Arch manual pages

BSPWM(1) Bspwm Manual BSPWM(1)

bspwm - Binary space partitioning window manager

bspwm [-h|-v|-c CONFIG_PATH]

bspc DOMAIN [SELECTOR] COMMANDS

bspc COMMAND [OPTIONS] [ARGUMENTS]

bspwm is a tiling window manager that represents windows as the leaves of a full binary tree.

It is controlled and configured via bspc.

-h
Print the synopsis and exit.

-v

Print the version and exit.

-c CONFIG_PATH

Use the given configuration file.

DIR         := north | west | south | east
CYCLE_DIR   := next | prev

Selectors are used to select a target node, desktop, or monitor. A selector can either describe the target relatively or name it globally.

Selectors consist of an optional reference, a descriptor and any number of non-conflicting modifiers as follows:

[REFERENCE#]DESCRIPTOR(.MODIFIER)*

The relative targets are computed in relation to the given reference (the default reference value is focused).

An exclamation mark can be prepended to any modifier in order to reverse its meaning.

The following characters cannot be used in monitor or desktop names: #, :, ..

The special selector %<name> can be used to select a monitor or a desktop with an invalid name.

Select a node.

NODE_SEL := [NODE_SEL#](DIR|CYCLE_DIR|PATH|any|last|newest|
                        older|newer|focused|pointed|biggest|smallest|
                        <node_id>)[.[!]focused][.[!]active][.[!]automatic][.[!]local]
                                  [.[!]leaf][.[!]window][.[!]STATE][.[!]FLAG][.[!]LAYER]
                                  [.[!]same_class][.[!]descendant_of][.[!]ancestor_of]
STATE := tiled|pseudo_tiled|floating|fullscreen
FLAG := hidden|sticky|private|locked|marked|urgent
LAYER := below|normal|above
PATH := @[DESKTOP_SEL:][[/]JUMP](/JUMP)*
JUMP := first|1|second|2|brother|parent|DIR

Descriptors

DIR

Selects the window in the given (spacial) direction relative to the reference node.

CYCLE_DIR

Selects the window in the given (cyclic) direction relative to the reference node.

PATH

Selects the node at the given path.

any

Selects the first node that matches the given selectors.

last

Selects the previously focused node relative to the reference node.

newest

Selects the newest node in the history of the focused node.

older

Selects the node older than the reference node in the history.

newer

Selects the node newer than the reference node in the history.

focused

Selects the currently focused node.

pointed

Selects the window under the pointer.

biggest

Selects the biggest window.

smallest

Selects the smallest window.

<node_id>

Selects the node with the given ID.

Path Jumps

The initial node is the focused node (or the root if the path starts with /) of the reference desktop (or the selected desktop if the path has a DESKTOP_SEL prefix).

1|first

Jumps to the first child.

2|second

Jumps to the second child.

brother

Jumps to the brother node.

parent

Jumps to the parent node.

DIR

Jumps to the node holding the edge in the given direction.

Modifiers

[!]focused

Only consider the focused node.

[!]active

Only consider nodes that are the focused node of their desktop.

[!]automatic

Only consider nodes in automatic insertion mode. See also --presel-dir under Node in the DOMAINS section below.

[!]local

Only consider nodes in the reference desktop.

[!]leaf

Only consider leaf nodes.

[!]window

Only consider nodes that hold a window.

[!](tiled|pseudo_tiled|floating|fullscreen)

Only consider windows in the given state.

[!]same_class

Only consider windows that have the same class as the reference window.

[!]descendant_of

Only consider nodes that are descendants of the reference node.

[!]ancestor_of

Only consider nodes that are ancestors of the reference node.

[!](hidden|sticky|private|locked|marked|urgent)

Only consider windows that have the given flag set.

[!](below|normal|above)

Only consider windows in the given layer.

Select a desktop.

DESKTOP_SEL := [DESKTOP_SEL#](CYCLE_DIR|any|last|newest|older|newer|
                              [MONITOR_SEL:](focused|^<n>)|
                              <desktop_id>|<desktop_name>)[.[!]focused][.[!]active]
                                                          [.[!]occupied][.[!]urgent][.[!]local]

Descriptors

CYCLE_DIR

Selects the desktop in the given direction relative to the reference desktop.

any

Selects the first desktop that matches the given selectors.

last

Selects the previously focused desktop relative to the reference desktop.

newest

Selects the newest desktop in the history of the focused desktops.

older

Selects the desktop older than the reference desktop in the history.

newer

Selects the desktop newer than the reference desktop in the history.

focused

Selects the currently focused desktop.

^<n>

Selects the nth desktop. If MONITOR_SEL is given, selects the nth desktop on the selected monitor.

<desktop_id>

Selects the desktop with the given ID.

<desktop_name>

Selects the desktop with the given name.

Modifiers

[!]focused

Only consider the focused desktop.

[!]active

Only consider desktops that are the focused desktop of their monitor.

[!]occupied

Only consider occupied desktops.

[!]urgent

Only consider urgent desktops.

[!]local

Only consider desktops inside the reference monitor.

Select a monitor.

MONITOR_SEL := [MONITOR_SEL#](DIR|CYCLE_DIR|any|last|newest|older|newer|
                              focused|pointed|primary|^<n>|
                              <monitor_id>|<monitor_name>)[.[!]focused][.[!]occupied]

Descriptors

DIR

Selects the monitor in the given (spacial) direction relative to the reference monitor.

CYCLE_DIR

Selects the monitor in the given (cyclic) direction relative to the reference monitor.

any

Selects the first monitor that matches the given selectors.

last

Selects the previously focused monitor relative to the reference monitor.

newest

Selects the newest monitor in the history of the focused monitors.

older

Selects the monitor older than the reference monitor in the history.

newer

Selects the monitor newer than the reference monitor in the history.

focused

Selects the currently focused monitor.

pointed

Selects the monitor under the pointer.

primary

Selects the primary monitor.

^<n>

Selects the nth monitor.

<monitor_id>

Selects the monitor with the given ID.

<monitor_name>

Selects the monitor with the given name.

Modifiers

[!]focused

Only consider the focused monitor.

[!]occupied

Only consider monitors where the focused desktop is occupied.

tiled
Its size and position are determined by the window tree.

pseudo_tiled

A tiled window that automatically shrinks but doesn’t stretch beyond its floating size.

floating

Can be moved/resized freely. Although it doesn’t use any tiling space, it is still part of the window tree.

fullscreen

Fills its monitor rectangle and has no borders.

hidden
Is hidden and doesn’t occupy any tiling space.

sticky

Stays in the focused desktop of its monitor.

private

Tries to keep the same tiling position/size.

locked

Ignores the node --close message.

marked

Is marked (useful for deferred actions). A marked node becomes unmarked after being sent on a preselected node.

urgent

Has its urgency hint set. This flag is set externally.

There’s three stacking layers: BELOW, NORMAL and ABOVE.

In each layer, the window are orderered as follow: tiled & pseudo-tiled < floating < fullscreen.

A leaf node that doesn’t hold any window is called a receptacle. When a node is inserted on a receptacle in automatic mode, it will replace the receptacle. A receptacle can be inserted on a node, preselected and killed. Receptacles can therefore be used to build a tree whose leaves are receptacles. Using the appropriate rules, one can then send windows on the leaves of this tree. This feature is used in examples/receptacles to store and recreate layouts.

General Syntax

node [NODE_SEL] COMMANDS

If NODE_SEL is omitted, focused is assumed.

Commands

-f, --focus [NODE_SEL]

Focus the selected or given node.

-a, --activate [NODE_SEL]

Activate the selected or given node.

-d, --to-desktop DESKTOP_SEL [--follow]

Send the selected node to the given desktop. If --follow is passed, the focused node will stay focused.

-m, --to-monitor MONITOR_SEL [--follow]

Send the selected node to the given monitor. If --follow is passed, the focused node will stay focused.

-n, --to-node NODE_SEL [--follow]

Send the selected node on the given node. If --follow is passed, the focused node will stay focused.

-s, --swap NODE_SEL [--follow]

Swap the selected node with the given node. If --follow is passed, the focused node will stay focused.

-p, --presel-dir [~]DIR|cancel

Preselect the splitting area of the selected node (or cancel the preselection). If ~ is prepended to DIR and the current preselection direction matches DIR, then the argument is interpreted as cancel. A node with a preselected area is said to be in "manual insertion mode".

-o, --presel-ratio RATIO

Set the splitting ratio of the preselection area.

-v, --move dx dy

Move the selected window by dx pixels horizontally and dy pixels vertically.

-z, --resize top|left|bottom|right|top_left|top_right|bottom_right|bottom_left dx dy

Resize the selected window by moving the given handle by dx pixels horizontally and dy pixels vertically.

-r, --ratio RATIO|(+|-)(PIXELS|FRACTION)

Set the splitting ratio of the selected node (0 < RATIO < 1).

-R, --rotate 90|270|180

Rotate the tree rooted at the selected node.

-F, --flip horizontal|vertical

Flip the the tree rooted at selected node.

-E, --equalize

Reset the split ratios of the tree rooted at the selected node to their default value.

-B, --balance

Adjust the split ratios of the tree rooted at the selected node so that all windows occupy the same area.

-C, --circulate forward|backward

Circulate the windows of the tree rooted at the selected node.

-t, --state [~](tiled|pseudo_tiled|floating|fullscreen)

Set the state of the selected window. If ~ is present and the current state matches the given state, then the argument is interpreted as the last state.

-g, --flag hidden|sticky|private|locked|marked[=on|off]

Set or toggle the given flag for the selected node.

-l, --layer below|normal|above

Set the stacking layer of the selected window.

-i, --insert-receptacle

Insert a receptacle node at the selected node.

-c, --close

Close the windows rooted at the selected node.

-k, --kill

Kill the windows rooted at the selected node.

General Syntax

desktop [DESKTOP_SEL] COMMANDS

If DESKTOP_SEL is omitted, focused is assumed.

COMMANDS

-f, --focus [DESKTOP_SEL]

Focus the selected or given desktop.

-a, --activate [DESKTOP_SEL]

Activate the selected or given desktop.

-m, --to-monitor MONITOR_SEL [--follow]

Send the selected desktop to the given monitor. If --follow is passed, the focused desktop will stay focused.

-s, --swap DESKTOP_SEL [--follow]

Swap the selected desktop with the given desktop. If --follow is passed, the focused desktop will stay focused.

-l, --layout CYCLE_DIR|monocle|tiled

Set or cycle the layout of the selected desktop.

-n, --rename <new_name>

Rename the selected desktop.

-b, --bubble CYCLE_DIR

Bubble the selected desktop in the given direction.

-r, --remove

Remove the selected desktop.

General Syntax

monitor [MONITOR_SEL] COMMANDS

If MONITOR_SEL is omitted, focused is assumed.

Commands

-f, --focus [MONITOR_SEL]

Focus the selected or given monitor.

-s, --swap MONITOR_SEL

Swap the selected monitor with the given monitor.

-a, --add-desktops <name>...

Create desktops with the given names in the selected monitor.

-o, --reorder-desktops <name>...

Reorder the desktops of the selected monitor to match the given order.

-d, --reset-desktops <name>...

Rename, add or remove desktops depending on whether the number of given names is equal, superior or inferior to the number of existing desktops.

-g, --rectangle WxH+X+Y

Set the rectangle of the selected monitor.

-n, --rename <new_name>

Rename the selected monitor.

-r, --remove

Remove the selected monitor.

General Syntax

query COMMANDS [OPTIONS]

Commands

The optional selectors are references.

-N, --nodes [NODE_SEL]

List the IDs of the matching nodes.

-D, --desktops [DESKTOP_SEL]

List the IDs (or names) of the matching desktops.

-M, --monitors [MONITOR_SEL]

List the IDs (or names) of the matching monitors.

-T, --tree

Print a JSON representation of the matching item.

Options

-m,--monitor [MONITOR_SEL], -d,--desktop [DESKTOP_SEL], -n, --node [NODE_SEL]

Constrain matches to the selected monitor, desktop or node. The descriptor can be omitted for -M, -D and -N.

--names

Print names instead of IDs. Can only be used with -M and -D.

General Syntax

wm COMMANDS

Commands

-d, --dump-state

Dump the current world state on standard output.

-l, --load-state <file_path>

Load a world state from the given file. The path must be absolute.

-a, --add-monitor <name> WxH+X+Y

Add a monitor for the given name and rectangle.

-O, --reorder-monitors <name>...

Reorder the list of monitors to match the given order.

-o, --adopt-orphans

Manage all the unmanaged windows remaining from a previous session.

-h, --record-history on|off

Enable or disable the recording of node focus history.

-g, --get-status

Print the current status information.

-r, --restart

Restart the window manager

General Syntax

rule COMMANDS

Commands

-a, --add (<class_name>|*)[:(<instance_name>|*)] [-o|--one-shot] [monitor=MONITOR_SEL|desktop=DESKTOP_SEL|node=NODE_SEL] [state=STATE] [layer=LAYER] [split_dir=DIR] [split_ratio=RATIO] [(hidden|sticky|private|locked|marked|center|follow|manage|focus|border)=(on|off)] [rectangle=WxH+X+Y]

Create a new rule.

-r, --remove ^<n>|head|tail|(<class_name>|*)[:(<instance_name>|*)]...

Remove the given rules.

-l, --list

List the rules.

General Syntax

config [-m MONITOR_SEL|-d DESKTOP_SEL|-n NODE_SEL] <setting> [<value>]

Get or set the value of <setting>.

General Syntax

subscribe [OPTIONS] (all|report|monitor|desktop|node|...)*

Continuously print events. See the EVENTS section for the description of each event.

Options

-f, --fifo

Print a path to a FIFO from which events can be read and return.

-c, --count COUNT

Stop the corresponding bspc process after having received COUNT events.

General Syntax

quit [<status>]

Quit with an optional exit status.

If the server can’t handle a message, bspc will return with a non-zero exit code.

Colors are in the form #RRGGBB, booleans are true, on, false or off.

All the boolean settings are false by default unless stated otherwise.

normal_border_color
Color of the border of an unfocused window.

active_border_color

Color of the border of a focused window of an unfocused monitor.

focused_border_color

Color of the border of a focused window of a focused monitor.

presel_feedback_color

Color of the node --presel-{dir,ratio} message feedback area.

split_ratio

Default split ratio.

status_prefix

Prefix prepended to each of the status lines.

external_rules_command

Absolute path to the command used to retrieve rule consequences. The command will receive the following arguments: window ID, class name, instance name, and intermediate consequences. The output of that command must have the following format: key1=value1 key2=value2 ... (the valid key/value pairs are given in the description of the rule command).

automatic_scheme

The insertion scheme used when the insertion point is in automatic mode. Accept the following values: longest_side, alternate, spiral.

initial_polarity

On which child should a new window be attached when adding a window on a single window tree in automatic mode. Accept the following values: first_child, second_child.

directional_focus_tightness

The tightness of the algorithm used to decide whether a window is on the DIR side of another window. Accept the following values: high, low.

removal_adjustment

Adjust the brother when unlinking a node from the tree in accordance with the automatic insertion scheme.

presel_feedback

Draw the preselection feedback area. Defaults to true.

borderless_monocle

Remove borders of tiled windows for the monocle desktop layout.

gapless_monocle

Remove gaps of tiled windows for the monocle desktop layout.

top_monocle_padding, right_monocle_padding, bottom_monocle_padding, left_monocle_padding

Padding space added at the sides of the screen for the monocle desktop layout.

single_monocle

Set the desktop layout to monocle if there’s only one tiled window in the tree.

pointer_motion_interval

The minimum interval, in milliseconds, between two motion notify events.

pointer_modifier

Keyboard modifier used for moving or resizing windows. Accept the following values: shift, control, lock, mod1, mod2, mod3, mod4, mod5.

pointer_action1, pointer_action2, pointer_action3

Action performed when pressing pointer_modifier + button<n>. Accept the following values: move, resize_side, resize_corner, focus, none.

click_to_focus

Button used for focusing a window (or a monitor). The possible values are: button1, button2, button3, any, none. Defaults to button1.

swallow_first_click

Don’t replay the click that makes a window focused if click_to_focus isn’t none.

focus_follows_pointer

Focus the window under the pointer.

pointer_follows_focus

When focusing a window, put the pointer at its center.

pointer_follows_monitor

When focusing a monitor, put the pointer at its center.

mapping_events_count

Handle the next mapping_events_count mapping notify events. A negative value implies that every event needs to be handled.

ignore_ewmh_focus

Ignore EWMH focus requests coming from applications.

ignore_ewmh_fullscreen

Block the fullscreen state transitions that originate from an EWMH request. The possible values are: none, all, or a comma separated list of the following values: enter, exit.

ignore_ewmh_struts

BIgnore strut hinting from clients requesting to reserve space (i.e. task bars).

center_pseudo_tiled

Center pseudo tiled windows into their tiling rectangles. Defaults to true.

honor_size_hints

Apply ICCCM window size hints.

remove_disabled_monitors

Consider disabled monitors as disconnected.

remove_unplugged_monitors

Remove unplugged monitors.

merge_overlapping_monitors

Merge overlapping monitors (the bigger remains).

top_padding, right_padding, bottom_padding, left_padding
Padding space added at the sides of the monitor or desktop.

window_gap
Size of the gap that separates windows.

border_width
Window border width.

click_to_focus
Focus the window (or the monitor) under the pointer if the value isn’t none.

pointer_modifier + button1

Move the window under the pointer.

pointer_modifier + button2

Resize the window under the pointer by dragging the nearest side.

pointer_modifier + button3

Resize the window under the pointer by dragging the nearest corner.

The behavior of pointer_modifier + button<n> can be modified through the pointer_action<n> setting.

report
See the next section for the description of the format.

monitor_add <monitor_id> <monitor_name> <monitor_geometry>

A monitor is added.

monitor_rename <monitor_id> <old_name> <new_name>

A monitor is renamed.

monitor_remove <monitor_id>

A monitor is removed.

monitor_swap <src_monitor_id> <dst_monitor_id>

A monitor is swapped.

monitor_focus <monitor_id>

A monitor is focused.

monitor_geometry <monitor_id> <monitor_geometry>

The geometry of a monitor changed.

desktop_add <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <desktop_name>

A desktop is added.

desktop_rename <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <old_name> <new_name>

A desktop is renamed.

desktop_remove <monitor_id> <desktop_id>

A desktop is removed.

desktop_swap <src_monitor_id> <src_desktop_id> <dst_monitor_id> <dst_desktop_id>

A desktop is swapped.

desktop_transfer <src_monitor_id> <src_desktop_id> <dst_monitor_id>

A desktop is transferred.

desktop_focus <monitor_id> <desktop_id>

A desktop is focused.

desktop_activate <monitor_id> <desktop_id>

A desktop is activated.

desktop_layout <monitor_id> <desktop_id> tiled|monocle

The layout of a desktop changed.

node_add <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <ip_id> <node_id>

A node is added.

node_remove <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <node_id>

A node is removed.

node_swap <src_monitor_id> <src_desktop_id> <src_node_id> <dst_monitor_id> <dst_desktop_id> <dst_node_id>

A node is swapped.

node_transfer <src_monitor_id> <src_desktop_id> <src_node_id> <dst_monitor_id> <dst_desktop_id> <dst_node_id>

A node is transferred.

node_focus <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <node_id>

A node is focused.

node_activate <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <node_id>

A node is activated.

node_presel <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <node_id> (dir DIR|ratio RATIO|cancel)

A node is preselected.

node_stack <node_id_1> below|above <node_id_2>

A node is stacked below or above another node.

node_geometry <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <node_id> <node_geometry>

The geometry of a window changed.

node_state <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <node_id> tiled|pseudo_tiled|floating|fullscreen on|off

The state of a window changed.

node_flag <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <node_id> hidden|sticky|private|locked|marked|urgent on|off

One of the flags of a node changed.

node_layer <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <node_id> below|normal|above

The layer of a window changed.

pointer_action <monitor_id> <desktop_id> <node_id> move|resize_corner|resize_side begin|end

A pointer action occured.

Please note that bspwm initializes monitors before it reads messages on its socket, therefore the initial monitor events can’t be received.

Each report event message is composed of items separated by colons.

Each item has the form <type><value> where <type> is the first character of the item.

M<monitor_name>

Focused monitor.

m<monitor_name>

Unfocused monitor.

O<desktop_name>

Occupied focused desktop.

o<desktop_name>

Occupied unfocused desktop.

F<desktop_name>

Free focused desktop.

f<desktop_name>

Free unfocused desktop.

U<desktop_name>

Urgent focused desktop.

u<desktop_name>

Urgent unfocused desktop.

L(T|M)

Layout of the focused desktop of a monitor.

T(T|P|F|=|@)

State of the focused node of a focused desktop.

G(S?P?L?)

Active flags of the focused node of a focused desktop.

BSPWM_SOCKET
The path of the socket used for the communication between bspc and bspwm. If it isn’t defined, then the following path is used: /tmp/bspwm<host_name>_<display_number>_<screen_number>-socket.

•Steven Allen <steven at stebalien.com>

•Thomas Adam <thomas at xteddy.org>

•Ivan Kanakarakis <ivan.kanak at gmail.com>

Bastien Dejean <nihilhill at gmail.com>
02/24/2019 Bspwm 0.9.7