herbstclient man page

herbstclient — 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.
-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 of 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.


It waits endlessly for a response from herbstluftwm (there is no timeout yet).

See the herbstluftwm distribution Bugs file.


Feel free to join the IRC channel #herbstluftwm on irc.freenode.net.


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


Homepage: http://herbstluftwm.org

Gitweb: http://git.cs.fau.de/?p=re06huxa/herbst…

Patch submission and bug reporting:



Copyright 2011-2014 Thorsten Wißmann. All rights reserved.

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

Referenced By


Explore man page connections for herbstclient(1).

herbstluftwm 0.6.2 2014-03-27