A desktop bar similar to xmobar, but with more GUI


Version on this page:3.2.3
LTS Haskell 17.15:3.2.5
Stackage Nightly 2021-05-10:3.2.3
Latest on Hackage:4.0.1

See all snapshots taffybar appears in

BSD-3-Clause licensed by Ivan Malison
Maintained by [email protected]
This version can be pinned in stack with:taffybar-3.2.3@sha256:a030dd85302dac518c0caf49ec3390ec6159c419c11fbc6d6870434929d477db,7086

Module documentation for 3.2.3

Taffybar Build Status Hackage Commits Stackage LTS Stackage Nightly Help Wanted Gitter chat License BSD3


Taffybar is a gtk+3 (through gi-gtk) based desktop information bar, intended primarily for use with XMonad, though it can also function alongside other EWMH compliant window managers. It is similar in spirit to xmobar, but it differs in that it gives up some simplicity for a reasonable helping of eye candy.

Before Installing

Taffybar’s installation procedure varies depending on whether or not you intend to setup a new haskell project and use startTaffybar or use the dyreTaffybar with a global haskell installation . It is important for you to read this section so you can understand what all of that means before you decide how you want to install taffybar.

Taffybar is a library

As with window managers like XMonad and dwm, taffybar is most appropriately described as a library that allows you to build an executable that is customized to your tastes. This means that taffybar must be installed alongside a haskell compiler (ghc) that can compile the user’s configuration source file.

The taffybar binary and startTaffybar vs dyreTaffybar

Taffybar can be started from your configuration file in two different ways:


The dyreTaffybar entry point to taffybar uses the dyre library to automatically recompile your taffybar configuration whenever it detects that it has changed. The binary that is distributed with taffybar does nothing more than call this entry point. The main downside of this approach is that it does not allow the user to use any sort of project files for their configuration, and they must have any packages that are necessary for compilation of their configuration available in their global ghc environment.


The startTaffybar entry point to taffybar simply starts taffybar with the provided configuration. The user binary will not be automatically recompiled when source files change. The advantage of using startTaffybar directly is that you can use that in the main function of a cabal project.

Distribution Packaging

Several linux distributions package taffybar (nixos, arch/aur, debian). Of these, only the NixOS distribution is officially supported by the maintainers. Using any of the others should be pretty similar to using a bare cabal installation of taffybar.


If you wish to use the NixOS package for taffybar, make sure that you are using the module, and not simply the haskellPackage for taffybar. If you need to add additional haskell packages to the environment that compiles your taffybar.hs you will need to invoke that module and use the packages parameter to allow this.

It is also possible to run/use taffybar on NixOS without using this module by using a standalone haskell project for the taffybar configuration.

Using the overlay.nix when taffybar is broken in nixpkgs

The taffybar haskell package in nixpkgs has been broken in the unstable channel from time to time. This repository provides a nix overlay file which can be used to build taffybar with current versions of nixpkgs. See this comment for details on how to use the overlay.

Installation From Hackage/Source


If you are not using distribution packaging of taffybar or the nix package manager (it will handle getting all the necessary packages for you), you will need to install all of taffybar’s non-haskell dependencies manually.

Start by making sure you have installed everything that is needed for haskell-gi. Taffybar also needs the equivalent of libdbusmenu-gtk3-dev and libgirepository1.0-dev on Debian.

You can also get some idea of what the necessary dependencies are by looking at the nix section of the stack.yaml file in the taffybar repository.


Cabal installation is a simple matter of installing taffybar from hackage:

cabal install taffybar

You do not need to do this if you are using the project approach with cabal.

The project approach

The project approach to installing/using taffybar involves maintaining a small haskell project that produces the users taffybar binary. No matter which package manager you choose to use you will need to make a .cabal file for this project. It is recommended that you use this example as a template. In that example, the users configuration resides in the file taffybar.hs in the same directory, but that can be changed as needed. As of right now, dyreTaffybar is incompatible with this approach because dyre simply calls ghc directly.


Simply run cabal new-install to install the binary.


With stack, you will also need to maintain a stack.yaml file. Run stack install to install the binary. See this example


You will need to add default.nix file to your package. See this example

You may also need to use the overlay provided by this repository. See this comment for details.


The taffybar haskell package is currently broken in nixpkgs, because some of its dependencies are not compiling correctly/are not sufficiently new. The environment.nix file in this repository fixes these build issues with an overlay. The overlay.nix file extends the environment overlay so that it overrides the taffybar package’s build description to build the nix taffybar package from the repository source directory. An example of how to set up nixpkgs to use the taffybar overlay can be found here.


Like xmobar and XMonad, taffybar is configured in haskell. Taffybar depends on dyre to automatically detect changes to its configuration file ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME/taffybar/taffybar.hs) and recompile when appropriate.

For more details about how to configure taffybar, see the full documentation. You can find a list of available widgets here


For the time being, taffybar’s frequently asked questions page lives in this github issue.


Taffybar desperately needs contributors. If you want to help, but don’t know where to get started you can check out our “help wanted” and “easy” labels:

Help Wanted Help Wanted



Bug Fixes

  • Solve space leaks on updateSamples and getDeviceUpDown (#472).
  • Prevent crash when using mpris2New and librsvg is not available (#478).
  • Fixed compilation issues that appear when using ghc 8.8.


Bug Fixes

  • The workspaces widget now listens on the additional EWMH properties that it needs to in order to properly update things when the active window changes. This problem likely only emerged recently because xmonad has recently become much more conservative about emitting change events (#454).

  • The workspaces widget listens for changes to window geometry (similar to above) (#456).


New Features

  • The Layout widget can now be styled with the css class “layout-label”.

  • A new polling label function pollingLabelWithVariableDelay that allows for variable poll times was added.

  • A new widget System.Taffybar.Widget.SimpleCommandButton was added.

  • Taffybar now outputs colorized and annotated logs by default.

Breaking Changes

  • The file specified in the cssPath parameter in config is now used instead of, rather than in addition to the default user config file.

  • All parameters are now passed to textClockNewWith as part of the ClockConfig it receives. A new mechanism for rounded variable polling should allow the clock to always remain accurate (to the precision selected by the user) without having a very high polling rate, thus reducing CPU usage.

  • The polling label functions no longer accept a default text parameter.


  • Battery updates are only triggered when a more limited number of UPower properties are changed. This can be customized by manually calling setupDisplayBatteryChanVar as a hook.

Bug Fixes

  • Calendar pops up below bar without hiding any other widget #261.

  • Avoid failing when parsing XDG Desktop files with unrecognized application type, which previously resulted in “Prelude.read: no parse” #447.

  • Use XDG data dir so that taffybar dbus toggling functions correctly when taffybar is installed in a location that is not writable by the user. This is the case with nix when it is installed in the nix store #452.



  • Weather now uses new uris and https (Kirill Zaborsky)

  • Bump the version of gi-gdkpixbuf, this fixes nixpkgs compilation


New Features

  • A new module Chrome which makes it so that Workspaces can display the favicons of the website that the chrome window is currently visiting.


Breaking Changes

  • Taffybar has replaced gtk2hs with gi-gtk everywhere. All widgets must now be created with gi-gtk.


Breaking Changes

  • An entirely new config system has been put in place. TaffybarConfig now lives in System.Taffybar.Context, but for most users, System.Taffybar.SimpleConfig is the configuration interface that should be used.

  • The main entry point to taffybar is now dyreTaffybar instead of defaultTaffybar.

  • All widget constructors provided to both config systems must now be of type TaffyIO Gtk.Widget. If you have an existing IO Gtk.Widget you can convert it using liftIO. All widgets provided by taffybar are now of type MonadIO m => m Gtk.Widget, or specialized to TaffyIO Gtk.Widgets.

  • The graphBackgroundColor and graphBorderColor fields are now RGBA quadruples instead of RGB triples.

  • Module removals:

    • WorkspaceSwitcher: Workspaces is much more abstract and makes this widget redundant.
    • Pager: The Context module solves the problem that Pager solved in a much more general way. It also makes it so that the user doesn’t even need to know about the Pager component at all.
    • TaffyPager: Since you no longer need to explicitly initialize a Pager, it’s not really very hard to simply add the (Workspaces, Layout, Windows) triple to your config any more.
    • XMonadLog: This module has long been deprecated
  • Module moves:

    • Everything in System.Information has been moved to System.Information.Taffybar
    • All Widgets that were found in System.Taffybar have been moved to System.Taffybar.Widget
    • The helper widgets that were previously located in System.Taffybar.Widgets have been moved to System.Taffybar.Widget.Generic
  • Module renames:

    • WorkspaceHUD -> Workspaces
    • WindowSwitcher -> Windows
    • LayoutSwitcher -> Layout
    • ToggleMonitors -> DBus.Toggle
  • Module deprecations:

    • System.Taffybar.Widget.Systray (Use SNITray instead)
    • System.Taffybar.Widget.NetMonitor (Use System.Taffybar.Widget.Text.NetworkMonitor instead)
  • Many widgets have subtle interface changes that may break existing configurations.

New Features

  • Widgets can now be placed in the center of taffybar with the centerWidgets configuration parameter.

  • taffybar is now transparent by default, but you will need to use a compositor for transparency to work. https://github.com/chjj/compton is recommended. If you do not want a transparent taffybar set a background color on the class TaffyBox in taffybar.css.

  • StatusNotifierItem support has been added to taffybar in the SNITray module.

  • Monitor configuration changes are handled automatically. Unfortunately the bar must be completely recreated when this happens.

  • New network monitor widgets System.Taffybar.Widget.Text.NetworkMonitor and System.Taffybar.Widget.NetworkGraph were added.

  • All widgets are now exported in System.Taffybar.Widget, which should eliminate the need to import widgets explicitly.


Bug Fixes

  • Fix long standing memory leak that was caused by a failure to free memory allocated for gtk pixbufs.
  • Widgets unregister from X11 event listening.


Breaking Changes

  • Migrate from Gtk2 to Gtk3, which replaces rc theming with css theming (Ivan Malison)

New Features

  • Support for taffybar on multiple monitors (Ivan Malison)
  • D-Bus toggling of taffybar per monitor (Ivan Malison)
  • A new workspace switcher widget called WorkspaceHUD (Ivan Malison)
  • Support for multiple batteries via batteryContextsNew (Edd Steel)
  • Add support for IO actions to configure vertical bar widgets
  • Images in WorkspaceSwitcher - images are taken from EWMH via _NET_WM_ICON (Elliot Wolk)
  • Preliminary support for i3wm (Saksham Sharma)
  • Support for multiple network interfaces in NetMonitor (Robert Klotzner)
  • Add a pager config field that configures the construction of window switcher titles (Ivan Malison)
  • Quick start script for installing from git with stack (Ivan Malison)
  • Add a volume widget (Nick Hu and Abdul Sattar)
  • Add available memory field to MemoryInfo (Will Price)
  • The freedesktop.org notifications widget now allows for notifications to never expire and can handle multiple notifications at once. In particular the default formatter now shows the number of pending notifications (Daniel Oliveira)
  • Battery bar is more informative (Samshak Sharma)
  • Network monitor speeds are auto formatted to use the most appropriate units (TeXitoi)
  • A new freedesktop.org menu widget (u11gh)

…and many smaller tweaks.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixes for outdated weather information sources
  • Various styling fixes in the gtkrc code
  • Share a single X11Connection between all components to fix the user error (openDisplay) error (Ivan Malison)
  • Call initThreads at startup. This fixes taffybar-linux-x86_64: xcb_io.c:259: poll_for_event: Assertion `!xcb_xlib_threads_sequence_lost' failed. (Ivan Malison)
  • Add an eventBox to window switcher to allow setting its background (Ivan Malison)
  • #105 Prevent taffybar from crashing when two windows are closed simultaneously, or when taffybar otherwise requests data about a window that no longer exists.


  • Fix a longstanding bug in loading .rc files (Peder Stray)
  • Add support for scrolling in the workspace switcher (Saksham Sharma)
  • Improve default formatting of empty workspaces in the pager (Saksham Sharma)
  • Relax gtk version bounds


  • GHC 7.10 compat


  • Fix compilation with gtk 0.13.1


  • Try again to fix the network dependency


  • Expand the version range for time
  • Depend on network-uri instead of network


  • Make the clock react to time zone changes



  • Resize the bar when the screen configuration changes (Robert Helgesson)
  • Support bypassing dyre by exposing taffybarMain (Christian Hoener zu Siederdissen)
  • Textual CPU and memory monitors (Zakhar Voit)
  • A new window switcher menu in the pager (José Alfredo Romero L)
  • Dynamic workspace support in the workspace switcher (Nick Hu)
  • More configurable network monitor (Arseniy Seroka)
  • New widget: text-based command runner (Arseniy Seroka)
  • The Graph widget supports lines graphs (via graphDataStyles) (Joachim Breitner)
  • Compile with gtk2hs 0.13

Bug Fixes

  • Reduce wakeups by tweaking the default GHC RTS options (Joachim Breitner)
  • UTF8 fixes (Nathan Maxson)
  • Various fixes to EWMH support (José Alfredo Romero L)


The XMonadLog module is deprecated. This module let taffybar display XMonad desktop information through a dbus connection. The EWMH desktop support by José Alfredo Romero L is better in every way, so that (through TaffyPager) is the recommended replacement. Upgrading should be straightforward.


  • A new pager (System.Taffybar.TaffyPager) from José A. Romero L. This pager is a drop-in replacement for the dbus-based XMonadLog widget. It communicates via X atoms and EWMH like a real pager. It even supports changing workspaces by clicking on them. I recommend this over the old widget.
  • Added an MPRIS2 widget (contributed by Igor Babuschkin)
  • Ported to use the newer merged dbus library instead of dbus-client/dbus-core (contributed by CJ van den Berg)
  • Finally have the calendar widget pop up over the date/time widget (contributed by José A. Romero)
  • GHC 7.6 compatibility
  • Vertical bars can now have dynamic background colors (suggested by Elliot Wolk)
  • Bug fixes


  • More robust strut handling for multiple monitors of different sizes (contributed by Morgan Gibson)
  • New widgets from José A. Romero (network monitor, fs monitor, another CPU monitor)
  • Allow the bar widget to grow vertically (also contributed by José A. Romero)


  • Add some more flexible formatting options for the XMonadLog widget (contributed by cnervi).
  • Make the PollingLabel more robust with an exception handler for IOExceptions
  • Added more documentation for a few widgets


  • Depend on gtk 0.12.1+ to be able to build under ghc 7.2
  • Fix the background colors in the calendar so that it follows the GTK theme instead of the bar-specific color settings
  • Fix the display of non-ASCII window titles in the XMonad log applet (assuming you use the dbusLog function)
  • Add a horrible hack to force the bar to not resize to be larger than the screen due to notifications or long window titles


  • Readable widget for freedesktop notifications
  • Fixed a few potential deadlocks on startup
  • Use the GTK+ rc-file styling system for colors instead of hard coding them