Bar, Panels, Conky, Notifications - Desktop Customization & Workflow
venam
Hello nixers,
In this thread we'll share how we check on our system state. Things that matter to us and that we want to keep in front of our eyes.

Some are minimalist and avoid bars and panels, only relying on their terminals. That's fine we want to know about it too, are you using /sys/ on linux to check the battery state, or cpu state, are you using /proc/?

Are you relying on a specific bar or panel, which one, is it customized, do you have specific modules you personally wrote?

Do you have a launcher dock where you've also added notifications?

What notification system complements all this?

Previous related topic: https://nixers.net/showthread.php?tid=117



Personally, I use a combination of command line tools and dunst for notifications. I find myself doing `watch` command showing me the battery status whenever I'm not plugged in and I pin the terminal window to be over others and on all desktop. As for the time and date it's shown in tmux usually. And I manually check memory with top or htop.

However, as I'm taking my laptop out more I find that it would be useful to have, at least, the battery status in plain sight with a warning sign whenever it gets too low.

So nixers, what bars, panels, conky, and system notifications are you using and why?
pyratebeard
In the past I have used an extremely detailed conky to view system stats, then when I moved to awesomewm I used the default bar to view cpu, network, and memory information.

Now I don't have a bar at all. The only notification I have configured is for the battery, it displays at 50%, 30%, then less than 10%. This is achieved with a script checking the percentage from acpi output and notifications are done with dunst.

For anything else I would use the terminal.
venam
(05-03-2019, 06:23 AM)pyratebeard Wrote: Now I don't have a bar at all. The only notification I have configured is for the battery, it displays at 50%, 30%, then less than 10%.
This is actually a genius idea that I've never thought about. It doesn't really matter the exact battery percentage but only if it's starting to drop significantly.

EDIT: The script is probably simple but sharing is caring.
pyratebeard
(05-03-2019, 06:41 AM)venam Wrote: EDIT: The script is probably simple but sharing is caring.

check-battery.sh

There is probably a much nicer way of doing this, any suggestions are welcome.
mort
I've been using Polybar for a while, with a relatively default-looking setup:

I'm not extremely happy with that setup for a couple of reasons:
  • The icon font polybar uses by default, Wuncon Siji, is a bitmap font and doesn't work nicely with high DPI.
  • Its widgets aren't really interactive; it would've been useful to have a widget which I can use to adjust volume or brightness with my touch screen.
  • The i3wm integration doesn't work exactly as I would like it to.
I've started a project, called webbar, which is a webkit-based status bar with widgets written in javascript (using Preact). It's not done yet, but it's not that far off:

What's missing for me to switch over to it as my main bar is mainly:
  • A widget which connects to i3wm's socket and shows information about workspaces
  • A volume widget and a backlight brightness widget
  • Better multi-monitor support
My laptop is one of those 2-in-1 laptops, so there are times when I don't have a keyboard in front of me if I'm doing web browsing or watching videos or whatever. That makes it useful to be able to change volume and backlight brightness by just dragging a slider on the screen. The most obvious place to put such sliders would be the status bar, because that's always visible anyways.

As for the information I like to keep in my bar:
  • Since I'm on a laptop, often on battery, it's useful to know what my CPU usage is. If it's suspiciously high, I can find whatever firefox tab is using a lot of power and make sure to close it.
  • Again, since I'm on a laptop, it's useful to see what WiFi network I'm connected to; the laptop might connect to some shitty wifi network in the area instead of a decent one.
  • For obvious reasons, it's useful to have the battery level and date/time readily available.
  • Seeing the volume level is useful, mostly to make sure it's muted whenever I'm in a situation where making sound would be undesirable.
My widgets look like this, which I think is fairly neat: https://github.com/mortie/webbar/blob/ma...widgets.js

For notifications, I use dunst, but I don't have any cool scripts which notify me. I should probably make one which checks my battery level and notifies me when it gets low.
pyratebeard
I improved the script I posted above and included the systemd service on github. PRs welcome.
venam
(05-03-2019, 11:13 AM)pyratebeard Wrote: I improved the script I posted above and included the systemd service on github. PRs welcome.

Fantastic, thanks for sharing this will save time instead of having to rewrite it.
I'll give it a try and report back.
venam
I noticed a race condition in your script. The timer runs every one minute and check for an exact value.

However, that assumes the battery percentage will stay at least 1min to coincide exactly with the 1min timer of the daemon.
Also, it's showing notifications even when the state is charging.

I'm not sure if my explanation of the issue is good enough.

I'll try to come up with a good PR.
pyratebeard
(06-03-2019, 02:03 PM)venam Wrote: Also, it's showing notifications even when the state is charging.

I hadn't noticed that, cheers. I'll try and look at a fix.

(06-03-2019, 02:03 PM)venam Wrote: Also, it's showing notifications even when the state is charging.

Strange, it doesn't for me. I may have missed something when I quickly re-wrote it.

**EDIT: I know what happened... originally I was using the output of `acpi` to check if the batt was discharging, and then get the percentage. I changed it to use the capacity file under /proc/ as I thought it would be cleaner. Didn't think to check the discharging bit again! I'll fix that.
venam
(06-03-2019, 03:43 PM)pyratebeard Wrote: I hadn't noticed that, cheers. I'll try and look at a fix.
I've updated the script and did a pull request.
It now suspends when the battery capacity is less than 10% and you haven't connected the charger within 10s.
It keeps track of the state within a file, like that race conditions are avoided and the notification always shows even when it didn't exactly fit in the range.




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