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XGPS(1) GPSD Documentation XGPS(1)


xgps - X client for gpsd


xgps [OPTIONS] [service[:port[:device]]]

xgps -h

xgps -V


xgps is a simple sample client for gpsd with an X interface. It displays current GNSS position/time/velocity information and (for GNSS receivers that support the feature) the locations of accessible satellites.

In the sky view, satellites are color-coded to indicate quality of signal, consult the data display to the left for exact figures in dB. Diamond-shaped icons indicate GLONASS satellites, squares are used for SBAS (e.g. WAAS, EGNOS), circles indicate GPS, and down-, up-, right-, and left-pointing triangles, respectively, indicate Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS, and other systems' satellites (e.g. IMES, IRNSS, as well as unknown systems). Filled icons were used in the current fix, outline icons were not. Hovering over a symbol with the mouse pointer will temporarily display a small popup window with the satellite details from the Satellite List pane.

xgps will run fine as a normal user, and fine as root. Running xgps under sudo will cause some loss of functionality.


-?, -h, --help

Causes the client to emit a summary of its options and then exit.

-device DEVICE

The device on the host to connect to. The default is empty (any).

-D LVL, --debug LVL

Sets the debug level, it is primarily for use by GPSD developers. It enables various progress messages to standard error.

--host HOST

The host (server) to connect to. The default is localhost.

-l FMT, --llfmt FMT

Set the format of latitude and longitude reports. The value 'd' produces decimal degrees and is the default. The value 'm' produces degrees and decimal minutes. The value 's' produces degrees, minutes, and decimal seconds.

-p PORT, --port PORT

The port to connect to. The default is 2947.

-r DEG, --rotate DEG

Accepts an argument in degrees, to rotate the skyview counterclockwise.

-V, --version

This option causes each client to dump the package version and exit.


By default, clients collect data from the local gpsd daemon running on localhost, using the default GPSD port 2947. The optional argument to any client may override this behavior: [server[:port[:device]]]

For further explanation, and examples, see the ARGUMENTS section in the gps(1) man page


The XGPSOPTS> environment variable may be set to pass commonly used command line options to xgps. This is often used to set the -u option for locale specific units. XGPSOPTS is processed before the CLI options.

xgps also looks at other variables in the environment to figure out the units for display — imperial, nautical, or metric. Here are the variables and values checked:

GPSD_UNITS one of:
i = miles/feet
imperial = miles/feet
n = knots/feet
nautical = knots/feet
m = km/meters
metric = km/meters
en_US = miles/feet
C = miles/feet
POSIX = miles/feet
[other] = km/meters
en_US = miles/feet
C = miles/feet
POSIX = miles/feet
[other] = km/meters

These preferences may be overridden by the -u, or --units option.

The -u option can be used to set the system units for display; follow the keyword with 'i' for 'imperial' for American units (International Feet in altitude and error estimates, miles per hour in speeds), 'n' for 'nautical' (feet in altitude and error estimates, knots in speed) or 'm' for 'metric' (meters in altitude and error estimates, kilometers per hour in speeds).

Note: The USA Survey Foot is not supported.

The environment variable GPSD_UNITS is checked if no unit system is specified on the command line or in XPGSOPTS it may be set to 'i'. 'imperial', 'm', 'metric', or 'n', 'nautical'.

LC_MEASUREMENT and then LANG are checked if no unit system has been specified on the command line, in XPGSOPTS or in GPSD_UNITS. If the value is 'C', 'POSIX', or begins with 'en_US' the unit system is set to imperial. The default if no system has been selected defaults to metric.



on success.


on failure


gpsd(8), gps(1), xgpsspeed(1)


Project web site: <>


This file is Copyright 2013 by the GPSD project
SPDX-License-Identifier: BSD-2-clause


Remco Treffcorn

Derrick Brashear

Russ Nelson

Eric S. Raymond

2023-01-10 GPSD, Version 3.25