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The ultimate DIY statusline generator for i3

Project description

The ultimate DIY statusline generator for i3wm.


i3-dstatus is in the early phases of development and will need some adjustments to get right. If you use i3-dstatus, send me feedback!

i3-dstatus is a statusline generator for i3 that you can use to display system information you may be interested in. i3 comes with i3status which has many limitations. It has no plugin interface. It has no support for events and relies on polling for all its information, which makes it surprisingly heavy on resources. It has a weird config file format that makes it difficult to configure.

Other projects have come along to make up for these weaknesses and many of them do a great job. i3-dstatus is for users who want a more flexible statusline that can be achieved from editing options in a configuration file but without having to learn a complicated plugin api to create custom statusline entries.

This is accomplished by allowing users to update the statusline through interprocess communication using DBUS. i3-dstatus exposes a DBUS service that you can use to update the statusline simply in pretty much any programming language and from any process (maybe even in a cron!).

  • No configuration file is required
  • Update the statusline from multiple processes
  • Update the statusline from any language (even from the command line!)
  • No complicated plugin api to learn


i3-dstatus is on PyPI.

pip install i3-dstatus

You’ll also need python-gobject and python-dbus from your package manager.


Use i3-dstatus as your status command in your bar block like so:

bar {
    status_command i3-dstatus clock

Pass the path of statusline generator scripts you want to run as arguments to i3-dstatus. Passing a relative path will start the script from the generators included with i3-dstatus from the generator path. Using an absolute path or a ~/ home relative path will call the appropriate path. The blocks will appear on i3bar in the order the generators were given on the command line.


Generator scripts will look for ~/.i3-dstatus.conf for configuration options. See i3-dstatus.conf in the repo for an example. The configuration file should be a single YAML object. (More documentation to come).

Updating the Statusline

The dbus service exposes the method show_block to update the statusline. This method takes a dict of variants. Pass an object that conforms to the i3bar input protocol to show a block.

You can clear a block by omitting the “full_text” member or setting it to the empty string.

You can update the statusline from a python script. Just use a script like this:

import dbus

bus = dbus.SessionBus()
bus_object = bus.get_object('com.dubstepdish.i3dstatus', '/com/dubstepdish/i3dstatus')
i3dstatus = dbus.Interface(bus_object, 'com.dubstepdish.i3dstatus')
i3dstatus.show_block({"name": "test", "full_text": "hello world"})

You can update the statusline from any language with dbus bindings (which is pretty much all of them). You can even update the statusline from the command line!

dbus-send --session \
    --dest=com.dubstepdish.i3dstatus \
    --type=method_call \
    /com/dubstepdish/i3dstatus \
    com.dubstepdish.i3dstatus.show_block \
    dict:string:string:name,test,full_text,'hello world'


Please report bugs, request feature, write documentation, and add generators to the i3dstatus/generators directory. i3-dstatus is a community project so feedback is welcome!


This work is available under a FreeBSD License (see LICENSE).

Copyright © 2014, Tony Crisci

All rights reserved.

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