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TL;DR I'm attempting to locate the system files/variables responsible for drawing the menu bar in Sierra so that I can tweak the color and opacity, and would love any information you might have on the subject.

My goal is to ultimately change the background color to an opaque black in the style of the obisidan menu bar hack, which works on Mavericks and lower: obsidian menu bar

In the past, the resource files that held the bar's configuration exited in SArtfile.bin files. These have been done away with in favor of Resource.car files, the relevant ones housed in /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemAppearance.bundle/Contents/Resources.

I've messed with these via ThemeEngine to remove the stoplights in title bars and change various other system icons and colors. It seems that the only thing that these files do for the menu bar is provide it it's logo, which I've been able to change successfully:

modified apple logo

Unfortunately, the logo is the only menu bar resource provided by these .car files, unlike their older counterpart the SArtfiles. This means Apple changed the way they draw the menu bar in a way that makes it harder to modify. Along with searching the .car files, I've checked various plists and the defaults command and have found nothing at all relating to the menu bar.

I am aware of programs like Flavours 2 which tweak the menu bar by overlaying graphics, but that's a terrible hack that breaks pretty often. I want to change the color of the menu bar itself rather than pretending that a different program is the menu bar. As far as I know, this hasn't been done before in anything including and past Yosemite.

Does apple or any book document the code that performs this function?

  • While I have the same question as you and no answer aswell, can you please elaborate how exactly you have changed the menu bar logo? Since I am not able to reengineer it myself. Sorry, my reputation is to low to comment so I had to write an "answer" – Tornardo Jul 1 '18 at 11:54
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    Code level questions are off topic here and reverse engineering of API and frameworks is really solidly in that category. This is a great question - you have edited the text for clarity, provided relevant pictures and more. I've tried to take this away from "let's discuss this without asking for a specific answer" into "is this documented to see if we can keep this on-topic by making it a recommendation question. We'll need to work on in Ask Different Meta if this is on-topic even as a recommendation. – bmike Jul 1 '18 at 12:42

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