2 unstable releases

0.3.0 Aug 1, 2021
0.2.0 Mar 31, 2019

#282 in GUI

41 downloads per month
Used in cnx-contrib

MIT license

827 lines

Cnx — CI

A simple X11 status bar for use with simple WMs.

Cnx doesn't rely on functionality from any specific WM, instead preferring to get its data from generic properties defined in EWMH. If your WM implements enough of EWMH, it should work with Cnx.

screenshot of cnx


Cnx is written to be customisable, simple and fast.

Where possible, it prefers to asynchronously wait for changes in the underlying data sources (and uses tokio to achieve this), rather than periodically calling out to external programs.

There are currently these widgets available:

  • Active Window Title — Shows the title (EWMH's _NET_WM_NAME) for the currently focused window (EWMH's _NEW_ACTIVE_WINDOW).
  • Pager — Shows the WM's workspaces/groups, highlighting whichever is currently active. (Uses EWMH's _NET_DESKTOP_NAMES, _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS and _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP).
  • Clock — Shows the time.

The cnx-contrib crate contains additional widgets:

  • Sensors — Periodically parses and displays the output of the sensors provided by the system.
  • Volume - Shows the current volume/mute status of the default output device.
  • Battery - Shows the remaining battery and charge status.
  • Wireless - Shows the wireless strength of your current network.
  • CPU - Shows the current CPU consumption
  • Weather - Shows the Weather information of your location
  • Disk Usage - Show the current usage of your monted filesystem

The [Sensors], [Volume] and [Battery] widgets require platform support. They currently support Linux (see dependencies below) and OpenBSD. Support for additional platforms should be possible.

How to use

Cnx is a library that allows you to make your own status bar.

In normal usage, you will create a new binary project that relies on the cnx crate, and customize it through options passed to the main Cnx object and its widgets. (It's inspired by QTile and dwm, in that the configuration is done entirely in code, allowing greater extensibility without needing complex configuration handling).

An simple example of a binary using Cnx is:

use cnx::text::*;
use cnx::widgets::*;
use cnx::{Cnx, Position};

fn main() -> Result<()> {
    let attr = Attributes {
        font: Font::new("Envy Code R 21"),
        fg_color: Color::white(),
        bg_color: None,
        padding: Padding::new(8.0, 8.0, 0.0, 0.0),

    let mut cnx = Cnx::new(Position::Top);


A more complex example is given in src/bin/cnx.rs alongside the project. (This is the default [bin] target for the crate, so you could use it by either executing cargo run from the crate root, or even running cargo install cnx; cnx. However, neither of these are recommended as options for customizing Cnx are then limited).

Before running Cnx, you'll need to make sure your system has the required dependencies.


In addition to the Rust dependencies in Cargo.toml, Cnx also depends on these system libraries:

  • x11-xcb
  • xcb-util: xcb-ewmh / xcb-icccm / xcb-keysyms
  • pango
  • cairo
  • pangocairo

The following Ubuntu packages should allow your system to meet these requirements:

apt-get install libx11-xcb-dev libxcb-ewmh-dev libpango1.0-dev libcairo2-dev

If the volume feature is enabled (and it is by default), you will also need alsa-lib on Linux:

apt-get install libasound2-dev

If the wireless feature is enabled (and it is not by default), you will also need iwlib-dev on Linux:

apt install libiw-dev


Unfortunately there aren't many. You can run what's here with:

cargo test




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