)

# view the last lines of the error log 
tail -f /usr/local/var/log/spacebar/spacebar.err.log

# view the last lines of the debug log
tail -f /usr/local/var/log/spacebar/spacebar.out.log


If you're using the Nix service, you can set up debugging like so:

  services.spacebar.config.debug_output = "on";
  launchd.user.agents.spacebar.serviceConfig.StandardErrorPath = "/tmp/spacebar.err.log";
  launchd.user.agents.spacebar.serviceConfig.StandardOutPath = "/tmp/spacebar.out.log";


To upgrade the Homebrew package, run

brew services stop spacebar
brew upgrade spacebar
brew services start spacebar

If you're using the Nix package form the nixpkgs collection and keeping your channels up to date, package upgrades will roll in as you command.
If you're using the Nix Flake, you can update your input.spacebar.url to point to the latest release tag and update your lockfile.

Requirements and Caveats

Please read the below requirements carefully.
Make sure you fulfil all of them before filing an issue.

Requirement Note
Operating System macOS Catalina 10.15.0+ is supported.
Accessibility API spacebar must be given permission to utilize the Accessibility API and will request access upon launch. The application must be restarted after access has been granted.

Please also take note of the following caveats.

Caveat Note
Code Signing When building from source (or installing from HEAD), it is recommended to codesign the binary so it retains its accessibility and automation privileges when updated or rebuilt.
Mission Control In the Mission Control preferences pane in System Preferences, the setting "Automatically rearrange Spaces based on most recent use" should be disabled.

Releases and branches

Main work for this project is conducted on the master branch, and thus it should be considered unstable (expect bugs!).
There is no particular release cycle, just as and when features/fixes are ready :)

License and Attributions

spacebar is licensed under the MIT License, a short and simple permissive license with conditions only requiring preservation of copyright and license notices. Licensed works, modifications, and larger works may be distributed under different terms and without source code.

Many thanks to @koekeishiya for creating yabai, and providing the codebase for an example status bar, from which this project was born.


Use at your own discretion.
I take no responsibility if anything should happen to your machine while trying to install, test or otherwise use this software in any form.