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sxhkd is a simple X hotkey daemon, by the developer of bspwm, that reacts to input events by executing commands.


Install sxhkd or sxhkd-gitAUR.


Configuration file

sxhkd defaults to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/sxhkd/sxhkdrc for its configuration file. An alternate configuration file can be specified with the -c option.

Each line of the configuration file is interpreted as so:

  • If it starts with #, it is ignored.
  • If it starts with one or more white space commands, it is read as a command.
  • Otherwise, it is parsed as a hotkey: each key name is separated by spaces and/or + characters.

General syntax:


Where MODIFIER is one of the following names: super, hyper, meta, alt, control, ctrl, shift, mode_switch, lock, mod1, mod2, mod3, mod4, mod5. If @ is added at the beginning of the keysym, the command will be run on key release events, otherwise on key press events. If ! is added at the beginning of the keysym, the command will be run on motion notify events and must contain two integer conversion specifications which will be replaced by the x and y coordinates of the pointer relative to the root window referential (the only valid button keysyms for this type of hotkeys are: button1, ..., button5). The KEYSYM names are those your will get from xev.

Mouse hotkeys can be defined by using one of the following special keysym names: button1, button2, button3, ..., button24. The hotkey can contain a sequence of the form {STRING_1,…,STRING_N}, in which case, the command must also contain a sequence with N elements: the pairing of the two sequences generates N hotkeys. If the command includes curly braces ({, }) eg. awk '{print $1}', escape them with backslash \ eg. awk '\{print $1\}'. In addition, the sequences can contain ranges of the form A-Z where A and Z are alphanumeric characters.

What is actually executed is SHELL -c COMMAND, which means you can use environment variables in COMMAND. SHELL will be the content of the first defined environment variable in the following list: SXHKD_SHELL, SHELL. If sxhkd receives a SIGUSR1 signal, it will reload its configuration file.


After configuring it, you may wish to setup sxhkd to autostart.

Tip: An example systemd service file is found here.


# On mouse button 1 press Alt_R+F1
    xte "keydown Alt_R" "keydown F1" "keyup Alt_R" "keyup F1"

# On mouse button 2 pause 3 seconds then press Alt_R+F2
    xte "sleep 3" "keydown Alt_R" "keydown F2" "keyup Alt_R" "keyup F2"

Reload user's sxhkd service

$ systemctl --user restart sxhkd

See also