xosd_display(3) Display data to an XOSD window


#include <xosd.h>

int xosd_display (xosd *osd, int line, xosd_command command, ...);


xosd_display displays either a string, a percentage bar (like a progress bar) or a slider on an X display. The data is displayed in a borderless shaped-window, so it appears to float on top of the other windows, like the on-screen displays found in many televisions. Users cannot interact with the display in any way.

The data is displayed until the timeout limit, set by calling xosd_set_timeout(3), is reached, but xosd_display returns immediately. If blocking is required xosd_wait_until_no_display(3) should be called after xosd_display. A window that is displaying data can be hidden by calling xosd_hide(3).

The type of data displayed is determined by the command argument. There are two types of data that can be displayed: text or integers.

Displaying Textual Data

Text is normally displayed by passing XOSD_string as the argument to command, followed by a string in UTF-8 format. If formatted text is desired, pass XOSD_printf as the argument to command, followed by string that has the same format as printf(3), and as many additional arguments as is required by the format string.

Displaying Integer Values

Integer values (which must be within the range 0 to 100) can be displayed in two ways: a percentage-bar or a slider. A percentage bar looks like a volume display on a TV, and is created by passing XOSD_percentage as the argument to command. A slider (see the XOSD plug-in for xmms(1) for an example) is created by passing XOSD_slider as the argument to command. An int between 0 and 100 is expected as the final argument when either XOSD_percentage or XOSD_slider is passed as the argument to command.


The XOSD window to use as the display.

The line of the display to change. The value of line must be less than number_lines, set in the call to xosd_create(3).

One of XOSD_percentage, XOSD_slider or XOSD_string. If the value of command is XOSD_string, then the next argument should be a string in UTF-8 format. If XOSD_percentage or XOSD_slider is given then an int between 1 and 100 is expected as the next argument.


If the command is either XOSD_percentage or XOSD_slider then the integer value of the bar or slider is returned (between 1 and 100). For XOSD_string and XOSD_printf the number of characters written to the display is returned.

On error -1 is returned and xosd_error is set to indicate the reason for the error.


char *xosd_error
A string describing the error, if one occurred.

enum xosd_command
The type of information that can be displayed, defined as an enumerated type. There are four values defined: XOSD_percentage, XOSD_string, XOSD_printf, and XOSD_slider.


The XOSD library was originally written by André Renaud, and is currently maintained by Tim Wright. This document was written by Michael JasonSmith.


There are no known bugs with xosd_display. Bug reports can be sent to <[email protected]>.