Best slstatus Configuration

By Firas Khalil Khana on 24/04/2017

In this article I’ll show you how to setup and configure slstatus the lightest status bar to use with dwm.

1- Installation

I highly recommend installing the source files for slstatus from github and compiling it from source. The official repos for Gentoo Linux and Arch Linux don’t have slstatus (as far as I know); however, Void Linux seems to have it, but I don’t recommend installing from the repos since it’ll only worsen matters when trying to configure it. If you still want to download it from Void Linux’s repos and managed to get to the configuration file, then execute the following:

Void Linux:

xbps-install -S slstatus

What I recommend is doing this instead. Navigate to your home directory (any directory is fine but keep track of the directory you’re using), and clone slstatus’s github repo:

cd ~ && git clone

2- Configuration

Navigate to your freshly cloned directory:

cd ~/slstatus

Now edit the file config.h with your beloved editor:

vim ~/slstatus/config.def.h

Due to lack of documentation available, you may find it hard to get everything working the way you like it, but I’ve been lucky enough to get mine working after the 20th try or so (not kidding :P). Here’s my configuration file:

/* See LICENSE file for copyright and license details. */

/* interval between updates (in ms) */
/* default is 1000 */
static const int interval = 100;

/* text to show if no value can be retrieved */
static const char unknown_str[] = "n/a";

/* maximum output string length */
/* default is 2048 */
#define MAXLEN 256

 * function             description                     argument
 * battery_perc         battery percentage              battery name
 * battery_power        battery power usage             battery name
 * battery_state        battery charging state          battery name
 * cpu_perc             cpu usage in percent            NULL
 * cpu_freq             cpu frequency in MHz            NULL
 * datetime             date and time                   format string
 * disk_free            free disk space in GB           mountpoint path
 * disk_perc            disk usage in percent           mountpoint path
 * disk_total           total disk space in GB          mountpoint path
 * disk_used            used disk space in GB           mountpoint path
 * entropy              available entropy               NULL
 * gid                  GID of current user             NULL
 * hostname             hostname                        NULL
 * ipv4                 IPv4 address                    interface name
 * ipv6                 IPv6 address                    interface name
 * kernel_release       `uname -r`                      NULL
 * keyboard_indicators  caps/num lock indicators        NULL
 * load_avg             load average                    NULL
 * num_files            number of files in a directory  path
 * ram_free             free memory in GB               NULL
 * ram_perc             memory usage in percent         NULL
 * ram_total            total memory size in GB         NULL
 * ram_used             used memory in GB               NULL
 * run_command          custom shell command            command
 * swap_free            free swap in GB                 NULL
 * swap_perc            swap usage in percent           NULL
 * swap_total           total swap size in GB           NULL
 * swap_used            used swap in GB                 NULL
 * temp                 temperature in degree celsius   sensor file
 * uid                  UID of current user             NULL
 * uptime               system uptime                   NULL
 * username             username of current user        NULL
 * vol_perc             OSS/ALSA volume in percent      "/dev/mixer"
 * wifi_perc            WiFi signal in percent          interface name
 * wifi_essid           WiFi ESSID                      interface name
static const struct arg args[] = {
	/* function format          argument */
	{ temp, "[TEMP %sC] ", "/sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp" },
	{ cpu_perc, "[CPU %s%] ", NULL },
	{ ram_perc, "[RAM %s%] ", NULL },
	{ vol_perc, "[VOL %s%] ", "/dev/mixer1" },
	{ battery_perc, "[BAT %s%] ", "BAT0" },
	{ ipv4, "[IP %s] ", "wlp3s0" },
	{ datetime, "[%s]", "%F %r" },

If you were facing problems getting vol_perc working, then you may be specifying the wrong mixer as an argument. You see on laptops or any other setup that uses 2 sound cards (PCH,HDMI), you’ll get 2 mixers in /dev the first being mixer and the second being mixer1.
If so, simply use this instead:

{ vol_perc, "[VOL %s] ", "/dev/mixer1"},

3- Starting slstatus

After configuring slstatus, we now have to start it. To do that add the following to your .xinitrc:

slstatus -d




If there is no /dev/mixer on your system and you use ALSA, it means you have to load the OSS compatibility module by issuing:$ modprobe snd-pcm-oss

That will fix your problem with the vol_perc() function!

Regards, Aaron aka drkhsh, creator of slstatus ;)



@drkhsh, it’s a pleasure to have you on the website Aaron. Yup slstatus is something you should be proud of, it’s the best statusbar to ever exist… The documentation is a little bit lacking though so you might want to look into that ;D

Thanks a ton for the suggestion; however, all my modules are built in and I’ve disabled loading modules support for now so “modprobe” won’t work for me.

I found another way to get the mixers to show in /dev, that is by enabling CONFIG_SOUND_OSS_CORE_PRECLAIM, and then specifying /dev/mixer1 instead of /dev/mixer which seems to have fixed the problem (at least on my end).

I’ve updated the article accordingly.



@DOTSLASHLINUX, Thank you very much. I am very proud the someone actually uses my statusbar! :) I will have a look in the documentation! What exactly is lacking? I am happy that you found a solution!



@drkhsh, you’re most welcome. Well it wouldn’t hurt to have an example under each function that can be uncommented to easily use it or something similar.

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