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A fast and easy-to-use status bar
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ermo and patrick96 cmake: Use GNUInstallDirs (#1818)
* Use GNUInstallDirs instead of hardcoded paths

This change should be a no-op in the normal case and at the same time make it
easier to customise polybar builds on systems with special needs.

* Avoid creating /usr/share/doc/polybar/polybar/*

* Include GNUInstallDirs for the doc target itself

* cmake: Don't try to set CMAKE_INSTALL_* variables

Since we include GNUInstallDirs all these variables are already set

* cmake: Print install directories in summary

* fix(cmake): Make doc-only work like normal build

This is kind of a dirty hack to force CMAKE_INSTALL_DOCDIR to use
`polybar` as the project name when only polybar-doc is built.

Maybe it is wiser at some point to be able to do a doc only build (and
install) that can be done from the top level project. Then we would also
not need to include GNUInstallDirs here
Latest commit 43556b5 Jun 24, 2019
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.github/ISSUE_TEMPLATE Clearly separate issue and bug reports Mar 13, 2019
cmake cmake: Use GNUInstallDirs (#1818) Jun 24, 2019
common build: Remove -Werror May 8, 2019
contrib cmake: Use GNUInstallDirs (#1818) Jun 24, 2019
doc cmake: Use GNUInstallDirs (#1818) Jun 24, 2019
include fix(i3): Surround ws names with quotes (#1798) Jun 4, 2019
lib build: remove xdamage extension Jun 2, 2019
src fix(msg): use stdout when exiting with code 0 Jun 19, 2019
tests refactor(gtest): TestCase->TestSuite Feb 7, 2019
.clang-format clang-format: Increase column limit Nov 12, 2016
.clang-tidy refactor(clang-tidy): Clean up .clang-tidy May 20, 2018
.codecov.yml coverage: Allow small drops in coverage Nov 30, 2018
.editorconfig Add trim_trailing_whitespace to .editorconfig Sep 24, 2017
.gitignore build: create config even when docs are disabled Apr 24, 2019
.gitmodules migration: Update submodule URLs May 8, 2019
.travis.yml travis: Build documentation May 10, 2019
.valgrind-suppressions refactor(x11): Merge xlib/xutils with connection Dec 31, 2016 ycm: Remove -Werror from ycm flags Jul 30, 2018
CMakeLists.txt cmake: Use GNUInstallDirs (#1818) Jun 24, 2019
LICENSE init(git): Base commit May 19, 2016 migration: Update URLs May 8, 2019 migration: Update URLs May 8, 2019
banner.png Add polybar banner May 27, 2018 build: Remove C compiler Apr 8, 2019
config.cmake config: Remove bspwm variable references Jun 2, 2019
version.txt cmake: put version string into version.txt Apr 5, 2019


A fast and easy-to-use tool for creating status bars.

Polybar aims to help users build beautiful and highly customizable status bars for their desktop environment, without the need of having a black belt in shell scripting. Here are a few screenshots showing you what it can look like:

sample screenshot sample screenshot sample screenshot sample screenshot

You can find polybar configs for these example images (and other configs) here.

If you need help, check out the Support page.

Please report any bugs you find by creating an issue ticket here on GitHub. Make sure you include steps on how to reproduce it.

Table of Contents


The main purpose of Polybar is to help users create awesome status bars. It has built-in functionality to display information about the most commonly used services. Some of the services included so far:

  • Systray icons
  • Window title
  • Playback controls and status display for MPD using libmpdclient
  • ALSA volume controls
  • Workspace and desktop panel for bspwm and i3
  • Workspace module for EWMH compliant window managers
  • Keyboard layout and indicator status
  • CPU and memory load indicator
  • Battery display
  • Network connection details
  • Backlight level
  • Date and time label
  • Time-based shell script execution
  • Command output tailing
  • User-defined menu tree
  • Inter-process messaging
  • And more...

See the wiki for more details.

Getting Help

If you find yourself stuck, have a look at our Support page for resources where you can find help.

Getting started

Packaging status

Polybar was already packaged for the distros listed below. If you can't find your distro here, you will have to build from source.

If you create a package for any other distribution, please consider contributing the template.

If you are using Arch Linux, you can install the AUR package polybar-git to get the latest version, or polybar for the latest stable release.

If you are using Void Linux, you can install polybar using xbps-install -S polybar.

If you are using NixOS, polybar is available in both the stable and unstable channels and can be installed with the command nix-env -iA nixos.polybar.

If you are using Slackware, polybar is available from the SlackBuilds repository.

If you are using Source Mage GNU/Linux, polybar spell is available in test grimoire and can be installed via cast polybar.

If you are using openSUSE, polybar is available from OBS repository. Package is available for openSUSE Leap 15 and Tumbleweed.

If you are using FreeBSD, polybar can be installed using pkg install polybar. Make sure you are using the latest package branch.

If you are using Gentoo, both release and git-master versions are available in the main repository.


A compiler with C++14 support (clang-3.4+, gcc-5.1+), cmake 3.1+, git

  • cairo
  • libxcb
  • python2
  • xcb-proto
  • xcb-util-image
  • xcb-util-wm

Optional dependencies:

  • xcb-util-cursor required for the cursor-click and cursor-scroll settings
  • xcb-util-xrm required for accessing X resources with ${xrdb:...}

Optional dependencies for extended module support:

  • xcb-xkb required by internal/xkeyboard
  • alsa-lib required by internal/alsa
  • libpulse required by internal/pulseaudio
  • i3-wm required by internal/i3
  • jsoncpp required by internal/i3
  • libmpdclient required by internal/mpd
  • libcurl required by internal/github
  • libnl-genl or wireless_tools required by internal/network

Find a more complete list on the dedicated wiki page.

Building from source

Please report any problems you run into when building the project.

Download the polybar-<version>.tar for the version you want to build from the release page, extract it with tar xvf polybar-<version>.tar and go into the extracted folder. There, run the following commands:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make -j$(nproc)
$ sudo make install

There's also a helper script available in the root folder:

$ ./

For more info, have a look at the Compiling wiki page.


Details on how to setup and configure the bar and each module have been moved to the wiki.

Install the example configuration

Run the following inside the build directory:

$ make userconfig

Or you can copy the example config from /usr/share/doc/polybar/config or /usr/local/share/doc/polybar/config (depending on your install parameters)

Launch the example bar

$ polybar example


See the wiki for details on how to run polybar.


Want to get in touch?

  • We have our own subreddit at r/polybar.
  • Chat with us in the #polybar IRC channel on the server.




Logo Design by

All Contributors


Polybar is licensed under the MIT license. See LICENSE for more information.

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