Power Management applet? Polybar? Tint2?

So, I seen some nifty polybar and tint2 configs on here… But can I run both? Do I need to? Should I just stick to one or the other?

My goal is to have kind of like a system tray so I can see power level since I’m on a laptop. Also, being able to see spotify/discord wouldn’t be too bad either.

Is there a simple way to get this going? So I can tinker from there?

Like is there a pamphlet I can read?

I like Plank and all, but it doesn’t “do anything” other than acting as a launcher, and it’s task management isn’t very good for apps that can “close” but remain in the background like Discord
Plus I find myself using Alt+F1 more than anything.

@Xase Several options; I run tint2 & polybar. There’s also trayer to display indicators or a small xfce4-panel. Sky’s the limit.

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You can run both if you want to, just pick the modules you want in polybar.

Polybar configuration

Tint2 configuration

Polybar does have a system tray module that isn’t enabled by default, but it’s not the best - doesn’t work too well with transparency.

You could also run a stand alone tray application like trayer or stalonetray. Well documented man pages for both to set them up.

In the past, I have run tint2 with taskbar, system tray, battery, and clock together with polybar with the cpu, temp, network, and memory modules (instead of conky) Pretty functional set up, low on resources.

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Thanks for the replies :slight_smile: I will read these right now.

Should I add tint2 to autostart under openbox, or is there a more appropriate way to start it?

Can I run two instances of tint2? I have a design idea to try and replicate an old Litestep theme

trayer is a good option, low on resources but requires a little effort setting up and adding to autostart, particularly if using multiple monitors. tint2 is already there, you just need select it in conjunction with polybar in menu->preferences and if wanting an easy to set up-move anywhere kinda thing for a system tray that can auto hide, xfce4-panel can’t be beat and is surprisingly lite on resources.

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Dumb question… but can I add padding manually in the rc if you know offhand? And any way to make tint2 appear over windows, since I assume there is no hide?

Found the answer to my padding quest. :slight_smile:

Dumb questions don’t exist. Are you referring to xfce4-panel, trayer? Tint2 should appear over windows by default and can auto hide if needed.

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Sorry. Tint2. Trayer and XFCE4-Panel sound neat, but I figured I’d try with tint2 since it’s already available, and seems pretty flexible. However, the panel I selected is vertical and doesn’t appear over windows, the windows max just outside it. I’ll read the rc, and see if I can’t figure it out, glad to know there is a hide function

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@Xase, I’ve got weird setup. I use polybar split between both screens (two instances) at the bottom for sys stats, updates, weather, email, sys vol… Tint2 split between both screens (two instances), mainly for a taskbar (because I don’t like window decorations) jgmenu and time. Used to use trayer for a tray/indicators because it was included in prior releases of AL but now use an instance of xfce4-panel auto hidden on the bottom of my right display. So… Sky’s the limit, get creative :slight_smile:


Now to just tweak polybar!

Addendum… can I take the two separate RCs for tint2, and combine them in to one for both panels? or is it best to continue using the tint2rcs I modded and just mod them manually as needed?

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@Xase Nice that looks awesome., good job man! :slight_smile: I’ve always used separate configs and do so not only with tint2 but with polybar, I find it easier to track and solve an issue but it’s entirely up to you. If using separate configs for either polybar or tint2, remember to name them accordingly so they can be distinguished by the system and you.

polybar; config1, config2, master.conf1, master.conf2

tint2; xase-1.tint2rc, xase-2.tint2rc

You get the idea :slight_smile:

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Yes, but you will lose that 90-degree bend. Has to be horizontal or vertical, not both.


^ Right my bad. Has to be two with tint2.

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Ok, so I’ll keep separate tint rcs. Cause I like myangle… Thinking about removing the clock and adding additional padding. Or maybe I’ll put a launcher in the corner. Not sure. But I love the flexibility this has provided me. The double clock is just redundant. Or maybe I’ll remove it from Polybar. I suppose the options are limitless.

Thanks all for the help :smiley:

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That’s the joy of ArchLabs in a nutshell. Totally agree.

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So… non-dumb, yet probably redundant question. Anyway to get tint2 to start both panels automatically… simply selecting them in the preferences doesn’t permify them in any way it seems… should I add both start commands to my openbox autostart? Or is there another ArchLabs way that I’m missing?

@Xase My autostart;


al-compositor --start &

enable numlock, commented out for laptop users

numlockx &

Set Displays

/home/glenn/.screenlayout/glenn.sh &

restore wallpaper

nitrogen --restore &

system tray

#sleep 1; trayer --edge bottom --align right --monitor 1 --transparent true --alpha 256 --widthtype request --SetDockType false --expand true &

start panels

sleep 1; al-polybar-session &
sleep 1; al-tint2-session &
xfce4-panel &

System Monitors

#sleep 1; al-conky-session &
sleep 1; covergloobus &

Openbox autostart

ob-autostart -d &

PolicyKit authentication

lxpolkit &

Required for xfce settings to work

xfsettingsd &

Side shortcuts for file managers

xdg-user-dirs-gtk-update &


#redshift &

xfce4-clipman &

#USB Managment
#udiskie &

*You shouldn’t have to… no idea why some text is so bold but anyway…


You’re right… it starts. But now I have noticed sleep 1; al-polybar-session & is missing from my autostart, since I enabled tint2… or maybe it wasn’t there… but polybar wouldn’t start anymore till I added it back? is that alright?

I should’ve posted this in Basic help and support methinks at this point :o

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You’re ok, time for things to start is important if you’re trying to start everything at once, use a time interval at your discretion based upon your system specs. On this machine, it could care less but on on my laptops, it’s a different story, 1-5 second intervals usually does the trick.

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