The polybar configuration file defines the behavior and look of polybar. It uses a variant of the INI file format. The exact syntax is described below but first a small snippet to get familiar with the syntax:
[section_name] ; A comment # Another comment background = #ff992a width = 90% monitor = HDMI-0 screenchange-reload = false ; Use double quotes if you want to keep the surrounding space. text = " Some text "
polybar will search for the config file in one of several
places in the following order:
- If the
--configcommand line argument is specified, it will use the path given there.
XDG_CONFIG_DIRSis not set)
The entire config is line-based so everything is constrained to a single line. This means there are no multiline values or other multiline constructs (except for sections). Each line has one of four types:
- Section Header
Spaces at the beginning and end of each line will be ignored.
In this context "spaces" include the regular space character as well as the
tab character and any other character for which isspace(3) returns
Any line that doesn't fit into one of these four types is a syntax error.
It is recommended that section header names and key names only use
alphanumeric characters as well as dashes (
-), underscores (
forward slashes (
In practice all characters are allowed except for spaces and any of these:
Sections are used to group config options together. For example each module is defined in its own section.
A section is defined by placing the name of the section in square brackets
]). For example:
This declares a section with the name
module/wm and all keys defined after
this line will belong to that section until a new section is declared.
The first non-empty and non-comment line in the main config file must be a section header. It cannot be a key because that key would not belong to any section.
The following section names are reserved and cannot be used inside the config:
Keys are defined by assigning a value to a name like this:
name = value
value to the key
name in whatever section this line is in.
Key names need to be unique per section.
If the value is enclosed by double-quotes (
"), the quotes will be ignored.
So the following still assigns
name = "value"
Spaces around the equal sign are ignored, the following are all equivalent:
name=value name = value name = value
Because spaces at the beginning and end of the line are also ignored, if you want your value to begin and/or end with a space, the value needs to be enclosed in double-quotes:
name = " value "
Here the value of the
name key has a leading and trailing whitespace.
To treat characters with special meaning as literal characters, you need to
prepend them with the backslash (
\) escape character:
name = "value\\value\\value"
Value of this key
name results in
The only character with a special meaning right now is the backslash character
\), which serves as the escape character.
More will be added in the future.
Empty Lines & Comments¶
Empty lines and comment lines are ignored when reading the config file, they do
not affect polybar's behavior. Comment lines start with either the
; or the
Inline comments are not supported. For example the following line does not end
with a comment, the value of
name is actually set to
value ; comment:
name = value ; comment