table of contents
icesh - control window properties and the IceWM window manager
icesh provides two types of commands:
- 1. Commands to directly interact with icewm:
- These are listed in the section "MANAGER ACTIONS" below. They are easy to use, because they don't require to select one or more windows. For example, "icesh restart" will restart icewm and "icesh clients" lists the applications which are managed by icewm.
- 2. Commands which operate on a selection of windows:
- See the section "WINDOW ACTIONS" below.
For example, "icesh close" is a request
to close a window, but which window? Now icesh will turn the mouse pointer
into a crosshair. Click on a window and a close request will be sent to
The power of icesh lies in its ability to programmatically select one or more windows and operate on that selection. This can be used in scripts and in icewm-keys(5) to define your own window management hotkeys. For example, to immediately close all xterm windows do "icesh -c xterm close".
There are a dozen "SELECT OPTIONS" to select windows. They start with a '-' or a '+'. The '-' starts a new selection, while the '+' adds more windows to an existing selection.
This selection of windows can be reduced by "FILTER OPTIONS". These remove unwanted windows from the current selection. Multiple filter options can be given. For example, "icesh -c xterm -W this close" will close only those xterms which are shown on the current workspace. The xterms on other workspaces are filtered out by the "-W this" filter option.
There is no limit to the number of commands, selections, filters and actions which you can give to a single icesh command. They are processed and evaluated one by one from left to right. This makes icesh a small declarative programming language. Have a look at some examples near the end of this document.
icesh recognizes the following options:
Select options specify the window or windows to which subsequent actions apply. If none is given, but an action does require a window, then a selection crosshair is shown to select the desired window interactively. The manager actions do not require window options.
The following options select one or more client windows. If needed, they can be repeated for successive actions.
- -a, -all
- Selects all client windows of the window manager.
- -f, -focus, +f, +focus
- Selects the application window which is currently focused. The option with minus sign replaces the existing selection with the focused window. With a plus sign the focused window is added to an existing selection.
- +g, +group
- Extend the current selection with client windows which belong to the same application window group.
- -r, -root, +r, +root
- Selects the root window. The option with minus sign replaces the existing selection with the root window. With a plus sign the root window is added to an existing selection.
- -s, -shown
- Selects all client windows which are on the current workspace.
- -t, -top
- Selects all toplevel windows from the display unconditionally. This includes windows which have never been mapped and windows with the override redirect bit set to evade management.
- -w, -window, +w, +window WINDOW_ID
- Specifies the identifier of the window, WINDOW_ID, for which the action applies. Special identifiers are root for the root window and focus for the currently focused window. The option with minus sign replaces the existing selection. With a plus sign the window is added to an existing selection.
- -x, -xembed
- Selects all windows which are embedded using the XEMBED protocol.
- +c, +class CLASS
- Extend the current selection with client windows that have a WM_CLASS property equal to CLASS. This is the resource instance and class name. If CLASS contains a period, only windows with exactly the same WM_CLASS property are matched. If there is no period, windows of the same class and windows of the same instance are selected.
- +C, +Class
- Extend the current selection with client windows that have a WM_CLASS property similar to the already selected set of windows.
- -D, -Dockapps
- Selects all Dockapp applications which are managed by icewm.
- +P, +Pid
- Extend the current selection with client windows that have the same process identifier as one of the selected windows.
- Selects the IceWM taskbar.
The following options filter the currently selected set of windows. If no previous select option was given then a -all option is implicitly assumed to filter all client windows.
- -c, -class CLASS
- Filters the set of windows on their WM_CLASS property. This is the resource instance and class name. If CLASS contains a period, only windows with exactly the same WM_CLASS property are matched. If there is no period, windows of the same class and windows of the same instance (aka. -name) are selected.
- -l, -last
- Filter clients and keep only the most recent client.
- -m, -machine HOST
- Filters clients by host name. Clients with a WM_CLIENT_MACHINE property equal to HOST are selected.
- -n, -name NAME
- Filters clients by _NET_WM_NAME or WM_NAME. NAME matches any part of the property value. To match at the beginning use a "^" prefix. To match at the end use a "$" suffix.
- -p, -pid PID
- Filters clients by process ID. Clients with a _NET_WM_PID property equal to PID are selected.
- -u, -unmapped
- Filter clients and keep those which are currently not viewable. These are hidden, minimized, rolled-up, or on another workspace.
- -v, -viewable
- Filter clients and keep only those which are currently viewable. These clients are mapped on the current workspace.
- -G, -Gravity GRAVITY
- Filters clients by the window gravity field of the WM_NORMAL_HINTS property. Clients with a gravity equal to GRAVITY are selected. If GRAVITY starts with an exclamation mark then the filtering is inverted.
- -L, -Layer LAYER
- Filters clients by GNOME window layer, which can either be a layer name or a layer number. See EXPRESSIONS below. If LAYER starts with an exclamation mark then the filtering is inverted.
- -N, -Netstate STATE
- Filters clients by EWMH window state. Clients which have at least an EWMH window state of STATE are selected. This state refers to details like MINIZED or MAXIMIZED. See EXPRESSIONS below. If STATE starts with an exclamation mark then the filtering is inverted. A question mark "?" filters clients with any bit set in STATE.
- -P, -Property PROP[=value]
- Filters clients by property. Clients which have a property PROP are selected. If the optional value is given, the match succeeds only if PROP is a string, window, cardinal, or atom, with a value equal to value. The filtering is inverted if PROP starts with an exclamation mark.
- -R, -Role ROLE
- Filters clients by WM_WINDOW_ROLE. Clients which have a WM_WINDOW_ROLE property value equal to ROLE are selected. The filtering is inverted if ROLE starts with an exclamation mark.
- -W, -Workspace WORKSPACE
- Filter clients by workspace. Workspace WORKSPACE is either a workspace name, or a workspace number counting from zero, or the word "this" for the current workspace, or the word "All" for all workspaces. If WORKSPACE starts with an exclamation mark then the filtering is inverted.
- -X, -Xinerama MONITOR
- Limit clients by RandR/Xinerama monitor. Only operate on clients which are displayed on MONITOR, where MONITOR can be "All" for all monitors, "this" for the monitor where the active window is displayed, or a monitor number starting from zero. See the output of "randr" or "xinerama" below.
The following options are identical for every IceWM command.
- -d, -display DISPLAY
- Specifies the X11 DISPLAY. If unspecified, defaults to $DISPLAY.
- -h, --help
- Print a brief usage statement to stdout and exit.
- -V, --version
- Print the program version to stdout and exit.
- -C, --copying
- Print copying permissions to stdout for the program and exit.
- -q, --quiet
- Don't complain if no matching windows could be found.
icesh expects one or more action arguments. There are two kinds of actions: window actions and manager actions. The first operates on the selected windows. The second directly interacts with the icewm window manager.
The following actions affect the selected window or windows.
- Activate the window, aka. to focus.
- Send a close request to the client that created the window.
- Force an immediate close down of the client that created the window.
- Print window identifiers for the selected windows.
- Print process identifiers for the selected windows.
- Show window details, like geometry and names.
- Lower the window.
- Raise the window.
- Stack the window above others.
- Stack the window below others.
- Rollup the specified window.
- Set the window to fullscreen.
- Maximize the window.
- Maximize the window only horizontally.
- Maximize the window only vertically.
- Minimize the window.
- Restore the window to normal.
- Hide the window.
- Reveal the window.
- Don't show the window on the taskbar.
- Do show the window on the taskbar.
- Show the window on all workspaces.
- Show the window on just one workspace.
- Set the urgent flag to flash the task button.
- resize WIDTH HEIGHT
- Resize window to WIDTH by HEIGHT window units. For text based applications like terminals, a window unit is the size of a single character cell.
- sizeto WIDTH HEIGHT
- Resize window to WIDTH by HEIGHT pixels. If WIDTH or HEIGHT ends with a percent sign "%", then they refer to a percentage of the desktop work area. For instance, "sizeto 50% 100%" resizes to half the desktop width and whatever height is available above or below the taskbar.
- sizeby WIDTH HEIGHT
- Resize window by WIDTH by HEIGHT pixels. If WIDTH or HEIGHT ends with a percent sign "%", then they refer to a percentage of the current window size. For instance, "sizeby 50% 200" increases the width by 50% and increases the height by 200 pixels.
- move X Y
- Move the selected window or windows to the screen position X Y. To specify X or Y values relative to the right side or bottom side precede the value with an extra minus sign, like in "move -+10 --20".
- moveby X Y
- Displace window by X Y pixels.
- Position the window in the center of the desktop work area.
- Position the window against the left side of the desktop work area.
- Position the window against the right side of the desktop work area.
- Position the window against the top side of the desktop work area.
- Position the window against the bottom side of the desktop work area.
- setIconTitle TITLE
- Set the icon title to TITLE.
- Print the icon title.
- setWindowTitle TITLE
- Set the window title to TITLE.
- Print the window title.
- setGeometry GEOMETRY
- Set the window geometry to GEOMETRY. This geometry should be specified in a format that can be parsed by XParseGeometry(3). Negative offsets are with respect to the bottom or right side of the screen. Use "+-" for a truly negative position.
- Print the window geometry.
- netState [STATE]
- If STATE is omitted then it shows the EWMH window state. If STATE starts with a "+" then flags in STATE are appended to the existing EWMH window state. If STATE starts with a "-" then flags in STATE are removed from the existing EWMH window state. If STATE starts with a "^" then flags in STATE are toggled with respect to the existing EWMH window state. If STATE starts with a "=" then the EWMH window state is set to STATE. See EXPRESSIONS below. A list of EWMH flags can be found in the output of "icesh symbols".
- setLayer LAYER
- Move the specified window to another window layer. See EXPRESSIONS below for a list of LAYER symbols.
- Print the window layer for the specified window.
- setWorkspace WORKSPACE
- Move the specified window to another workspace. Select the root window to change the current workspace. If WORKSPACE is "All" then the specified window becomes visible on all workspaces. Specify "this" for the current workspace, "next" for the subsequent workspace or "prev" for the preceding workspace.
- Print the workspace for the specified window.
- opacity [OPACITY]
- Print the window opacity if OPACITY is not given, otherwise set the window opacity to OPACITY.
- setTrayOption TRAYOPTION
- Set the IceWM tray option for the specified window to TRAYOPTION. See IceWM tray options, below, for TRAYOPTION symbols.
- Print the IceWM tray option for the specified window.
- setNormalGravity GRAVITY
- Set the window gravity field in the WM_NORMAL_HINTS property for the specified window to GRAVITY. See below for GRAVITY symbols.
- Print the window gravity from the WM_NORMAL_HINTS property for the specified window.
- setWindowGravity GRAVITY
- Set the window gravity for the specified window to GRAVITY. See below for GRAVITY symbols.
- Print the window gravity for the specified window.
- setBitGravity GRAVITY
- Set the bit gravity> for the specified window to GRAVITY. See below for GRAVITY symbols.
- Print the bit gravity for the specified window.
- motif [funcs FUNCTIONS | decor DECORATIONS | remove]
- Query, set or modify the "_MOTIF_WM_HINTS" property for the specified window. Without arguments motif will show the current value, but only if the window has such a property. The property can be removed or reset with the remove argument. With funcs and decor individual fields of this property can be enabled or disabled. If FUNCTIONS or DECORATIONS starts with a minus or plus sign then the existing value is modified, otherwise it is set to the new value. Note that if "All" is set, other set fields are disabled and cleared fields are enabled.
- Hide the frame borders and title.
- Show the frame borders and title.
- Remove the WM_NORMAL_HINTS property, if it exists. This lifts font-size restrictions on resizing, especially for terminals.
- prop PROPERTY
- Print the value of property PROPERTY, if it is present.
- Print all properties and their values.
- Print the identifier of the window frame.
- Print the window identifier and the frame border sizes: left, right, top and bottom.
- click window-x window-y button
- Send a button press and release event at position (window-x, window-y). A negative position is relative to the bottom right corner. The mouse pointer is warped to the position before sending the events. The button number should be between 1 and 5 inclusive.
- monitors top bottom left right
- This sets the monitors to use for fullscreen. Top, bottom, left, and right are indices of the icesh xinerama command.
- Observe the selected windows and report any changes. This includes focus, visibility, position, size and all window properties. To monitor all of the protocol request messages that client applications may send to icewm, also spy on the root window.
The following actions control the IceWM window manager and therefore do not require a window select or filter option:
- List the names of all workspaces.
- Show the number and name of the current workspace.
- goto WORKSPACE
- Change the current workspace to WORKSPACE. Specify "next" for the subsequent workspace or "prev" for the preceding workspace.
- workspaces [COUNT]
- Print the number of workspaces if COUNT is not given, otherwise set the number of workspaces to COUNT.
- setWorkspaceName INDEX NAME
- Change the name of the workspace INDEX to NAME, where INDEX is a workspace number starting from zero.
- setWorkspaceNames NAME [NAME]*
- Change the workspace names to the list of NAMEs.
- addWorkspace NAME
- Create a new workspace with name NAME.
- desktop [SHOWING]
- If SHOWING is 1 then set "showing the desktop" mode. If SHOWING is 0 then turn off "showing the desktop". Print the current mode if SHOWING is not given.
- Print the dimensions of the work area for the current workspace. This is the desktop, but minus space occupied by dock and panel windows.
- Summarize the RandR configuration.
- Summarize the Xinerama configuration.
- Print information about the current window manager, like name, version, class, locale, command, host name and pid.
- List all managed client windows, their titles and geometries.
- List all mapped client windows for the current desktop, their titles and geometries.
- List all toplevel windows, their titles and geometries.
- List applications which are managed by the IceWM system tray.
- List application windows which are embedded using the XEMBED protocol. This is another way to discover system tray applications.
- Let icewm execute the "LogoutCommand".
- Let icewm execute the "RebootCommand".
- Let icewm execute the "ShutdownCommand".
- Let icewm cancel the logout/reboot/shutdown.
- Let icewm show the about window.
- Let icewm show the window list window.
- Let icewm restart itself.
- Let icewm execute the "SuspendCommand".
- Let icewm reload the "winoptions".
- Let icewm reload the "keys" file.
- Monitor the ICEWM_GUI_EVENT property and report all changes.
- delay [time]
- Stop execution for time or 0.1 seconds.
- runonce program [arguments...]
- This action is meant to be used together with the -class option. Only if no window is matched by WM_CLASS then program [arguments...] is executed.
- Synchronize with the IceWM window manager. That is, wait for icewm to process all previous actions.
- List all named symbols.
Icesh supports "if-then-else" expressions. The full syntax is:
if selection then actions elif selection then actions else actions end
Where "selection" is a sequence of selection and filtering options, which evaluates to true when it is non-empty. That is, if one or more windows fulfilled the condition. If it is empty, then its "actions" clause is ignored and the subsequent "elif" or "else" clause is tried or taken. Each clause is optional.
Whenever a selection condition evaluates to false, the window selection that existed before the "if" clause is immediately restored. This also happens after an "end" clause.
Some of the window actions require one or two EXPRESSION arguments.
Each SYMBOL may be from one of the following applicable domains:
- Window layer
- Named symbols of the domain Window layer (numeric range: 0-15):
Desktop (0) Below (2) Normal (4) OnTop (6) Dock (8) AboveDock (10) Menu (12)
These symbols are used with the LAYER argument to the "setLayer" action.
- IceWM tray option
- Named symbols of the domain IceWM tray option (numeric range: 0-2):
Ignore (0) Minimized (1) Exclusive (2)
These symbols are used with the TRAYOPTION argument to the "setTrayOption" action.
- Gravity symbols
- Named symbols for window and bit gravity (numeric range: 0-10):
ForgetGravity (0) NorthWestGravity (1) NorthGravity (2) NorthEastGravity (3) WestGravity (4) CenterGravity (5) EastGravity (6) SouthWestGravity (7) SouthGravity (8) SouthEastGravity (9) StaticGravity (10)
- Motif functions
All (1) Resize (2) Move (4) Minimize (8) Maximize (16) Close (32)
- Motif decorations
All (1) Border (2) Resize (4) Title (8) Menu (16) Minimize (32) Maximize (64)
- EWMH window state symbols
- Named symbols of the domain EWMH state (numeric range: 0-8191):
ABOVE (1) BELOW (2) DEMANDS_ATTENTION (4) FOCUSED (8) FULLSCREEN (16) HIDDEN (32) MAXIMIZED_HORZ (64) MAXIMIZED_VERT (128) MODAL (256) SHADED (512) SKIP_PAGER (1024) SKIP_TASKBAR (2048) STICKY (4096)
List all workspace names:
workspace #0: `main' workspace #1: `web' workspace #2: `doc' workspace #3: `dev'
Close terminal work and activate terminal fun.
icesh -c work.XTerm close -a -c fun.XTerm activate
Print opacity for all xterms.
icesh -c XTerm opacity
Change opacity for all xterms.
icesh -c XTerm opacity 84
Move all windows on workspace "Top" to the current workspace.
icesh -W "Top" setWorkspace "this"
Restore all hidden clients, minimize all clients on the current workspace and activate Firefox.
icesh -N HIDDEN restore -a -W "this" minimize -a -c Firefox activate
Resize the focused window to occupy the right half of the desktop area.
icesh -f sizeto 49% 100% sync top sync right sync raise
Toggle the frame border of the focused window.
if icesh -f motif | grep -q 'decor:$'; then \ icesh -f motif decor All; else icesh -f motif decor ""; fi
Here is a different solution using conditionals.
icesh -f if -P _NET_FRAME_EXTENTS=0 then bordered else borderless
Here is a conditional to either toggle the visibility of a roxterm, which has a WM_ROLE value of "special", or start it with runonce.
icesh sync if -c roxterm.Roxterm -R special then \ if -v then hide \ elif -u then setWorkspace this sync activate end \ else runonce roxterm --role=special
- The default display.
- The last action completed successfully.
- The last action completed unsuccessfully, or no window met the condition.
- A conditional has invalid syntax.
- The display could not be opened.
- The X server reports an error while processing a request.
icesh is largely compliant with the EWMH and ICCCM specifications. Some commands, like manager actions, are specific to IceWM.
Please report bugs at <https://github.com/bbidulock/icewm/issues>.
Brian Bidulock <mailto:email@example.com>.
See --copying for full copyright notice and copying permissions.
IceWM is licensed under the GNU Library General Public License. See the COPYING file in the distribution or use the --copying flag to display copying permissions.