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feh is a lightweight and powerful image viewer that can also be used to manage the desktop wallpaper for standalone window managers lacking such features.


Template:Package Official is available in Extra:

# pacman -S feh


feh is highly configurable. For a full list of options, run Template:Codeline.

As an image viewer

To quickly browse images in a specific directory, you can launch feh with the following arguments:

$ feh -g 640x480 -d -S filename /path/to/directory
  • The -g flag forces the images to appear no larger than 640x480
  • The -S filename flag sorts the images by filename

This is just one example; there are many more options available should you desire more flexibility.

File Browser Image Launcher

The following script is useful for file browsers. It will display your selected image in feh, but it will enable you to browse all other images in the directory as well, in their default order, i.e. as if you had run "feh *" and cycled through to the selected image.

The script assumes the first argument is the filename.


shopt -s nullglob

if [[ ! -f $1 ]]; then
	echo "$0: first argument is not a file" >&2
	exit 1

file=$(filename "$1")
dir=$(dirname "$1")

cd -- "$dir"

for i in *; do
	[[ -f $i ]] || continue
	[[ $i == $file ]] && c=${#arr[@]}

exec feh "$@" -- "${arr[@]:c}" "${arr[@]:0:c}"

Invoke the script with the selected images path, followed by any additional arguments to feh. Here is an example of a launcher that you can use in a file browser:

 /path/to/script %f -F -Z

"-F" and "-Z" are feh arguments. "-F" opens the image in fullscreen mode, and "-Z" autozooms the image.

As a desktop wallpaper manager

feh can be used to manage the desktop wallpaper for window managers that lack desktop features, such as Openbox and Fluxbox.

When using GNOME, you must disable Nautilus from controlling the desktop. The easiest way is to run this command:

$ gconftool-2 --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop --type boolean false

The following command is an example of how to set the initial background:

$ feh --bg-scale /path/to/image.file

Other scaling options include:

--bg-tile FILE
--bg-center FILE
--bg-max FILE
--bg-fill FILE

To restore the background on the next session, add the following to your startup file (e.g. Template:Filename, Template:Filename, etc.):

sh ~/.fehbg &

Random background image

To rotate the wallpaper randomly, create a script with the code below (e.g. Template:Filename). Make the script executable (Template:Codeline) and call it from Template:Filename. You can also put the source directly in Template:Filename instead of in a separate file.

Change the Template:Filename directory to fit your setup, and the "15m" delay as you please (see Template:Codeline for options).


while true; do
	find ~/.wallpaper -type f -name '*.jpg' -o -name '*.png' -print0 |
		shuf -n1 -z | xargs -0 feh --bg-scale --
	sleep 15m

This version doesn't fork as much, but doesn't recurse through directories:


shopt -s nullglob
cd ~/.wallpaper

while true; do
	for i in *.jpg *.png; do
		[[ -f $i ]] && files+=("$i")

	((range)) && feh --bg-scale -- "${files[RANDOM % range]}"

	sleep 15m