bspwm man page

bspwm — Binary space partitioning window manager

Synopsis

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

bspc DOMAIN [SELECTOR] COMMANDS

Description

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

It is controlled and configured via bspc.

Options

-h
Print the synopsis and exit.
-v
Print the version and exit.
-c CONFIG_PATH
Use the given configuration file.

Common Definitions

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

Selectors

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 a descriptor and any number of non-conflicting modifiers as follows:

DESCRIPTOR(.MODIFIER)*

An exclamation mark can be prepended to certain modifiers in order to reverse their meaning.

Node

Select a node.

NODE_SEL := (<node_id>|PATH|DIR|CYCLE_DIR|last|older|newer|biggest|focused)[.[!]focused][.[!]automatic][.[!]local][.[!]leaf][.[!]STATE][.[!]FLAG][.[!]LAYER][.[!]same_class]

STATE := tiled|pseudo_tiled|floating|fullscreen

FLAG := urgent|sticky|private|locked

LAYER := below|normal|above

PATH := @[DESKTOP_SEL:][[/]JUMP](/JUMP)*

JUMP := first|1|second|2|brother|parent|DIR

Descriptors

<node_id>
Selects the node with the given ID.

PATH
Selects the node at the given path.

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

CYCLE_DIR
Selects the window in the given (cyclic) direction.

biggest
Selects the biggest window on the current desktop.

last
Selects the previously focused node.

focused
Selects the currently focused node.

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

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

Path Jumps

The initial node is the focused node (or the root if the path starts with /) of the focused 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 focused or unfocused nodes.

[!]automatic
Only consider nodes in automatic or manual insertion mode.

[!]local
Only consider nodes in or not in the current desktop.

[!]leaf
Only consider leaves or internal nodes.

[!](tiled|pseudo_tiled|floating|fullscreen)
Only consider windows in or not in the given state.

[!]same_class
Only consider windows that have or don’t have the same class as the current window.

[!](private|urgent|sticky|locked)
Only consider windows that have or don’t have the given flag set.

[!](below|normal|above)
Only consider windows in or not in the given layer.

Desktop

Select a desktop.

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

Descriptors

<desktop_name>
Selects the desktop with the given name.

^<n>
Selects the nth desktop.

CYCLE_DIR
Selects the desktop in the given direction relative to the active desktop.

last
Selects the previously focused desktop.

focused
Selects the currently focused desktop.

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

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

Modifiers

[!]occupied
Only consider occupied or free desktops.

[!]focused
Only consider focused or unfocused desktops.

[!]urgent
Only consider urgent or non urgent desktops.

[!]local
Only consider inside or outside of the current monitor.

Monitor

Select a monitor.

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

Descriptors

<monitor_name>
Selects the monitor with the given name.

^<n>
Selects the nth monitor.

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

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

primary
Selects the primary monitor.

last
Selects the previously focused monitor.

focused
Selects the currently focused monitor.

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

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

Modifiers

[!]occupied
Only consider monitors where the focused desktop is occupied or free.

[!]focused
Only consider focused or unfocused monitors.

Window States

tiled

Its size and position are determined by the splitting type and ratio of each node of its path in the window tree.

pseudo_tiled

Has an unrestricted size while being centered in its tiling space.

floating

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

fullscreen

Fills its monitor rectangle and has no borders. It is send in the ABOVE layer by default.

Node Flags

locked

Ignores the node --close message.

sticky

Stays in the focused desktop of its monitor.

private

Tries to keep the same tiling position/size.

urgent

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

Stacking Layers

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

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

Domains

Node

General Syntax

node [NODE_SEL] COMMANDS

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
Send the selected node to the given desktop.

-m, --to-monitor MONITOR_SEL
Send the selected node to the given monitor.

-n, --to-node NODE_SEL
Transplant the selected node to the given node.

-s, --swap NODE_SEL
Swap the selected node with the given node.

-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.

-o, --presel-ratio RATIO
Set the splitting ratio of the preselection area.

-r, --ratio RATIO|(+|-)PIXELS
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 locked|sticky|private[=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.

-c, --close
Close the windows rooted at the selected node.

-k, --kill
Kill the windows rooted at the selected node.

Desktop

General Syntax

desktop [DESKTOP_SEL] COMMANDS

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
Send the selected desktop to the given monitor.

-l, --layout CYCLE_DIR|monocle|tiled
Set or cycle the layout of the selected desktop.

-n, --rename <new_name>
Rename the selected desktop.

-s, --swap DESKTOP_SEL
Swap the selected desktop with the given desktop.

-b, --bubble CYCLE_DIR
Bubble the selected desktop in the given direction.

-r, --remove
Remove the selected desktop.

Monitor

General Syntax

monitor [MONITOR_SEL] COMMANDS

Commands

-f, --focus [MONITOR_SEL]
Focus the selected or given monitor.

-a, --add-desktops <name>...
Create desktops with the given names in the selected monitor.

-r, --remove-desktops <name>...
Remove desktops with the given names.

-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. Incidentally reset the settings of the existing desktops.

-g, --rectangle WxH+X+Y
Set the rectangle of the selected monitor.

-n, --rename <new_name>
Rename the selected monitor.

-s, --swap MONITOR_SEL
Swap the selected monitor with the given monitor.

Query

General Syntax

query COMMANDS [Options]

Commands

-N, --nodes
List the IDs of the matching nodes.

-D, --desktops
List the names of the matching desktops.

-M, --monitors
List the 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.

Wm

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.

-a, --add-monitor <name> WxH+X+Y
Add a monitor for the given name and rectangle.

-r, --remove-monitor <name>
Remove the monitor with the given name.

-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.

Pointer

General Syntax

pointer COMMANDS

Commands

-g, --grab focus|move|resize_side|resize_corner
Initiate the given pointer action.

-t, --track <x> <y>
Pass the pointer root coordinates for the current pointer action.

-u, --ungrab
Terminate the current pointer action.

Rule

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] [(locked|sticky|private|center|follow|manage|focus|border)=(on|off)]
Create a new rule.

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

-l, --list
List the rules.

Config

General Syntax

config [-m MONITOR_SEL|-d DESKTOP_SEL|-n NODE_SEL] <key> [<value>]
Get or set the value of <key>.

Subscribe

General Syntax

subscribe (all|report|monitor|desktop|node|...)*
Continuously print status information. See the Events section for the detailed description of each event.

Quit

General Syntax

quit [<status>]
Quit with an optional exit status.

Exit Codes

If the server can’t handle a message, bspc will return with one of the following exit codes:

1

Failure.

2

Syntax error.

3

Unknown command.

Settings

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

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

Global Settings

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

External command used to retrieve rule consequences. The command will receive the the ID of the window being processed as its first argument and the class and instance names as second and third arguments. 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).

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.

history_aware_focus

Give priority to the focus history when focusing nodes.

focus_by_distance

Base focusing on distances between windows.

borderless_monocle

Remove borders of tiled windows for the monocle desktop layout.

gapless_monocle

Remove gaps of tiled windows for the monocle desktop layout.

paddingless_monocle

Remove padding space for the monocle desktop layout.

single_monocle

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

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.

ignore_ewmh_focus

Ignore EWMH focus requests coming from applications.

center_pseudo_tiled

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

remove_disabled_monitors

Consider disabled monitors as disconnected.

remove_unplugged_monitors

Remove unplugged monitors.

merge_overlapping_monitors

Merge overlapping monitors (the bigger remains).

Monitor and Desktop Settings

top_padding, right_padding, bottom_padding, left_padding

Padding space added at the sides of the monitor or desktop.

Default, Desktop Default and Window Settings

border_width

Window border width.

Default and Desktop Settings

window_gap

Size of the gap that separates windows.

Events

report

See the next section for the description of the format.

monitor_add <monitor_name> <monitor_id> <monitor_geometry>

A monitor is added.

monitor_rename <old_name> <new_name>

A monitor is renamed.

monitor_remove <monitor_name>

A monitor is removed.

monitor_swap <src_monitor_name> <dst_monitor_name>

A monitor is swapped.

monitor_focus <monitor_name>

A monitor is focused.

monitor_geometry <monitor_name> <monitor_geometry>

The geometry of a monitor changed.

desktop_add <monitor_name> <desktop_name>

A desktop is added.

desktop_rename <monitor_name> <old_name> <new_name>

A desktop is renamed.

desktop_remove <monitor_name> <desktop_name>

A desktop is removed.

desktop_swap <src_monitor_name> <src_desktop_name> <dst_monitor_name> <dst_desktop_name>

A desktop is swapped.

desktop_transfer <src_monitor_name> <src_desktop_name> <dst_monitor_name>

A desktop is transferred.

desktop_focus <monitor_name> <desktop_name>

A desktop is focused.

desktop_activate <monitor_name> <desktop_name>

A desktop is activated.

desktop_layout <monitor_name> <desktop_name> tiled|monocle

The layout of a desktop changed.

node_manage <monitor_name> <desktop_name> <node_id> <ip_id>

A window is managed.

node_unmanage <monitor_name> <desktop_name> <node_id>

A window is unmanaged.

node_swap <src_monitor_name> <src_desktop_name> <src_node_id> <dst_monitor_name> <dst_desktop_name> <dst_node_id>

A node is swapped.

node_transfer <src_monitor_name> <src_desktop_name> <src_node_id> <dst_monitor_name> <dst_desktop_name> <dst_node_id>

A node is transferred.

node_focus <monitor_name> <desktop_name> <node_id>

A node is focused.

node_activate <monitor_name> <desktop_name> <node_id>

A node is activated.

node_presel <monitor_name> <desktop_name> <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_name> <desktop_name> <node_id> <node_geometry>

The geometry of a window changed.

node_state <monitor_name> <desktop_name> <node_id> tiled|pseudo_tiled|floating|fullscreen on|off

The state of a window changed.

node_flag <monitor_name> <desktop_name> <node_id> sticky|private|locked|urgent on|off

One of the flags of a node changed.

node_layer <monitor_name> <desktop_name> <node_id> below|normal|above

The layer of a window changed.

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

Report Format

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.

Environment Variables

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.

Contributors

· Steven Allen <steven at stebalien.com>

· Thomas Adam <thomas at xteddy.org>

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

Author

Bastien Dejean <nihilhill at gmail.com>

Info

03/15/2016 Bspwm 0.9.1 Bspwm Manual