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Rofi is a window switcher, run dialog, ssh-launcher and dmenu replacement that started as a clone of simpleswitcher, written by Sean Pringle and later expanded by Dave Davenport.


Install the rofi package.


There are currently four methods of setting configuration options:

  • Local configuration. Normally, depending on XDG, in ~/.config/rofi/config. This uses the Xresources format.
  • New theme format, which can have a configuration block. ~/.config/rofi/config.rasi
  • Xresources: A method of storing key values in the Xserver.
  • Command line options
Note: Xresources format will be obsolete in future rofi versions


$ rofi -combi-modi window,drun,ssh -theme solarized -font "hack 10" -show combi

can be expressed in a config file like this (New theme format):

configuration {
 modi: "window,drun,ssh,combi";
 theme: "solarized";
 font: "hack 10";
 combi-modi: "window,drun,ssh";

To get a full list of options for config.rasi file run rofi -dump-config. You can write the output of the command directly to your config file while running rofi -dump-config > ~/.config/rofi/config.rasi

Note: i3 users be aware that putting commas in i3 config can cause issues. To bind a key to launch rofi, either use a config file or replace the commas with # eg rofi -combi-modi window#drun#ssh


It is possible to use icons to display with their corresponding entries. Assuming you have papirus-icon-theme installed, with -show-icons and defining the icon theme with -icon-theme, you can have rofi display icons and do the following:

$ rofi -combi-modi window,drun,ssh -theme solarized -font "hack 10" -show combi -icon-theme "Papirus" -show-icons

Rofi as dmenu replacement

If called as dmenu (via a symlink), rofi acts like dmenu. You may want to install rofi-dmenuAUR, which symlinks dmenu to rofi. Then programs that call dmenu from a script (like passmenu from pass) will use rofi instead of dmenu.

If you prefer the look of dmenu, this approximates it:

rofi -show run -modi run -location 1 -width 100 \
		 -lines 2 -line-margin 0 -line-padding 1 \
		 -separator-style none -font "mono 10" -columns 9 -bw 0 \
		 -disable-history \
		 -hide-scrollbar \
		 -color-window "#222222, #222222, #b1b4b3" \
		 -color-normal "#222222, #b1b4b3, #222222, #005577, #b1b4b3" \
		 -color-active "#222222, #b1b4b3, #222222, #007763, #b1b4b3" \
		 -color-urgent "#222222, #b1b4b3, #222222, #77003d, #b1b4b3" \
		 -kb-row-select "Tab" -kb-row-tab ""

Execute shell commands from rofi

If you want the ability to run shell commands or use your own scripts directly from rofi with seeing the output, then ensure following:

  • configure the PATH variable in ~/.profile (instead of e.g. ~/.bashrc) and then logout and re-login to your window manager/desktop environment
  • define -run-shell-command '{terminal} -e \\"{cmd}; read -n 1 -s"'. This allows you to enter the command on the inputbar followed by SHIFT+ENTER. The terminal stays open until the next keypress.

This is an example with the recommended escaping sequence for i3:

 bindsym $mod+d exec --no-startup-id "rofi -show drun -font \\"DejaVu 9\\" -run-shell-command '{terminal} -e \\" {cmd}; read -n 1 -s\\"'"

Custom Themes

You can preview and apply themes for rofi with


Customizations may be saved to your .Xresources file (requires the xorg-xrdb package). To apply changes reload .Xresources with xrdb -load ~/.Xresources.

Contributed Themes

See the official rofi-themes repository for a list of custom themes.

Download one of the .rasi themes and place it in ~/.config/rofi/example.rasi. Then load up the theme on the command line or in a config file:

 rofi <options> -theme example

or in your configuration file

 rofi.theme:    example