Generic requirements

  • Python 2.6 or later, 3.2 or later, PyPy 2.0 or later, PyPy3 2.3 or later. It is the only non-optional requirement.
  • C compiler. Required to build powerline client on linux. If it is not present then powerline will fall back to shell script or python client.
  • socat program. Required for shell variant of client which runs a bit faster than python version of the client, but still slower than C version.
  • psutil python package. Required for some segments like cpu_percent. Some segments have linux-only fallbacks for psutil functionality.
  • hglib python package and mercurial executable. Required to work with mercurial repositories.
  • pygit2 python package or git executable. Required to work with git repositories.
  • bzr python package (note: not standalone executable). Required to work with bazaar repositories.
  • pyuv python package. Required for libuv-based watcher to work.
  • i3-ipc python package. Required for i3wm bindings and segments.
  • xrandr program. Required for the multi-monitor lemonbar binding and the powerline.listers.i3wm.output_lister().


Until bazaar supports Python-3 or PyPy powerline will not support repository information when running in these interpreters.


When using pip {repository_root} directory referenced in documentation may be found using pip show powerline-status. In the output of pip show there is a line like Location: {path}, that {path} is {repository_root}. Unless it is --editable installation this is only applicable for {repository_root}/powerline/… paths: something like {repository_root}/scripts/powerline-render is not present.

When using other packages referenced paths may not exist, in this case refer to package documentation.

Pip installation

Due to a naming conflict with an unrelated project powerline is available on PyPI under the powerline-status name:

pip install powerline-status

is the preferred method because this will get the latest release. To get current development version

pip install --user git+git://

may be used. If powerline was already checked out into some directory

pip install --user --editable={path_to_powerline}

is useful, but note that in this case pip will not install powerline executable and something like

ln -s {path_to_powerline}/scripts/powerline ~/.local/bin

will have to be done (~/.local/bin should be replaced with some path present in $PATH).


If ISP blocks git protocol for some reason github also provides ssh (git+ssh:// and https (git+ protocols. git protocol should be the fastest, but least secure one though.

Fonts installation

Powerline uses several special glyphs to get the arrow effect and some custom symbols for developers. This requires having either a symbol font or a patched font installed in the system. The used application (e.g. terminal emulator) must also either be configured to use patched fonts (in some cases even support it because custom glyphs live in private use area which some applications reserve for themselves) or support fontconfig for powerline to work properly with powerline-specific glyphs.

24-bit color support may be enabled if used terminal emulator supports it (see the terminal emulator support matrix).

There are basically two ways to get powerline glyphs displayed: use PowerlineSymbols.otf font as a fallback for one of the existing fonts or install a patched font.

Patched fonts

This method is the fallback method and works for every terminal.

Download the font from powerline-fonts. If preferred font can’t be found in the powerline-fonts repo, then patching the preferred font is needed instead.

After downloading this font refer to platform-specific instructions.