sxhkd(1) Simple X hotkey daemon




sxhkd is a simple X hotkey daemon with a powerful and compact configuration syntax.



Print the synopsis to standard output and exit.


Print the version information to standard output and exit.


Handle the first COUNT mapping notify events.


Timeout in seconds for the recording of chord chains.


Read the main configuration from the given file.


Redirect the commands output to the given file.


Write motion messages to the given SOCKET.


Motion messages template.


Output status information to the given FIFO.


Set the maximum frequency for motion events.


sxhkd is a daemon that listens to keyboard events and execute commands.

It reads its configuration file from $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/sxhkd/sxhkdrc by default, or from the given file if the -c option is used.

Additional configuration files can be passed as arguments.

If sxhkd receives a SIGUSR1 (resp. SIGUSR2) signal, it will reload its configuration file (resp. toggle the grabbing state of all its bindings).

The commands are executed via SHELL -c COMMAND (hence you can use environment variables).

SHELL will be the content of the first defined environment variable in the following list: SXHKD_SHELL, SHELL.

If you have a non-QWERTY keyboard or a non-standard layout configuration, you should provide a COUNT of 1 to the -m option or -1 (interpreted as infinity) if you constantly switch from one layout to the other (sxhkd ignores all mapping notify events by default because the majority of those events are pointless).


Each line of the configuration file is interpreted as so:

• If it is empty or starts with #, it is ignored.

• If it starts with a space, it is read as a command.

• Otherwise, it is read as a hotkey.

General syntax:

HOTKEY      := CHORD_1 ; CHORD_2 ; ... ; CHORD_n
CHORD_i     := [MODIFIERS_i +] [~][@]KEYSYM_i

The valid modifier names are: super, hyper, meta, alt, control, ctrl, shift, mode_switch, lock, mod1, mod2, mod3, mod4, mod5 and any.

The keysym names are given by the output of xev.

Hotkeys and commands can be spread across multiple lines by ending each partial line with a backslash character.

When multiple chords are separated by semicolons, the hotkey is a chord chain: the command will only be executed after receiving each chord of the chain in consecutive order.

The colon character can be used instead of the semicolon to indicate that the chord chain shall not be aborted when the chain tail is reached.

If a command starts with a semicolon, it will be executed synchronously, otherwise asynchronously.

The Escape key can be used to abort a chord chain.

If @ is added at the beginning of the keysym, the command will be run on key release events, otherwise on key press events.

If ~ is added at the beginning of the keysym, the captured event will be replayed for the other clients.

Mouse hotkeys can be defined by using one of the following special keysym names: button1, button2, button3, ..., button24.

The hotkey and the command may contain sequences of the form {STRING_1,...,STRING_N}.

In addition, the sequences can contain ranges of the form A-Z where A and Z are alphanumeric characters.

The underscore character represents an empty sequence element.


    mpc -q {prev,next}
    scrot -s -e 'image_viewer $f'
super + shift + equal
    sxiv -rt "$HOME/image"
    xdotool selectwindow | xsel -bi
super + {h,j,k,l}
    bspc node -f {west,south,north,east}
super + alt + {0-9}
    mpc -q seek {0-9}0%
super + {alt,ctrl,alt + ctrl} + XF86Eject
    sudo systemctl {suspend,reboot,poweroff}
    bspc pointer -g focus
super + button{1-3}
    ; bspc pointer -g {move,resize_side,resize_corner}
super + @button{1-3}
    bspc pointer -u
super + {_,shift + }{h,j,k,l}
    bspc node -{f,s} {west,south,north,east}
{_,shift + ,super + }XF86MonBrightness{Down,Up}
    bright {-1,-10,min,+1,+10,max}
super + o ; {e,w,m}
super + m : {h,j,k,l}
    xdo move {-x -5,-y +5,-y -5,-x +5}
super + alt + control + {h,j,k,l} ; {0-9}
    bspc node @{west,south,north,east} -r 0.{0-9}
super + alt + p
    bspc config focus_follows_pointer {true,false}


Bastien Dejean <nihilhill at>


sxhkd at