Provided by: wmctrl_1.07-6_i386
wmctrl - interact with a EWMH/NetWM compatible X Window Manager.
wmctrl [ options | actions ]...
wmctrl is a command that can be used to interact with an X Window
manager that is compatible with the EWMH/NetWM specification. wmctrl
can query the window manager for information, and it can request that
certain window management actions be taken.
wmctrl is controlled entirely by its command line arguments. The
command line arguments are used to specify the action to be performed
(with options that modify behavior) and any arguments that might be
needed to perform the actions.
The following sections define the supported actions and options.
Arguments to the actions and options are written in the form <ARGNAME>
in the descriptions below. The detailed syntax for writing arguments
are in a single section dedicated to that purpose.
The following command line arguments can be specified to invoke a
wmctrl action. Only one action can be executed with the invocation of
the wmctrl command.
Switch to the desktop containing the window <WIN>, raise the
window, and give it focus.
-b ( add | remove | toggle),prop1 [,prop2 ]
Add, remove, or toggle up to two window properties
simultaneously. The window that is being modified must be
identified with a -r action. The property change is achived by
using the EWMH _NET_WM_STATE request. The supported property
names (for prop1 and prop2) are modal, sticky, maximized_vert,
maximized_horz, shaded, skip_taskbar, skip_pager, hidden,
fullscreen, above and below. Two properties are supported to
allow operations like maximizing a window to full screen mode.
Note that this action is made up of exactly two shell command
Close the window <WIN> gracefully.
-d List all desktops managed by the window manager. One line is
output for each desktop, with the line broken up into space
separated columns. The first column contains an integer desktop
number. The second column contains a '*' character for the
current desktop, otherwise it contains a '-' character. The next
two columns contain the fixed string DG: and then the desktop
geometry as '<width>x<height>' (e.g. '1280x1024'). The following
two columns contain the fixed string VP: and then the viewport
position in the format '<y>,<y>' (e.g. '0,0'). The next three
columns after this contains the fixed string WA: and then two
columns with the workarea geometry as 'X,Y and WxH' (e.g. '0,0
1280x998'). The rest of the line contains the name of the
desktop (possibly containing multiple spaces).
Resize and move a window that has been specified with a -r
action according to the <MVARG> argument.
-g w,h Change the geometry (common size) of all desktops so they are w
pixels wide and h pixels high. w and h must be positive
integers. A window manager may ignore this request.
-h Print help text about program usage.
Set the icon name (short title) of the window specified by a -r
action to name.
-k ( on | off )
Turn on or off the window manager's "show the desktop" mode (if
the window manager implements this feature).
-l List the windows being managed by the window manager. One line
is output for each window, with the line broken up into space
separated columns. The first column always contains the window
identity as a hexadecimal integer, and the second column always
contains the desktop number (a -1 is used to identify a sticky
window). If the -p option is specified the next column will
contain the PID for the window as a decimal integer. If the -G
option is specified then four integer columns will follow: x-
offset, y-offset, width and height. The next column always
contains the client machine name. The remainder of the line
contains the window title (possibly with multiple spaces in the
-m Display information about the window manager and the
-n N Change the number of desktops to N (a non-negative integer).
Set the name (long title) of the window specified by a -r action
-o x,y Change the viewport for the current desktop. The values x and y
are numeric offsets that specify the position of the top left
corner of the viewport. A window manager may ignore this
Specify a target window for an action.
Move the window <WIN> to the current desktop, raise the window,
and give it focus.
Switch to the desktop <DESK>.
Move a window that has been specified with the -r action to the
Set the both the name (long title) and icon name (short title)
of the window specified by a -r action to name. This action is
like using the -N and -I actions at the same time (which would
otherwise be impossible since wmctrl can execute only one action
at a time).
The following options modify the default actions, or they modify the
interpretation of arguments.
-F Window name arguments (<WIN>) are to be treated as exact window
titles that are case sensitive. Without this options window
titles are considered to be case insensitive substrings of the
full window title.
-G Include geometry information in the output of the -l action.
-i Interpret window arguments (<WIN>) as a numeric value rather
than a string name for the window. If the numeric value starts
with the prefix '0x' it is assumed to be a hexadecimal number.
-p Include PIDs in the window list printed by the -l action. Prints
a PID of '0' if the application owning the window does not
-u Override auto-detection and force UTF-8 mode.
-v Provide verbose output. This is really useful when debugging
-w [ <WORKAROUND>[,<WORKAROUND>]... ]
Use workarounds specified in the argument.
-x Include WM_CLASS in the window list or interpret <WIN> as the
<DESK> A Desktop is always specified by an integer which represents the
desktop numbers. Desktop numbers start at 0.
A move and resize argument has the format 'g,x,y,w,h'. All five
components are integers. The first value, g, is the gravity of
the window, with 0 being the most common value (the default
value for the window). Please see the EWMH specification for
The four remaining values are a standard geometry specification:
x,y is the position of the top left corner of the window, and
w,h is the width and height of the window, with the exception
that the value of -1 in any position is interpreted to mean that
the current geometry value should not be modified.
<WIN> This argument specifies a window that is the target of an
action. By default the argument is treated as if were a string,
and windows are examined until one is found with a title the
contains the specified string as a substring. The substring
matching is done in a case insensitive manner. The -F option may
be used to force exact, case sensitive title matching. The
option -i may be used to interpret the window target as a
numeric window identity instead of a string.
The window name string :SELECT: is treated specially. If this
window name is used then wmctrl waits for the user to select the
target window by clicking on it.
The window name string :ACTIVE: may be used to instruct wmctrl
to use the currently active window for the action.
There is only one work around currently implemeted. It is
specified by using the string DESKTOP_TITLES_INVALID_UTF8 and it
causes the printing of non-ASCII desktop tiles correctly when
using Window Maker.
Getting a list of windows managed by the window manager
Getting a list of windows with PID and geometry information.
wmctrl -p -G -l
Going to the window with a name containing 'emacs' in it
wmctrl -a emacs
Shade a window with a title that contains the word 'mozilla'
wmctrl -r mozilla -b add,shaded
Close a very specifically titled window sticky
wmctrl -F -c 'Debian bug tracking system - Mozilla'
Toggle the 'stickiness' of a window with a specific window identity
wmctrl -i -r 0x0120002 -b add,sticky
Change the title of window to a specified string but choose the window
by clicking on it
wmctrl -r :SELECT: -T "Selected Window"
zenity(1) is a useful dialog program for building scripts with wmctrl.
Some examples of EWMH/NetWM compatible window managers include recent
versions of Enlightenment, Icewm, Kwin, Sawfish and Xfce.
wmctrl was written by Tomas Styblo <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
This manual page was written by Shyamal Prasad <email@example.com>
for the Debian project (but may be used by others).
December 12, 2004 WMCTRL(1)