Monthly Downloads: 107
Programming language: Haskell
License: BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License
Tags: System    
Latest version: v4.0.0

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Taffybar is a gtk+3 (through gi-gtk) based desktop information bar, intended primarily for use with XMonad, though it can also function alongside other EWMH compliant window managers. It is similar in spirit to xmobar, but it differs in that it gives up some simplicity for a reasonable helping of eye candy.

Before Installing

Taffybar's installation procedure varies depending on whether or not you intend to setup a new haskell project and use startTaffybar or use the dyreTaffybar with a global haskell installation . It is important for you to read this section so you can understand what all of that means before you decide how you want to install taffybar.

Taffybar is a library

As with window managers like XMonad and dwm, taffybar is most appropriately described as a library that allows you to build an executable that is customized to your tastes. This means that taffybar must be installed alongside a haskell compiler (ghc) that can compile the user's configuration source file.

The taffybar binary and startTaffybar vs dyreTaffybar

Taffybar can be started from your configuration file in two different ways:


The dyreTaffybar entry point to taffybar uses the dyre library to automatically recompile your taffybar configuration whenever it detects that it has changed. The binary that is distributed with taffybar does nothing more than call this entry point. The main downside of this approach is that it does not allow the user to use any sort of project files for their configuration, and they must have any packages that are necessary for compilation of their configuration available in their global ghc environment.


The startTaffybar entry point to taffybar simply starts taffybar with the provided configuration. The user binary will not be automatically recompiled when source files change. The advantage of using startTaffybar directly is that you can use that in the main function of a cabal project.

Distribution Packaging

Several linux distributions package taffybar (nixos, arch/aur, debian). Of these, only the NixOS distribution is officially supported by the maintainers. Using any of the others should be pretty similar to using a bare cabal installation of taffybar.


If you wish to use the NixOS package for taffybar, make sure that you are using the module, and not simply the haskellPackage for taffybar. If you need to add additional haskell packages to the environment that compiles your taffybar.hs you will need to invoke that module and use the packages parameter to allow this.

It is also possible to run/use taffybar on NixOS without using this module by using a standalone haskell project for the taffybar configuration.

Using the overlay.nix when taffybar is broken in nixpkgs

The taffybar haskell package in nixpkgs has been broken in the unstable channel from time to time. This repository provides a nix overlay file which can be used to build taffybar with current versions of nixpkgs. See this comment for details on how to use the overlay.

Installation From Hackage/Source


If you are not using distribution packaging of taffybar or the nix package manager (it will handle getting all the necessary packages for you), you will need to install all of taffybar's non-haskell dependencies manually.

Start by making sure you have installed everything that is needed for haskell-gi. Taffybar also needs the equivalent of libdbusmenu-gtk3-dev and libgirepository1.0-dev on Debian.

You can also get some idea of what the necessary dependencies are by looking at the nix section of the stack.yaml file in the taffybar repository.


Cabal installation is a simple matter of installing taffybar from hackage:

cabal install taffybar

You do not need to do this if you are using the project approach with cabal.

The project approach

The project approach to installing/using taffybar involves maintaining a small haskell project that produces the users taffybar binary. No matter which package manager you choose to use you will need to make a .cabal file for this project. It is recommended that you use this example as a template. In that example, the users configuration resides in the file taffybar.hs in the same directory, but that can be changed as needed. As of right now, dyreTaffybar is incompatible with this approach because dyre simply calls ghc directly.


Simply run cabal new-install to install the binary.


With stack, you will also need to maintain a stack.yaml file. Run stack install to install the binary. See this example


You will need to add default.nix file to your package. See this example

You may also need to use the overlay provided by this repository. See this comment for details.


The taffybar haskell package is currently broken in nixpkgs, because some of its dependencies are not compiling correctly/are not sufficiently new. The environment.nix file in this repository fixes these build issues with an overlay. The overlay.nix file extends the environment overlay so that it overrides the taffybar package's build description to build the nix taffybar package from the repository source directory. An example of how to set up nixpkgs to use the taffybar overlay can be found here.


Like xmobar and XMonad, taffybar is configured in haskell. Taffybar depends on dyre to automatically detect changes to its configuration file ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME/taffybar/taffybar.hs) and recompile when appropriate.

For more details about how to configure taffybar, see the full documentation. You can find a list of available widgets here


For the time being, taffybar's frequently asked questions page lives in this github issue.


Taffybar desperately needs contributors. If you want to help, but don't know where to get started you can check out our "help wanted" and "easy" labels:

Help Wanted Help Wanted

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the taffybar README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.