Location of bspwm polybar workspaces/icons?

Hi all,
Using the stock AL install of bspwm my left side polybar doesn’t show text nor icons for the workspaces. Unlike other tiling WMs i have recently tried, I see nothing in bspwmrc nor polybar config relating to this. Can you tell me what file contains the polybar workspaces in bspwm, so that maybe i can change or enable something? Thx.

Depends on what you’re using for a workspace module (bspwm or xworkspaces).

For the default setup

  • label workspaces in ~/.config/bspwm/bspwmrc
    bspc monitor -d I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X
  • use bspwm module in ~/.config/polybar/modules.conf, which defines
    type = internal/bspwm
    pin-workspaces = true
    inline-mode = false
    enable-click = true
    enable-scroll = false
    reverse-scroll = false
    fuzzy-match = false
    ; ws-icon-[0-9]+ = label;icon
    ; Note that the label needs to correspond with the bspwm workspace name
    ws-icon-0 = I;
    ws-icon-1 = II;
    ws-icon-2 = III;
    ws-icon-3 = IV;
    ws-icon-4 = V;
    ws-icon-5 = VI;
    ws-icon-6 = VII;
    ws-icon-7 = VIII;
    ws-icon-8 = IX;
    ws-icon-9 = X;
    ;ws-icon-default = ♟
    format = <label-state> <label-mode>
    label-monitor = %name%
    label-mode-padding = 1
    label-focused = %icon% %name%
    label-focused-padding = 1
    label-occupied = %icon% %name%
    label-occupied-padding = 1
    label-urgent = %icon% %name%
    label-urgent-padding = 1
    label-empty = %icon% %name%
    label-empty-padding = 1
    label-dimmed-foreground = ${colors.purple}
    label-dimmed-underline = ${colors.purple}
    label-dimmed-focused-background = ${colors.purple}
    label-focused-foreground = ${colors.blue}
    label-focused-underline = ${colors.blue}
    label-occupied-underline = ${colors.purple}
    label-urgent-foreground = ${colors.urgent}
    label-urgent-underline = ${colors.urgent}
    ; The following labels will be used to indicate the layout/mode
    ; for the focused workspace. Requires <label-mode>
    label-monocle = 
    label-tiled = 
    label-fullscreen = 
    label-floating = 
    label-pseudotiled = P
    label-locked = 
    label-sticky = 
    label-private = 
    label-sticky-foreground = ${colors.purple}
    label-locked-foreground = ${colors.moderate}
    label-private-foreground = ${colors.urgent}

You just need to match the workspaces labels with the bsp workspace name.

Thanks Nate for your response! TBH I’m not sure what i am using for a workspace module. I assume it’s bspwm. My bspwmrc has this
‘bspc monitor -d I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X’
but i did not have a ~/.config/polybar/modules.conf
I created that file and copied the text you provided into it. Restart, and no change in the polybar workspace icons/numbers. Interestingly though, my right side volume indicator now works and is interactive, whereas before it just gave a % sign?

What files are located in ~/.config/polybar?

If you didn’t have the modules.conf file, which file has the configuration for the other modules?

You may just need to copy the code nate provided to the file that contains all the other module configurations so that it’s sourced when starting polybar.

I highly doubt that, if you’re just using the same config you used before it will be using the same modules. You’ll wanna ref the docs for the internal/bspwm module https://github.com/polybar/polybar/wiki/Module:-bspwm

For most wm you’ll need to make a bar specific to that wm and launch it when starting, same with any other wm you use with polybar. You also need to make the bar you create for any wm use modules that work for that wm (using the internal/bspwm module etc…)

Since you’re not using our default configs (and prob just have ~/.config/polybar/config) you’ll need to do the setup. That’s the main reason we use a wrapper script for polybar, it detects the wm and starts one of the preconfigured bars that work with it as well as dynamically adding modules if the system is a laptop or not.

If/when we release a new iso polybar is getting dropped, there’s just too many issues with it.

IF? Oh my! This now goes near the top of my very long list of things to worry about! I’ve tried many and AL is by far the best!

Yeah, I’ve borrowed so many things from so many places I’m lost in bspwm. Playing with qtile now, but when i decide to try again I’ll probably just del the configs in /home and reinstall AL with the desktops I’ve decided on.

Agreed Polybar is a pain, but it’s all I’ve seen i might be able to configure for bspwm. Lemonbar and Yabar look out of my league.

Thanks to you and all for the help!

Hi Nate,

Would you be replacing Polybar with another bar for the default WM/Openbox?? I also second 'billd’s opinion that this too is my FAVORITE Archlinux variant…I have been studying hella on Linux and such and would love to be able to assist with this distro…So if hope we can change that ‘if’ to more of a when!!! :smile: Thanks,