BitBar Lets You Put Anything in Your Mac’s Menu Bar

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BitBar is an open-source menu bar app with a rich library of plug-ins that are easy to adapt to your needs. Don’t see what you want? You can even create your own plug-ins!


BitBar is nice, but as far as I can tell, it’s no longer being developed.

A newer alternative is TextBar which does similar things, and the developer has been very open to ideas and suggestions.

It is definitely nice to be able to output shell commands to your menu bar. I have one which shows me a better indication of Time Machine’s status and progress, my git repos, and various bits of system information including the SSID that I am connected to and whether or not my VPN is active.

I looked at BitBar’s GitHub. The last commit was a year ago and the developer is still responding to concerns, so I don’t think it’s dead, just not frequently updated. I’ll check out TextBar, but I like the fact that BitBar is open source.


It sounds like an interesting idea, but I am leery of having an app that adds yet more stuff to my menubar. I use Bartender, but I still have a lot of items up there. What would be useful is a menubar dropdown for apps that are in the menu bar. I could group my items into discreet groups and call on them as I need them. I have something in the recesses of my mind that is telling me Butler can do that. I’ll have to check.

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Both of these sound like fun. Will check them out.

Type: curl should be curl (r not o).

I had recently found this so recognized the error.

While we’re on the subject you add cities, airport codes and zip codes curl and curl for example.

BTW I aliased it to wea.

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"I am looking for a Swift developer who lost their job because of the pandemic. BitBar is too good to go stale, and I don’t have the time to learn Swift and rebuild the project.

If you can recommend somebody, please tweet me @matryer.

Let’s see if we can breathe some life into this project."

I installed using brew and the app was last updated in 2016. Maybe he has later versions but he is falling behind.

Thanks for the post, was interesting. I may have menu bar room on my 27" iMac but not my 15" MBP.

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It seems to run in High Sierra OK.

My favourite date command: date ‘+%F %H:%M’ This is the format I name files that I want to sort by Year-Month-Day and Time. Soon in Bitbar here.

Out of the menu bar option, how does it compare to the old faithful Platypus ?

Wow. Looks great. I use GeekTool to show some command line outputs on the Desktop. But BitBar looks much more interactive.

Check out Custom Menu 3 here.

Ack, thanks! I’ve fixed that. You can also do curl for some fancy graphs, and there is a “man page” of sorts.

I’m hoping the extra attention might give the project a boost. In any case it’s free to use and still works.

@Apple2_Plus thank you for the reference to Custom Menu 3. I went to the App Store and bought it. Now I’m learning how best to use it. A little ruff edges but they are mine, not the app’s lol. Good addition.

I’ve been using MKConsole for years to show my latest system log file output on my desktop. It’s very simple and it does well what it’s supposed to. Despite being so old it still receives updates by the dev, like 64 bit for Catalina. :slight_smile:

Thanks, @jcenters, for the heads up about BitBar! I haven’t written any code in years, but your post motivated me to try to write a bash/awk script to put the weather forecast in my menu bar. I saw you had such a script for Linux (which I don’t use) and I got a few ideas from there and then went my own way, basing my script on Open Weather Map’s API, which is free. I wasn’t ever an awk coder, but I pick up languages easily and it’s been fun to learn. It’s still a work in progress.