Styling my Linux has been my prime time hobby as it never feels good enough. After recently changing my Operating system to Arch Linux, I installed i3wm like the good old times and jumped right into customizing it to fit my needs. i3wm has been my primary go-to window manager for bare Linux setups. If i3wm is installed, Polybar follows after. They are very compatible and works well with each other, i3wm almost feels bare without polybar.

With Polybar installed, I started customizing it, I already have Polybar config files that I customized before but I decided to start anew.

What is Polybar?

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.

- An excerpt from their official Github repository.

Polybar provides default battery module, why bother?

That is true, Polybar does provide default battery module that is highly customizable but I love customizing and having a clean, minimal and yet highly informative looks hence this post.

The biggest problem I had with Polybar’s built-in battery module wasn’t the feature itself but rather the difficulty of customizing it, it’s a personal problem but a problem nonetheless. I simply could not wrap my head around how to go about customizing it the way I liked, especially the padding around customized battery module. I liked the ramp-capacity-* animations, it was and is awesome. I just couldn’t figure out how to add padding to my battery module therefore, I decided to use an external script to fix that.

What script?

The main goal that lead me to write this script was proper color formatting and padding, I know, pretty stupid but it makes me happy. These were the things I wanted the script to be able to accomplish.

  1. Get battery charge percentage.
  2. Battery status - Full, Charging, etc.
  3. No need for animations, 2 simple icons to represent battery state. (charging or discharging)
  4. Background and foreground color depending on the charge and the battery state, compatible with Polybar.

The tasks I wanted to accomplish were made simple using the acpi package available freely and officially in Arch Linux repo.


# Prashant Shrestha
# 2020-06-23

# Getting the data and initializing an array.
BATTERY_INFO=($( acpi | awk -F',' '{ print $0 }'))

# Formatting helpers

# Format battery icon, depending on the status.
if [[ "${BATTERY_INFO[2]}" == *"Charging"* ]]; then
    ICON="  " # Plug icon, font awesome.
    ICON="  " # Car Battery icon, font awesome

if [[ $CHARGE -lt 10 ]]; then
    # Red-ish
    FORMAT="%{B#B33D43}%{F#fff}  "
elif [[ $CHARGE -lt 30 ]]; then
    # Orange-ish
    FORMAT="%{B#F27F24}%{F#000}  "
elif [[ $CHARGE -lt 60 ]]; then
    # Yellow-ish
    FORMAT="%{B#E5C167}%{F#000}  "
elif [[ $CHARGE -lt 100 ]]; then
    # Green-ish
    FORMAT="%{B#6FB379}%{F#000}  "

# Format charge & color depending on the status.

# Final formatted output.
echo $FORMAT

Here’s what my bottom Polybar looks like after using the script above.

Bottom Polybar Screenshot

Enjoy customizing Polybar..