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Xmobar is a minimalistic status bar. It was originally designed and implemented by Andrea Rossato to work with xmonad, but it is actually usable with any window manager.

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

These are some xmobar screenshots using the author’s configuration:




This is the changelog for recent releases.


From your Systems Package Manager

Xmobar is probably available from your distributions package manager! Most distributions compile xmobar with the all_extensions flag, so you don’t have to.

Arch Linux

pacman -S xmobar

Debian/Ubuntu based

apt install xmobar


zypper install xmobar

Void Linux

xbps-install xmobar


emerge --ask xmobar

Using cabal-install

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

cabal install xmobar

Starting with version 0.35.1, xmobar now requires at least GHC version 8.4.x. to build. See this issue for more information.

See compiling for a list of optional compilation flags that will enable some optional plugins. For instance, to install xmobar with all the bells and whistles (this is probably what you want), use:

cabal install xmobar --flags="all_extensions"

From source

See compiling.

Running xmobar

You can run xmobar with:

xmobar /path/to/config &


xmobar &

if you have the default configuration file saved as $XDG\_CONFIG\_HOME/xmobar/xmobarrc (defaulting to ~/.config/xmobar/xmobarrc), or ~/.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 itself on the current screen.

Configuration and Further Links

  • If you want to jump straight into configuring xmobar, head over to the quick-start guide.
  • If you want to get a detailed overview of all available plugins and monitors, visit the plugins file.
  • If you want to know how to contribute to the xmobar project, check out contributing.
  • If you want to write your own plugins, see write-your-own-plugin.

Authors and credits

Andrea Rossato originally designed and implemented xmobar up to version 0.11.1. Since then, it is maintained and developed by jao, with the help of the greater xmobar and Haskell communities.

In particular, xmobar incorporates patches by Mohammed Alshiekh, Alex Ameen, Axel Angel, Dhananjay Balan, Claudio Bley, Dragos Boca, Ben Boeckel, Ivan Brennan, Duncan Burke, Roman Cheplyaka, Patrick Chilton, Antoine Eiche, Nathaniel Wesley Filardo, Guy Gastineau, John Goerzen, Reto Hablützel, Juraj Hercek, Tomáš Janoušek, Ada Joule, Spencer Janssen, Roman Joost, Jochen Keil, Sam Kirby, Lennart Kolmodin, Krzysztof Kosciuszkiewicz, Dmitry Kurochkin, Todd Lunter, Vanessa McHale, Robert J. Macomber, Dmitry Malikov, David McLean, Joan MIlev, Marcin Mikołajczyk, Dino Morelli, Tony Morris, Eric Mrak, Thiago Negri, Edward O’Callaghan, Svein Ove, Martin Perner, Jens Petersen, Alexander Polakov, Sibi Prabakaran, Pavan Rikhi, Petr Rockai, Andrew Emmanuel Rosa, Sackville-West, Amir Saeid, Markus Scherer, Daniel Schüssler, Olivier Schneider, Alexander Shabalin, Valentin Shirokov, Peter Simons, Alexander Solovyov, Will Song, John Soros, Felix Springer, Travis Staton, Artem Tarasov, Samuli Thomasson, Edward Tjörnhammar, Sergei Trofimovich, Thomas Tuegel, John Tyree, Jan Vornberger, Anton Vorontsov, Daniel Wagner, Zev Weiss, Phil Xiaojun Hu, Nikolay Yakimov, Edward Z. Yang, Leo Zhang, and Norbert Zeh.


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…;-).


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


  • To understand the internal mysteries of xmobar you may try reading this tutorial on X Window Programming in Haskell.


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

Copyright © 2010-2020 Jose Antonio Ortega Ruiz

Copyright © 2007-2010 Andrea Rossato