Waybar, my work to make the wayland world a better place
— 2019-04-16
Unsplash @sabrituzcu


First of all, let’s go back a little bit, on Aug 8, 2018 I started waybar with the desire to offer an experience similar to what polybar can offer for Xorg, I was following the development of sway for a while and all the problems it was having with the library it was using which is called wlc.

At the beginning of 2018 they started the development of wlroots, their wayland compositor, I immediately starred the project and followed very closely the development, Drew DeVault launched an Indiegogo campaign for the Sway hackathon, I have of course contributed to it and time followed the lives he did on twitch for the hackathon.

Now what have they put in place to make waybar creation possible?
The wayland protocols that they have created in particular the layer shell which allows to create layers that can be anchored to the edges and corners of a screen and specify input handling semantics, exactly what I needed for waybar, gtk being also wayland compatible, so the magic could start.

I created a POC with just a few modules like sway's workspaces as well as a clock and battery, it was the very beginning, no possible configuration.
Waybar v0.0.0

I then added two small modules, the cpu load and memory usage as well as a configuration file in json and waybar was ready for a demo!
So I shared it on the subreddit unixporn to do a little more talking about sway and its environment to the users of this subreddit who are for the most part on i3 and since sway being an i3-compatible Wayland compositor, it was a match!

Time goes by and waybar gets bigger with a growing community as well as all the features that have been added like the one you now know like the multiscreen support that has some bugs during unplug-plug, the custom module more powerful than ever, the system tray that is finally functional, a module for temperature, a wiki that is very complete, my next step is to fix all the bugs related to the multi screen for version 0.6.0.

Here is the waybar contribution curve that is starting to become quite stable

Waybar contributions

As I write these lines, waybar is at its version 0.5.1 and has reached 463 stars, 134 closed issues, 79 pull requests merged, 26 contributors and at least 21 posts on the subreddit unixporn by others showing their rice and is deployed on more and more packages managers.