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FvwmAuto - Man Page

the fvwm auto-raise module


Module FvwmAuto Timeout [-passid] [-menter|-menterleave|-mfocus] [EnterCommand [LeaveCommand]]

FvwmAuto can only be invoked by fvwm. Command line invocation of the FvwmAuto will not work.


The FvwmAuto module is most often used to automatically raise focused windows.


The correct syntax is:

Module FvwmAuto Timeout [-passid] [-menter|-menterleave|-mfocus] [EnterCommand [LeaveCommand]]

AddToMenu Modules
+ "Auto Raise (300 ms)"  Module FvwmAuto 300
+ "Auto Raise/Lower"     Module FvwmAuto 300 "Silent Raise" "Silent Lower"

The Timeout argument is required. It specifies how long a window must retain the keyboard input focus before the command is executed. The delay is measured in milliseconds, and any integer greater than zero is valid.

If the literal option -passid is given, the window id of the window just entered or left is appended to the command that is sent to fvwm.  This can be used with the WindowId command of fvwm.

The options -menter, -menterleave and -mfocus influence the actions FvwmAuto reacts to.  No more than one of the options can be chosen.  In -mfocus mode, FvwmAuto raises the window that has the focus.  In -menter mode, FvwmAuto raises the window under the pointer when the pointer enters a window.  The LeaveCommand is executed on the window that was below the pointer before it entered the new window.  When the pointer leaves a window and enters the root window, the EnterCommand is executed too, but without a window to operate on.  In -menterleave mode, FvwmAuto works just like in -menter mode, but the LeaveCommand is also executed if the pointer moves out of a window but does not enter a new window.  The latter two modes of operation are useful with windows that do not accept the focus.

Note: -menterleave mode can interfere with popup windows of some applications.  One example is the zoom menu of Ghostview.  Please do not complain about this to us - it is a bug in Ghostview.

EnterCommand and LeaveCommand are optional. EnterCommand is executed Timeout milliseconds after a window gets the input focus, LeaveCommand is executed Timeout milliseconds after the window has lost focus. Note that you always should use the 'Silent' keyword before the command itself.  FvwmAuto prepends "Silent " to the command string on its own if yor forget this.  Without this prefix fvwm would ask you for a window to act on if the window has died before the command sent by FvwmAuto has been processed by fvwm.  This can for example happen with popup menus.

"Silent Raise" is the default for EnterCommand, but any fvwm function is allowed. I would not use "Close" or "Destroy" with a low timeout, though.  The LeaveCommand can be handy for a tidy desktop. Experiment with:

Module FvwmAuto 0 Nop "Silent Lower"
Module FvwmAuto 0 Nop "Silent Iconify"

An example for auto raising windows with ClickToFocus:

Style * ClickToFocus
FvwmAuto 0 -menter "Silent Raise"

An example for auto raising and lowering only some windows:

To start FvwmAuto:

FvwmAuto 0 -passid -menter \
"Silent selective_raiselower raise" \
"Silent selective_raiselower lower"

And put this in your .fvwm2rc:

AddToFunc selective_raiselower
+ I WindowId $1 (FvwmIconMan) $0
+ I WindowId $1 (FvwmButtons) $0
+ I WindowId $1 (xclock) $0

More complex example (three FvwmAuto's are running):

DestroyFunc RestoreIconified
AddToFunc   RestoreIconified
+ I Current (Iconic) Iconify false

DestroyFunc RegisterFocus
AddToFunc   RegisterFocus
+ I Exec date +"%T $n focused" >>/tmp/focus-stats.txt

DestroyFunc RegisterUnfocus
AddToFunc   RegisterUnfocus
+ I Exec date +"%T $n unfocused" >>/tmp/focus-stats.txt

KillModule FvwmAuto
Module FvwmAuto 250 Raise Nop
Module FvwmAuto 800 RestoreIconified Nop
Module FvwmAuto   0 RegisterFocus RegisterUnfocus


There is a special Raise/Lower support in FvwmAuto. It was added to improve Raise/Lower callbacks, since most of FvwmAuto usages is auto-raising or auto-lowering. This improvement includes locking on M_RAISE_WINDOW and M_LOWER_WINDOW packets and not raising/lowering explicitly raised windows. The special Raise/Lower support is enabled only when either EnterCommand or LeaveCommand contain substring "Raise" or "Lower". You can use this fact to enable/disable any special support by renaming these commands, if FvwmAuto does not automatically do want you expect it to do.

Using FvwmAuto in conjunction with EdgeCommand can be even more powerful. There is a short example in the fvwm man page.


FvwmAuto just appeared one day, nobody knows how.
FvwmAuto was simply rewritten 09/96, nobody knows by whom.


19 October 2022 (2.7.0) Fvwm Modules