Bspwm

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Synopsis

bspwm [-h|-v|-s PANEL_FIFO|-p PANEL_PREFIX]

bspc MESSAGE [ARGUMENTS][*OPTIONS*]

Description

bspwm is a tiling window manager that represents windows as the leaves of a full binary tree.

It is controlled and configured via bspc.

Configuration

bspwm have only two sources of informations: the X events it receives and the messages it reads on a dedicated socket.

Its configuration file is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/bspwm/autostart.

Keyboard and pointer bindings are defined with sxhkd.

Example configuration files can be found in the examples directory.

Splitting Modes

There is only two splitting modes: automatic and manual.

The default mode is automatic. The manual mode is entered by sending a presel message.

Example: insertion of a new node (number 4) into the given tree in automatic mode:

              b                                   c
             / \                                 / \
            3   a              -->              4   b
            ^  / \                              ^  / \
              2   1                               3   a
                                                     / \
                                                    2   1
 +-------------------------+         +-------------------------+
 |            |            |         |            |            |
 |            |     2      |         |            |     3      |
 |            |            |         |            |            |
 |     3      |------------|   -->   |     4      |------------|
 |     ^      |            |         |     ^      |     |      |
 |            |     1      |         |            |  1  |  2   |
 |            |            |         |            |     |      |
 +-------------------------+         +-------------------------+

Same departure, but the mode is manual, and a presel up message was sent beforehand:

             b                                   b
            / \                                 / \
           3   a              -->              c   a
           ^  / \                             / \ / \
             2   1                           4  3 2  1
                                             ^
+-------------------------+         +-------------------------+
|            |            |         |            |            |
|            |     2      |         |     4      |     2      |
|            |            |         |     ^      |            |
|     3      |------------|   -->   |------------|------------|
|     ^      |            |         |            |            |
|            |     1      |         |     3      |     1      |
|            |            |         |            |            |
+-------------------------+         +-------------------------+

Containers

Each monitor contains at least one desktop.

Each desktop contains at most one tree.

Messages

get SETTING
Return the value of the given setting.
set SETTING VALUE
Set the value of the given setting.
list [DESKTOP_NAME]
Output the internal representation of the window tree.
list_desktops [--quiet]
Perform a dump of each desktop for the current monitor.
list_monitors [--quiet]
Perform a dump of each monitor.
list_history
Return the node focus history of each desktop.
list_windows
Return the list of managed windows (i.e. their identifiers).
list_rules
Return the list of rules.
presel left|right|up|down [SPLIT_RATIO]
Switch to manual mode and select the splitting direction.
cancel
Switch to automatic mode.
ratio VALUE
Set the splitting ratio of the focused window.
pad MONITOR_NAME [TOP_PADDING [RIGHT_PADDING [BOTTOM_PADDING [LEFT_PADDING]]]]
Set the padding of the given monitor.
focus left|right|up|down
Focus the neighbor window situated in the given direction.
shift left|right|up|down
Exchange the current window with the given neighbor.
swap [--keep-focus]
Swap the focused window with the last focused window.
push left|right|up|down
Push the fence located in the given direction.
pull left|right|up|down
Pull the fence located in the given direction.
fence_ratio left|right|up|down
Set the splitting ratio of the fence located in the given direction.
cycle next|prev [--skip-floating|--skip-tiled|--skip-class-equal|--skip-class-differ]
Focus the next or previous window matching the given constraints.
nearest older|newer [--skip-floating|--skip-tiled|--skip-class-equal|--skip-class-differ]
Focus the nearest window matching the given constraints.
biggest
Return the ID of the biggest tiled window.
circulate forward|backward
Circulate the leaves in the given direction.
grab_pointer focus|move|resize_side|resize_corner
Begin the specified pointer action.
track_pointer ROOT_X ROOT_Y
Pass the pointer root coordinates for the current pointer action.
ungrab_pointer
End the current pointer action.
toggle_fullscreen
Toggle the fullscreen state of the current window.
toggle_floating
Toggle the floating state of the current window.
toggle_locked
Toggle the locked state of the current window (locked windows will not respond to the close message).
toggle_visibility
Toggle the visibility of all the managed windows.
close
Close the focused window.
kill
Kill the focused window.
send_to DESKTOP_NAME [--follow]
Send the focused window to the given desktop.
drop_to next|prev [--follow]
Send the focused window to the next or previous desktop.
send_to_monitor MONITOR_NAME [--follow]
Send the focused window to the given monitor.
drop_to_monitor next|prev [--follow]
Send the focused window to the next or previous monitor.
use DESKTOP_NAME
Select the given desktop.
use_monitor MONITOR_NAME
Select the given monitor.
alternate
Alternate between the current and the last focused window.
alternate_desktop
Alternate between the current and the last focused desktop.
alternate_monitor
Alternate between the current and the last focused monitor.
add DESKTOP_NAME ...
Make new desktops with the given names.
add_in MONITOR_NAME DESKTOP_NAME ...
Make new desktops with the given names in the given monitor.
rename_monitor CURRENT_NAME NEW_NAME
Rename the monitor named CURRENT_NAME to NEW_NAME.
rename CURRENT_NAME NEW_NAME
Rename the desktop named CURRENT_NAME to NEW_NAME.
remove_desktop DESKTOP_NAME ...
Remove the given desktops.
send_desktop_to MONITOR_NAME [--follow]
Send the current desktop to the given monitor.
cycle_monitor next|prev
Select the next or previous monitor.
cycle_desktop next|prev [--skip-free|--skip-occupied]
Select the next or previous desktop.
layout monocle|tiled [DESKTOP_NAME ...]
Set the layout of the given desktops (current if none given).
cycle_layout
Cycle the layout of the current desktop.
rotate clockwise|counter_clockwise|full_cycle
Rotate the window tree.
flip horizontal|vertical
Flip the window tree.
balance
Adjust the split ratios so that all windows occupy the same area.
rule PATTERN [DESKTOP_NAME][*floating*] [follow]
Create a new rule (PATTERN must match the class or instance name).
remove_rule UID ...
Remove the rules with the given UIDs.
put_status
Output the current state to the panel fifo.
adopt_orphans
Manage all the unmanaged windows remaining from a previous session.
restore_layout FILE_PATH
Restore the layout of each desktop from the content of FILE_PATH.
restore_history FILE_PATH
Restore the history of each desktop from the content of FILE_PATH.
quit [EXIT_STATUS]
Quit.

Settings

Colors are either X color names or #RRGGBB, booleans are true or false.

All the boolean settings are false by default.

focused_border_color
Color of the border of a focused window of a focused monitor.
active_border_color
Color of the border of a focused window of an unfocused monitor.
normal_border_color
Color of the border of an unfocused window.
presel_border_color
Color of the presel message feedback.
focused_locked_border_color
Color of the border of a focused locked window of a focused monitor.
active_locked_border_color
Color of the border of a focused locked window of an unfocused monitor.
normal_locked_border_color
Color of the border of an unfocused locked window.
urgent_border_color
Color of the border of an urgent window.
border_width
Window border width.
window_gap
Value of the gap that separates windows.
split_ratio
Default split ratio.
top_padding, right_padding, bottom_padding, left_padding
Padding space added at the sides of the current monitor.
wm_name
The value that shall be used for the _NET_WM_NAME property of the root window.
borderless_monocle
Remove borders for tiled windows in monocle mode.
gapless_monocle
Remove gaps for tiled windows in monocle mode.
focus_follows_pointer
Focus the window under the pointer.
pointer_follows_monitor
When focusing a monitor, put the pointer at its center.
adaptative_raise
Prevent floating windows from being raised when they might cover other floating windows.
apply_shadow_property
Enable shadows for floating windows via the _COMPTON_SHADOW property.
auto_alternate
Interpret two consecutive identical use messages as an alternate message.
focus_by_distance
Use window or leaf distance for focus movement.
history_aware_focus
Give priority to the focus history when focusing nodes.

Environment Variables

BSPWM_SOCKET
The path of the socket used for the communication between bspc and bspwm.

Panels

  • Any EWMH compliant panel (e.g.: tint2, bmpanel2, etc.).
  • A custom panel if the -s flag is used (have a look at the files in examples/panel).

Key Features

  • Configured and controlled through messages.
  • Multiple monitors support (via RandR).
  • EWMH support (tint2 works).
  • Automatic and manual modes.

Required Libraries:

  • libxcb
  • xcb-util
  • xcb-util-wm

Mailing List

bspwm at librelist dot com.

Contributors