Advanced usage


Some modules define their own update intervals (e.g. most modules that query an online service), such as to not cause a storm of “once every second” queries.

For such modules, the “global” interval defined via the interval parameter effectively defines the highest possible “resolution”. If you have a global interval of 10s, for example, any other module can update at 10s, 20s, 30s, etc., but not every 25s. The status bar will internally always align to the next future time slot.

The update interval can also be changed on a per-module basis, like this (overriding the default module interval indicated above):

$ ./bumblebee-status -m cpu memory -p cpu.interval=5s memory.interval=1m


Many modules provide default handling for various events, for example:

  • Mouse-Wheel on any module moves to the next/previous i3 workspace

  • Left-click on the “disk” module opens the specified path in a file browser

  • Left-click on either “memory” or “cpu” opens a system monitor

  • Left-click on a “pulseaudio” (or pasource/pasink) module toggles the mute state

  • Mouse-Wheel up/down on a “pulseaudio” module raises/lowers the volume

You can provide your own handlers to any module by using the following “special” configuration parameters:

  • left-click

  • right-click

  • middle-click

  • wheel-up

  • wheel-down

For example, to execute “pavucontrol” whenever you left-click on the nic module, you could write:

$ bumblebee-status -p nic.left-click="pavucontrol"

In the string, you can use the following format identifiers: - name - instance - button

For example:

$ bumblebee-status -p disk.left-click="nautilus {instance}"

Update intervals

The general “update interval” is set using the -i|--interval parameter of bumblebee-status, and defaults to 1 second. Some modules override this interval to update less frequently (e.g. the kernel version is updated only very rarely, as it usually doesn’t change during runtime). Also, modules like weather or stock update less frequently, to avoid hitting API limits.

For each module, it is possible to specify a parameter interval to override that behaviour.

For example, to update the battery status once per minute, you’d use something like this:

$ bumblebee-status -m battery -p battery.interval=1m

The format supports: - numbers (assumed to be seconds - battery.interval=20 means every 20s) - h, m, s and combinations thereof - battery.interval=2m30s means every 2 minutes, 30 seconds)


If errors occur, you should see them in the i3bar itself. If that does not work, or you need more information for troubleshooting, you can activate a debug log using the -d or --debug switch:

$ ./bumblebee-status -d -m <list of modules>

This will log to stderr, so unless you are running bumblebee-status interactively in the CLI, you’ll need to specify a logfile using -f or --logfile. Note that putting bumblebee-status into debug mode will show an indicator in the bar to make sure you don’t forget to clean up the log file occasionally.

Automatically hiding modules

If you want to have a minimal bar that stays out of the way, you can use the -a or --autohide switch to specify a list of module names. All those modules will only be displayed when (and as long as) their state is either warning or critical (high CPU usage, low disk space, etc.). As long as the module is in a “normal” state and does not require attention, it will remain hidden. Note that this parameter is specified in addition to -m (i.e. to autohide the CPU module, you would use bumblebee-status -m cpu memory traffic -a cpu).

Scrolling widget text

Some widgets support scrolling for long text (e.g. most music player widgets, rss, etc.). Those have some additional settings for customizing the scrolling behaviour, in particular:

  • scrolling.width: Desired width of the scrolling panel

  • scrolling.makewide: If set to true, extends texts shorter than scrolling.width to that width

  • scrolling.bounce: If set to true, bounces the text when it reaches the end, otherwise, it behaves like marquee (scroll-through) text

  • scrolling.speed: Defines the scroll speed, in characters per update

Additional widget theme settings

There are a few parameters you can tweak directly from the commandline via -p or --parameters: - <modulename>.theme.minwidth sets the minimum width of a module/widget (can be a comma-separated list for multi-widget modules). The parameter can be either an integer (in which case it is taken as “number of characters”, or a string, in which case the minwidth is the width of the string (e.g. -p cpu.minwidth="100.00%") - <modulename>.theme.align sets the alignment (again, can be comma-separated for multi-widget modules) - defaults to left, valid values are left, right and center

An example:

$ bumblebee-status -m sensors2 -p sensors2.theme.minwidth=10,10,10,10 sensors2.theme.align=center,center,left,right

Configuration files

Using a configuration file, it is possible to define a list of modules that will be loaded if no modules are specified on the CLI, as well as defining a default theme to use.

Any parameter that can be specified using -p <name>=<value> on the commandline, can alternatively be specified in one of the following configuration files: - ~/.bumblebee-status.conf - ~/.config/bumblebee-status.conf - ~/.config/bumblebee-status/config

These parameters act as fallback, so values specified on the commandline take precedence.

Configuration files have the following format:

modules = <comma-separated list of modules to load>
autohide = <comma-separated list of modules to hide, unless in warning/error state>
theme = <theme to use by default>

<key> = <value>

For example: