ydotool - Man Page

command-line /dev/uinput automation tool


ydotool cmd args [ , cmd args ... ]

ydotool cmd --help


ydotool lets you programmatically (or manually) simulate keyboard input and mouse activity, etc. It does this by writing directly to /dev/uinput so it generally needs to run as root.

It's possible to chain multiple commands together, separated by a comma between two spaces.

Currently implemented command(s):


Type a string


Press keys


Move mouse pointer to absolute position


Click on mouse buttons


Record/replay input events


sleep for a while

Keyboard Commands

key [--up] [--down] [--next-delay <ms>] [--key-delay <ms>] [--repeat <times>] [--repeat-delay <ms>] <key sequence>

Type a given keystroke. Examples being "alt+r", "ctrl+J", "ctrl+alt+n", "backspace".



Only keyup


Only keydown

--delay <ms>

Delay before starting to output keystrokes. Default 100ms.

--key-delay <ms>

Delay time between keystrokes. Default 12ms.

--repeat <times>

Times to repeat the key sequence.

--repeat-delay <ms>

Delay time between repetitions. Default 0ms.

Generally, any valid name from /usr/include/linux/input-event-codes.h will work. Multiple keys are separated by '+'.

Each key sequence can be any number of modifiers and keys, separated by plus (+)

For example: alt+r Alt+F4 CTRL+alt+f3 aLT+1+2+3 ctrl+Backspace

Since we are emulating keyboard input, combinations like Shift+# is invalid because typing a `#' involves pressing Shift and 3.

Example: Switch to tty1:

ydotool key ctrl+alt+f1

Example: Close a window in graphical environment:

ydotool key Alt+F4

type [--next-delay <ms>] [--key-delay <ms>] [--texts arg] [--file <filepath>] "texts"

Types text as if you had typed it on the keyboard.


--next-delay <ms>

Delay before starting typing. Default 100ms.

--key-delay <ms>

Delay time between keystrokes. Default 12ms.

--texts arg

Texts to type

--file <filepath>

Specify a file, the contents of which will be typed as if passed as an argument. The filepath may also be '-' to read from stdin.

Example: to type 'Hello world!' you would do:

ydotool type 'Hello world!'

Mouse Commands

mousemove <x> <y>

Move the mouse to the specific relative X and Y coordinates on the screen.

Options: --absolute

Use absolute position

Example: to move the cursor to absolute coordinates (100,100):

ydotool mousemove --absolute 100 100

click  [--next-delay <ms>] button

Send a click. Buttons are: left, right or middle


--next-delay <ms>

Delay before click. Default 100ms.


Only mouseup


Only mousedown

--buttons <arg>

Buttons to press (left, right, middle)

Example: Mouse middle click:

ydotool click middle

recorder [--record <devices>] [--replay <input files>] [--display] [--duration <ms>] [--devices <path>] [--file <path>]


--record <devices>

Devices to record from. Default is all, including non-keyboard devices.

--replay <input files>

The record file can't be replayed on an architecture with different endianness.



--duration <ms>

Record duration. Otherwise use SIGINT to stop recording.

--devices <path>

Devices, separated by comma, to record from. Default is all devices (default: "")

--file <path>

File to record to / replay from


ydotool was written by ReimuNotMoe.

This man page by bob.hepple@gmail.com


When ydotool(1) runs and creates a virtual input device, it will take some time for your graphical environment (eg X11/Wayland) to recognize and enable the virtual input device. (Usually done by udev)

If the delay is too short, the virtual input device may not be recognized & enabled by the graphical environment in time.

In order to solve this problem, there is a persistent background service, ydotoold(1), to hold a persistent virtual device, and accept input from ydotool(1). When ydotoold(1) is unavailable, ydotool(1) will work without it.



See Also


Project site: <https://github.com/ReimuNotMoe/ydotool>

Referenced By