i3lock - Man Page

improved screen locker

Examples (TL;DR)


i3lock [-v] [-n] [-b] [-i image.png] [-c color] [-t] [-p pointer] [-u] [-e] [-f]


i3lock is a simple screen locker like slock. After starting it, you will see a white screen (you can configure the color/an image). You can return to your screen by entering your password.



-v,  --version

Display the version of your i3lock

-n,  --nofork

Don't fork after starting.

-b,  --beep

Enable beeping. Be sure to not do this when you are about to annoy other people, like when opening your laptop in a boring lecture.

-u,  --no-unlock-indicator

Disable the unlock indicator. i3lock will by default show an unlock indicator after pressing keys. This will give feedback for every keypress and it will show you the current PAM state (whether your password is currently being verified or whether it is wrong).

-i path--image=path

Display the given PNG image instead of a blank screen.


Read the image given by --image as a raw image instead of PNG. The argument is the image's format as <width>x<height>:<pixfmt>. The supported pixel formats are: ´native', 'rgb', 'xrgb', 'rgbx', 'bgr', 'xbgr', and 'bgrx'. The "native" pixel format expects a pixel as a 32-bit (4-byte) integer in the machine's native endianness, with the upper 8 bits unused. Red, green and blue are stored in the remaining bits, in that order.



You can use ImageMagick’s convert(1) program to feed raw images into i3lock:

	convert wallpaper.jpg RGB:- | i3lock --raw 3840x2160:rgb --image /dev/stdin

This allows you to load a variety of image formats without i3lock having to support each one explicitly.

-c rrggbb--color=rrggbb

Turn the screen into the given color instead of white. Color must be given in 3-byte format: rrggbb (i.e. ff0000 is red).

-t,  --tiling

If an image is specified (via -i) it will display the image tiled all over the screen (if it is a multi-monitor setup, the image is visible on all screens).

-p win|default--pointer=win|default

If you specify "default", i3lock does not hide your mouse pointer. If you specify "win", i3lock displays a hardcoded Windows-Pointer (thus enabling you to mess with your friends by using a screenshot of a Windows desktop as a locking-screen).

-e,  --ignore-empty-password

When an empty password is provided by the user, do not validate it. Without this option, the empty password will be provided to PAM and, if invalid, the user will have to wait a few seconds before another try. This can be useful if the XF86ScreenSaver key is used to put a laptop to sleep and bounce on resume or if you happen to wake up your computer with the enter key.

-f,  --show-failed-attempts

Show the number of failed attempts, if any.

-k,  --show-keyboard-layout

Show the current keyboard layout.


Enables debug logging. Note, that this will log the password used for authentication to stdout.


The -d (--dpms) option was removed from i3lock in version 2.8. There were plenty of use-cases that were not properly addressed, and plenty of bugs surrounding that feature. While features are not normally removed from i3 and its tools, we felt the need to make an exception in this case.

Users who wish to explicitly enable DPMS only when their screen is locked can use a wrapper script around i3lock like the following:

	revert() {
	  xset dpms 0 0 0
	trap revert HUP INT TERM
	xset +dpms dpms 5 5 5
	i3lock -n

The -I (--inactivity-timeout=seconds) was removed because it only makes sense with DPMS.

See Also

xss-lock(1) - hooks up i3lock to the systemd login manager

convert(1) - feed a wide variety of image formats to i3lock


Michael Stapelberg <michael+i3lock at stapelberg dot de>


JANUARY 2012 Linux User Manuals