Scroll to navigation

notionflux(1) General Commands Manual notionflux(1)


notionfluxLua remote control for notion


notionflux [-R | -e lua-code | file]


notionflux is a tool to send scripts to the Lua scripting engine inside the notion(1) window manager. The script can thus access notion's internal Lua API.

There are two modes of operation, interactive and batch. Interactive mode is enabled by running notionflux with its standard input connected to a terminal and without passing any commandline flags.

Otherwise, batch mode is enabled:

Force batch-mode even if stdin is connected to a terminal. Lua code is read from stdin until the end-of-file is reached, is sent to notion for processing, and the result is read back and displayed.
Almost the same as above, except instead of reading from stdin, the command line parameter code is submitted for processing.
The content of the file is evaluated.


This mode is similar to running an interactive lua(1) shell. Tab completion for notion's Lua API is available, as well as line-editing.

Code that has been entered is evaluated by notion as soon as it is a complete Lua statement. The result is displayed after which the next statement can be entered.


The DISPLAY environment variable must be set to an X server running notion in order for notionflux to obtain the socket path.


notionflux connects to notion(1) through a Unix domain socket. This socket is created with read/write permissions only for the user who started notion. The socket path can be queried with the following command:



The command

$ notionflux -e "return notioncore.current():name()"
"emacs: notionflux.1"

will display the title of the currently focused window, while

$ notionflux -e "print(notioncore.current():name())"
"emacs: notionflux.1"

will collect the messages and print them before returning. In order to write to notion's standard output (usually ~/.xsession-errors), like print used to in previous versions of notionflux, please use

$ notionflux -e 'io.stdout:write("hello .xsession-errors!\n")'

Using input redirection:

$ echo "return notioncore.current()" | notionflux
WClientWin: 0x9bb6b8

Using interactive mode:

$ notionflux
lua> notioncore.current():rootwin_of()
WRootWin: 0x8c9688
lua> do
...>   local x = 42 -- Lua defaults to global scope, don't litter
...>   return x
...> end
lua> ^D

In any response from mod_notionflux, strings are quoted in a way that can be directly pasted back into a Lua interpreter to yield the same string, while other types are turned into their string representation using tostring(). This is why there are quotation marks around the response in the first example where nil (which is the return value of a block which has no return statement) does not have them.


The notion homepage

Configuring and extending Notion with Lua

The Lua 5.3 reference manual


notion(1), X(7), lua(1), readline(3)


An ionflux command appeared in ion3 around 2004. It was adapted to notion by the notion development team when notion was forked from ion3 in 2010.


notionflux was rewritten in 2019 by The Notion development team under the GNU GPL in order to add the interactive mode.


Currently, the script must be 4095 bytes or shorter. If you need more, consider passing a filename, which is passed to notion for evaluation and therefore circumvents this limit.

June 20, 2019 notion