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CPU/RAM/battery stats chart bar for tmux (and GNU screen)
tag: v0.1

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rainbarf - CPU/RAM stats for TUI


version 0.1


rainbarf --tmux --width 40 --no-battery


Fancy resource usage charts to put into the tmux status line. The load history chart is tinted with the following colors to reflect the system memory allocation:

  • green: free memory;
  • red: wired memory on Mac OS X, cached memory on Linux;
  • yellow: active memory;
  • blue: inactive memory.

If available, battery charge is displayed on the right.


iTerm2 with solarized theme and ProFont:

Mac OS X screenshot

Ubuntu Terminal with default settings:

Ubuntu screenshot


Put rainbarf into your $PATH. Add the following line to your ~/.tmux.conf file:

set -g status-right '#(rainbarf)'

Or, under GNOME Terminal:

set -g status-right '#(rainbarf --bright)'

Reload the tmux config by running tmux source-file ~/.tmux.conf.


  • --help


  • --[no]battery

    Display the battery charge indicator.

  • --[no]bolt

    Display even fancier battery indicator .

  • --[no]bright

    Tricky one. Disabled by default. See "CAVEAT".

  • --fg COLOR_NAME

    Force chart foreground color.

  • --bg COLOR_NAME

    Force chart background color.

  • --max NUMBER

    Maximum load you expect before rescaling the chart. Default is 1.

  • --[no]tmux

    Force tmux colors mode. By default, rainbarf detects automatically if it is being called from tmux or from the interactive shell.

  • --width NUMBER

    Chart width. Default is 38, so both the chart and the battery indicator fit the tmux status line. Higher values may require disabling the battery indicator or raising the status-right-length value in ~/.tmux.conf.


Color scheme

If you only see the memory usage bars but no load chart, that's because your terminal's color scheme need an explicit distinction between foreground and background colors. For instance, "red on red background" will be displayed as a red block on such terminals. Thus, you may need the ANSI bright attribute for greater contrast. There are two problems with it, though:

  1. Other color schemes (notably, solarized) have different meaning for the ANSI bright attribute. So using it will result in a quite psychedelic appearance.
  2. The older versions of Term::ANSIColor dependency do not recognize it at all, resulting in a confusing error message Invalid attribute name bright_yellow at .... However, the whole Term::ANSIColor is optional, it is only required to preview the effects of the "OPTIONS" via command line before actually editing the ~/.tmux.conf. That is, rainbarf --bright --tmux is guaranteed to work despite the outdated Term::ANSIColor!

Persistent storage

Load stats are persistently stored in the ~/.rainbarf.dat file. Every rainbarf execution will update and rotate that file. Since tmux calls rainbarf periodically (every 15 seconds, by default), the chart will display load for the last ~9.5 minutes (15 * 38). Thus, several tmux instances running simultaneously for the same user will result in a faster chart scrolling.


  • uptime(1) is used to get the load stats if /proc/loadavg is unavailable.
  • vm_stat(1) is used to get the memory stats if /proc/meminfo is unavailable.
  • ioreg(8) is used to get the battery status on Mac OS X.
  • acpi(1) is used to get the battery status on Linux.
  • Battery was a source of inspiration.
  • Spark was another source of inspiration.


Stanislaw Pusep


This software is copyright (c) 2013 by Stanislaw Pusep.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.

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