herbstclient - Man Page

sends commands to a running herbstluftwm instance via X


herbstclient [Options] COMMAND [ARGS ...]

herbstclient [Options] [--wait|--idle] [FILTER ...]


Sends a COMMAND with its (optional) arguments ARGS to a running herbstluftwm(1) instance via Xlib. If COMMAND has an output, it is printed by herbstclient. If output does not end with a newline, then a newline is added to improve readability.

See herbstluftwm(1) for a list of available COMMANDs and their ARGS.

If --wait or --idle is passed, then it waits for hooks from herbstluftwm. The hook is printed, if it matches the optional FILTER. FILTERs are regular expressions. For a list of available hooks see herbstluftwm(1).


-n,  --no-newline

Do not print a newline if output does not end with a newline.

-0,  --print0

Use the null character as delimiter between the output of hooks.

-l,  --last-arg

When using -i or -w, only print the last argument of the hook.

-i,  --idle

Wait for hooks instead of executing commands.

-w,  --wait

Same as --idle but exit after first --count hooks.

-c,  --count COUNT

Let --wait exit after COUNT hooks were received and printed. The default COUNT is 1.

-q,  --quiet

Do not print error messages if herbstclient cannot connect to the running herbstluftwm instance.

-v,  --version

Print the herbstclient version. To get the herbstluftwm version, use herbstclient version.

-h,  --help

Print the herbstclient usage with its command line options.

Environment Variables


Specifies the DISPLAY to use, i.e. where herbstluftwm(1) is running.

Exit Status

Returns the exit status of the COMMAND execution in herbstluftwm(1) server.




Failure. See herbstluftwm(1) for a list of error codes.


See the herbstluftwm Github issues: https://github.com/herbstluftwm/herbstluftwm/issues


Feel free to join the IRC channel #herbstluftwm on irc.libera.chat.


herbstclient was written by Thorsten Wißmann. All contributors are listed in the herbstluftwm distribution AUTHORS file.


Homepage: http://herbstluftwm.org

Github page: http://github.com/herbstluftwm/herbstluftwm

Patch submission and bug reporting:



Copyright 2011-2020 Thorsten Wißmann. All rights reserved.

This software is licensed under the "Simplified BSD License". See LICENSE for details.

Referenced By


2022-07-30 herbstluftwm 0.9.5