i3bar.el is an Emacs package for displaying the output of an i3status compatible command in the mode-line or tab-bar.

This package is primarily useful for EXWM users who wish to render a status-bar within Emacs itself:

  • It can be combined with the tab-bar to save vertical space.
  • It can be themed by Emacs (see Theming).


i3bar is available on MELPA.

  1. Install and configure an i3status compatible status-bar generator.
  2. Install any required fonts (likely ttf-font-awesome).
  3. Install and configure this package.
(use-package i3bar
  ; Assuming you have enabled MELPA per https://melpa.org/#/getting-started
  :ensure t
  ;; Or with straight:
  ;:straight (i3bar :type git :host github :repo "Stebalien/i3bar.el")
  (i3bar-mode 1))



Tab Bar

You can place the i3bar in the tab-bar as follows:

(use-package tab-bar
  '(tab-bar-format-tabs ; Optional: Remove to _only_ display the bar (no tabs).
    tab-bar-format-align-right ; Optional: Remove to align left.
  (tab-bar-mode 1))


By default, this package uses the colors specified by your i3status command. However, you can define a custom i3bar-face-function to override this.

For example, I use the following theme with i3status-rust:

idle_bg = "#000000"
idle_fg = "#aaaaaa"
info_bg = "#000000"
info_fg = "#bbbbbb"
good_bg = "#000000"
good_fg = "#cccccc"
warning_bg = "#000000"
warning_fg = "#eeeeee"
critical_bg = "#000000"
critical_fg = "#ffffff"
separator = "\ue0b2"
alternating_tint_bg = "#111111"
separator_bg = "auto"
separator_fg = "auto"

Then I use the following "theme" function to make the status-bar's theme match my Emacs theme:

(defun i3bar-face-function-theme (foreground background)
    (pcase (and foreground (upcase foreground))
      ("#000000" `(:foreground ,(face-background 'default nil t)))
      ("#111111" `(:foreground ,(face-background 'hl-line nil t)))
      ("#AAAAAA" 'shadow)
      ("#BBBBBB" nil)
      ("#CCCCCC" 'success)
      ("#EEEEEE" 'warning)
      ("#FFFFFF" 'error))
    (pcase (and background (upcase background))
      ("#000000" nil)
      ("#111111" 'hl-line))))

(custom-set-variables '(i3bar-face-function i3bar-face-function-theme))