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swaymsg - Man Page

Send messages to a running instance of sway over the IPC socket.


swaymsg [options...] [message]


-h,  --help

Show help message and quit.

-m,  --monitor

Monitor for responses until killed instead of exiting after the first response. This can only be used with the IPC message type subscribe. If there is a malformed response or an invalid event type was requested, swaymsg will stop monitoring and exit.

-p,  --pretty

Use pretty output even when not using a tty. Not available for all message types.

-q,  --quiet

Sends the IPC message but does not print the response from sway.

-r,  --raw

Use raw JSON output even if using a tty.

-s,  --socket <path>

Use the specified socket path. Otherwise, swaymsg will ask sway where the socket is (which is the value of $SWAYSOCK, then of $I3SOCK).

-t,  --type <type>

Specify the type of IPC message. See below.

-v,  --version

Print the version (of swaymsg) and quit.

Ipc Message Types


The message is a sway command (the same commands you can bind to keybindings in your sway config file). It will be executed immediately.

See sway(5) for a list of commands.

swaymsg can return pretty printed (standalone-default) or JSON-formatted (--raw) output. For detailed documentation on the returned JSON-data of each message type listed below, refer to sway-ipc(7). The JSON-format can contain more information than the pretty print.


  • Command expansion is performed twice: once by swaymsg, and again by sway. If you have quoted multi-word strings in your command, enclose the entire command in single-quotes. For example, use swaymsg 'output "Foobar Display" enable' instead of swaymsg output "Foobar Display" enable. Furthermore, note that comma separated options also count as multi-word strings, because commas can be used to execute commands on the same line.
  • If you are providing a command that contains a leading hyphen (-), insert two hyphens (--) before the command to signal to swaymsg not to parse anything beyond that point as an option. For example, use swaymsg -- mark --add test instead of swaymsg mark --add test.

Gets a list of workspaces and their status.


Gets a list of current inputs.


Gets a list of current outputs.


Gets a JSON-encoded layout tree of all open windows, containers, outputs, workspaces, and so on.


Gets a list of all seats, its properties and all assigned devices.


Get a JSON-encoded list of marks.


Get a JSON-encoded configuration for swaybar.


Get version information for the running instance of sway.


Gets a JSON-encoded list of currently configured binding modes.


Gets JSON-encoded info about the current binding state.


Gets a copy of the current configuration. Doesn't expand includes.


Sends a tick event to all subscribed clients.


Subscribe to a list of event types. The argument for this type should be provided in the form of a valid JSON array. If any of the types are invalid or if a valid JSON array is not provided, this will result in a failure. For a list of valid event types and the data returned with them refer to sway-ipc(7).

Return Codes




swaymsg errors such as invalid syntax, unable to connect to the ipc socket or unable to parse sway's reply


Sway returned an error when processing the command (ex. invalid command, command failed, and invalid subscription request)

See Also

sway(5) sway-bar(5) sway-input(5) sway-output(5) sway-ipc(7)

Referenced By

sway(1), sway(5), swayidle(1), sway-ipc(7).