A replacement for i3status that allows for the use of plugins.

python3 i3situation i3 i3wm i3status i3bar json
pip install i3situation==1.0.5



A replacement for i3status written in Python 3 with support for huge customisability through plugins.

Please feel free to send a pull request or request features by opening an issue.



If you're lucky enough to be using Arch Linux, i3situation is available from the AUR.

i3situation is also available over at PyPi.

If you want to install straight from this git repository, first clone it and then change into the cloned directory.

git clone https://github.com/HarveyHunt/i3situation
cd i3situation

You then need to install i3situation using the setup.py file that is provided.

sudo python setup.py install

Next, use your editor of choice to create a configuration file.

vim ~/.config/i3situation/config

The minimum that you need to enter in order to run the application is as follows:

interval = 1
logging_level = ERROR
log_file = ~/.config/i3situation/log.txt

You then need to change the status_command value in the bar section of your i3 configuration to:

status_command i3situation

It is a good idea to run i3situation at this point, as it will handle copying over the plugins into your configuration directory.

Configuring Plugins

Plugins are the way to get this application to output to i3bar and allow for large amounts of expandability. The configuration file is automatically reloaded when any changes occur to it. Changing the content of a plugin file will also cause a reload of all plugins and settings.

Note: When using the % symbol in the config file, it needs to be escaped with another %.

Plugins are configured in the config file. You must first denote a new plugin config section by using a unique name for that instance of a plugin. For example:


Inside this section you need to say which plugin you wish to use (Note: the plugin field refers to the filename of the plugin less the .py extension).

plugin = date_time

Each plugin needs to have an interval set. This interval refers to how often the plugin's displayed text is updated.

plugin = date_time
interval = 1

Each plugin has an on_click function already defined. This function allows the user to specify a shell command that should be executed each time a plugin's text area is clicked with a mouse button (of which there are three, defined here). For example:

plugin = date_time
interval = 1
button1 = urxvt
button2 = xterm

You can then change the options for a plugin by defining them next. The available options can be seen in the plugin file in a dictionary- with the defaults next to it.

A list of values should be comma separated and a boolean value can be written as:

  • on
  • True
  • true
  • off
  • False
  • false

The example below illustrates using a comma separated list:

plugin = reddit
interval = 30
mode = subreddit
subreddits = programming,linux

You can also edit options that affect how the output is displayed (Note: the same options are available for all plugins). The following example illustrates changing the colour of the output:

plugin = reddit
interval = 30
mode = subreddit
subreddits = programming,linux
color = #808080

The rest of the output options that can be edited are discussed in the Advanced Plugin Options section of this document.

My personal i3situation configuration file can be found with my dotfiles.



A plugin to display information provided by Cmus (current song etc).


  • Format: A string showing the format in which the output should be displayed. Keywords in the string will be replaced with data. Possible keywords can be found here.
format=artist -> title

Date and Time

A plugin to display the current date and time. Has support for multiple time zones.


  • Time Zone: The time zone that should be used when finding the time. By default, Python will work this out by itself. Setting a value for time_zone will override that.
  • Long Format: The text to display when there is a large amount of space. A full list of format options can be found here
long_format=%d-%m-%Y %H:%M:%S
  • Short Format: The text to be displayed when there is a smaller amount of bar space available.


A plugin that can display information from Reddit, such as post titles and upvotes.


  • Mode: The mode that the plugin shall operate in. Front page will display threads from the front page of Reddit or your personal front page (provided you have logged in).
  • Subreddits: The subreddits that should be displayed when the plugin is in subreddit mode. Should be in the form of a comma seperated list.
  • Username: Your Reddit username.
  • Password: Your Reddit password.
  • Limit: The amount of threads that should be requested from Reddit in one go.
  • Format: The format that the plugin's output should be presented in. Keywords will be replaced with actual data. For a full list of keywords, look here
format=subreddit title ups
  • Sort: The method with which the Reddit threads are sorted.
  • Max Characters: The maximum number of characters that a Reddit thread title is allowed to have. If the Reddit thread title is longer than this value, the thread will be removed from the queue.


A plugin to run shell commands and send the output to i3bar.

  • Command: The command that is to be executed.
command=echo Hello


A simple plugin to output text.

  • Text: The text that will be displayed.
text=Hello World


A plugin to allow conky's output to be displayed. It is required that you have a valid .conkyrc that outputs to stdout, such as:

conky.config = { 
 out_to_console = true,
 out_to_x = false,
  • Command: The conky command to be executed.
  • Config: The path to the conkyrc file that shall be used.


A plugin that displays information about the battery, such as charge level and status.

  • format: The format of the output. will be replaced by the battery's current status and will be replaced by the current charge level.
  • percentage: Whether or not the charge should be calculated as a percentage.
  • low_threshold: The value of charge below which the low_color will be displayed. Note: this value should be from 0 to 1 when percentage isn't set and 0 to 100 when it is set.
  • low_color: The colour to be displayed when the battery charge level is classed as low.
  • discharging_color: The colour to be displayed when the battery is discharging.
  • charging_color: The colour to be displayed when the battery is charging.
  • full_color: The colour to be displayed when the battery is full.
  • battery_path: The path to the battery file- generally in the form /sys/class/power_supply/BATX.

Creating a Plugin

Creating a plugin is a simple process, made easier by the Plugin base class. The first step is to create a python file in your plugin directory. Note: Files with a leading underscore will not be loaded as a plugin but can be used for library files.

vim cool_feature.py

The Plugin base class needs to be imported from the plugins folder.

from plugins._plugin import Plugin

You should then create a class that inherits the newly imported Plugin class.

from plugins._plugin import Plugin

class cool_feature_plugin(Plugin):

The __all__ variable needs to be set to the name of your plugin class.

from plugins._plugin import Plugin

__all__ = 'CoolFeaturePlugin'

class CoolFeaturePlugin(Plugin):

The __init__ function needs to accept two arguments- self and config. The options that can be configured by the user need to be placed in a dictionary called self.options with the format:

{'option': 'default_value'}

Options that can be configured by the user should be declared before calling the super class' __init__ function.

The super class' __init__ function must be passed two arguments- config and the user configurable options. There is only one compulsary option- interval. This refers to how often (in seconds) the main function of the plugin should be called.

from plugins._plugin import Plugin

__all__ = 'CoolFeaturePlugin'

class CoolFeaturePlugin(Plugin):

    def __init__(self, config):
        self.options = {'cool_option': 'cool_value', 'interval': 1}
        super().__init__(config, self.options)

All plugins must have a main() function that is called by the plugin loader. Within this function, program logic should be executed and it should return a dictionary to the main application. The Plugin base class provides a helper function called output that serves this purpose. Output should be passed a string as the first argument that represents a detailed output of the plugin and a shorter string as the second argument. It is perfectly acceptable to pass the same value to each argument.

from plugins._plugin import Plugin

__all__ = 'CoolFeaturePlugin'

class CoolFeaturePlugin(Plugin):

    def __init__(self, config):
        self.options = {'cool_option': 'cool_value', 'interval': 1}
        super().__init__(config, self.options)

    def main(self):
        return self.output('This is a fabulous plugin', 'Cool plugin')


It is also possible to create a function that gets executed whenever the plugin's output is clicked. The plugin must have an on_click() function that handles the event. The function must accept an event dictionary as an argument- the layout of which is below:

{'button': 1, 'name': 'time', 'y': 1196, 'x': 1846}

The button corresponds to which mouse button was used to click the text. The mouse buttons are numbered as follows:

  1. Left Mouse Button
  2. Middle Mouse Button
  3. Right Mouse Button

The x and y variables refer to the position that the text was clicked at.

The name refers to the name of the plugin object that was clicked.

It is possible to do many things once the text has been clicked, but please bear in mind that the on_click() code will be run in the same thread as the event handler. Therefore, it is important that any code in on_click() isn't too intensive.

Adding an on_click() function to the cool_feature_plugin looks as follows:

from plugins._plugin import Plugin

__all__ = 'CoolFeaturePlugin'

class CoolFeaturePlugin(Plugin):

    def __init__(self, config):
        self.options = {'cool_option': 'cool_value', 'interval': 1}
        super().__init__(config, self.options)

    def main(self):
        return self.output('This is a fabulous plugin', 'Cool plugin')

    def on_click(self, event):
        if event['button'] == 1:
            self.output_options['color'] = '#FF0000'
            self.output_options['color'] = '#0000FF'

This is all the code required to create a plugin. There are lots of good examples of how to write plugins in this project's plugin directory

Advanced Plugin Options

It is also possible to manipulate many aspects of a plugin's output. The Plugin class provides a way to set the value of output options (blocks). Changing values in the following dictionary will affect the output options:

self.output_options['color'] = '#FF00FF'

The following is the internal representation of output options used in the Plugin class.

self.output_options = {
    'color': None,
    'min_width': None,
    'align': None,
    'name': None,
    'urgent': None,
    'separator': None,
    'separator_block_width': None}

For a full explanation of each output option, please refer to section 2.2 of the excellent i3bar documentation: i3Bar Protocol