fbi man page

fbi — Linux framebuffer imageviewer


fbi [options] file ...


Fbi displays the specified file(s) on the linux console using the framebuffer device. PhotoCD, jpeg, ppm, gif, tiff, xwd, bmp, png and webp formats are supported natively. For other fbi tries to use ImageMagick(1)´s convert(1).


-h, --help

Print usage info.

-V, --version

Print fbi version number.


Write command line arguments to config file.

-l file, --list file

Read image filelist from file.

-P, --text

Enable textreading mode. In this mode fbi will display large images without vertical offset (default is to center the images). The SPACE command will first try to scroll down and go to the next image only if it is already on the bottom of the page. Useful if the images you are watching are text pages, all you have to do to get the next piece of text is to press space...

-a, --autozoom

Enable autozoom. Fbi will automagically pick a reasonable zoom factor when loading a new image.


Like autozoom, but scale up only.


Like autozoom, but scale down only.


Use width only for autoscaling.

-v, --(no)verbose

Be verbose: enable status line on the bottom of the screen.

-u, --(no)random

Randomize the order of the filenames.


Display comment tags (if present) instead of the filename. Probably only useful if you added reasonable comments yourself (using wrjpgcom(1) for example), otherwise you likely just find texts pointing to the software which created the image.

-e, --(no)edit

Enable editing commands.


Create backup files (when editing images).

-p, --(no)preserve

Preserve timestamps (when editing images).


Read ahead images into cache.

--cachemem size

Image cache size in megabytes (MB).

--blend time

Image blend time in miliseconds.

-T n, --vt n

Start on virtual console n.

-s steps, --scroll steps

Set scroll steps in pixels (default is 50).

-t sec, --timeout sec

Load next image after sec seconds without any keypress (i.e. slideshow).

-1, --(no)once

Don't loop (only use with -t).

-r n, --resolution n

Select resolution, n = 1..5 (only PhotoCD).

-g n, --gamma n

Gamma correction. Default is 1.0. Requires Pseudocolor or Directcolor visual, doesn't work for Truecolor.

-f <arg>, --font <arg>

Set font. This <arg> can be anything fontconfig accepts (see fonts-conf(5)). Try fc-list(1) for a list of known fonts on your system. The fontconfig config file is evaluated as well, so any generic stuff defined there (such as mono, sans) will work as well. It is recommended to use monospaced fonts, the textboxes (help text, exif info) look better then.

-d /dev/fbN, --device /dev/fbN

Use /dev/fbN device framebuffer. Default is the one your virtual console is mapped to.

-m videomode, --mode videomode

Name of the video mode to use (video mode must be listed in /etc/fb.modes). Default is not to change the video mode.


Fbi uses the following environment variables:


This variable may be used to specify a default gamma correction.

Command Usage

The commands take effect immediately; it is not necessary to type a carriage return.

In the following commands, i is a numerical argument.



Scroll large images.


Previous image.


Next image.


Jump to image #i.


Write the filename of the current image to stdout(3), then go to the next image.

The RETURN vs. SPACE key thing can be used to create a file list while reviewing the images and use the list for batch processing later on:

fbi file1.gif file2.jpg file3.jpg > fileimagelist.lst

some RETURN and SPACE...

fbi -l fileimagelist.lst









Set zoom to i%.


ESQ, q



Toggle status line.


Display textbox with brief help.


Display textbox with some EXIF info.


Pause the slideshow (if started with -t, toggle).

Edit mode

Fbi also provides some very basic image editing facilities. You have to start fbi with the -e switch to use them.

D, Shift+d

Delete image.


Rotate 90 degrees clockwise.


Rotate 90 degrees counter-clock wise.


Mirror image vertically (top / bottom).


Mirror image horizontally (left to right).

The delete function actually wants a capital letter D, thus you have to type Shift+d. This is done to avoid deleting images by mistake because there are no safety bells: If you ask to delete the image, it will be deleted without questions asked.

The rotate function actually works for JPEG images only. It does a lossless transformation of the image.


Fbi needs rw access to the framebuffer devices (/dev/fbN), i.e you (our your admin) have to make sure fbi can open the devices in rw mode. The IMHO most elegant way is to use PAM(7) to chown the devices to the user logged in on the console. Another way is to create some group, chown the special files to that group and put the users which are allowed to use the framebuffer device into the group. You can also make the special files world writable, but be aware of the security implications this has. On a private box it might be fine to handle it this way though.

Fbi also needs access to the linux console (/dev/ttyN) for sane console switch handling. That is obviously no problem for console logins, but any kind of a pseudo tty (xterm, ssh, screen, ...) will not work.

See Also

convert(1), fbset(1), fc-list(1), imagemagick(1), wrjpgcom(1), fonts-conf(5), PAM(7)


Gerd Hoffmann <gerd@kraxel.org>

Referenced By


(c) 1998-2012 Gerd Hoffmann FBI 2.08 Linux framebuffer imageviewer