run-or-raise is a utility for launching applications or focusing their windows
if they are already running. When invoked,
run-or-raise tries to find a window
that matches a specified criteria and focus it or, if no matching window is
found, execute a specified program.
This can be useful when combined with a tiling window manager such as
i3 or a general purpose keyboard shortcut manager such as
xbindkeys that allow binding arbitrary
commands to keybindings. In such setup, one might use
run-or-raise to, for
example, launch or focus a web browser with a single key press.
run-or-raise is designed to work with X11 based Linux systems.
run-or-raise can be installed using
cargo install run-or-raise
Compiling and running
run-or-raise requires libxcb
library to be installed.
To get the latest development version of
run-or-raise, you can direct cargo to
install from the git repository:
cargo install --git 'https://github.com/Soft/run-or-raise.git'
Note that cargo will not install man pages. To install
run-or-raise along with
its manual invoke
make install in the project directory. By default, the
installation script will place the files under
run-or-raise CONDITION PROGRAM [ARGS...]
run-or-raise matches existing windows against
CONDITION. If a
matching window is found, it is focused. If none of the windows match the
PROGRAM passing any
ARGS to it as
Conditions select windows based on their properties. In X11, each window can have any number of properties associated with them. Examples of window properties include name (typically what is visible in window's title bar), class (an identifier that can be usually used to select windows of a particular applications) and role (a representation of window's logical role, eg. a web browser). The xprop utility can be used to inspect windows and their properties.
The simplest possible window matching condition simply compares one of the properties with a value:
run-or-raise 'name = "Spotify"' spotify
This would find and focus a window with the title “Spotify” or run the command
Conditions support two comparison operators:
= for exact equality comparison
with a string literal and
~ for comparing using a regular
Comparisons can be combined using logical operators:
&& for logical AND,
|| for logical OR, and
! for logical NOT. Operators in matching
expressions are left-associative and
! (not) binds stronger than
which, in turn, binds stronger than
|| (or). Possible properties are
role. Additionally, parentheses can be used to alter evaluation
order. Strings and regular expressions are written inside double quotes. If
multiple windows match the criteria, the first matching window is selected.
Bellow are some examples of how conditions can be used to select windows in various ways:
# Launch or focus emacs run-or-raise 'class = "Emacs"' emacs # You can also use regular expressions for matching. # Match windows with title ending with the string "Firefox" run-or-raise 'name ~ ".*Firefox$"' firefox # You can combine multiple comparisons with logical operators. # Match windows with the role "browser" that do not have the class "Chromium". run-or-raise 'role = "browser" && ! class = "Chromium"' firefox # Even more complex conditions are possible. # This is getting silly run-or-raise '! name ~ ".*\d+.*" || role = "browser" && ! class = "Emacs"' urxvt
Integration with External Tools
run-or-raise can be combined with just about any tool that allows executing
arbitrary commands in response to key events. Bellow are some hints about
run-or-raise to work with various applications:
xbindkeys Keyboard Shortcut Manager
xbindkeys is an application for executing
commands based on key events.
run-or-raise can be combined with it to only
launch applications if they are not already running. For example, to launch or
focus Firefox by pressing
Shift+Mod4+b, one could use the following
"run-or-raise 'role = \"browser\"' firefox" Shift+Mod4+b
i3 Window Manager
i3 is a tiling window manager that, among other things,
supports binding arbitrary commands to arbitrary keys. To bind
invocation to a key with i3, one might specify something like the following in
i3's configuration file:
bindsym Mod4+Shift+b exec --no-startup-id \ run-or-raise 'role = "browser"' firefox
KDE Custom Shortcuts
are used to define shortcuts that appear in application menus and launchers. In
addition to application name and icon they also define what commands should be
executed when an application is launched.
run-or-raise can be used as a part
of a desktop file to mandate that only a single instance of a particular
application should be started. For example, Spotify on Linux does not currently
enforce that only a single instance of the application can be launched, this is
annoying since having multiple audio players open is rarely what one wants.
run-or-raise into a desktop file means replacing the
with a one that invokes
run-or-raise to check if the application is already
[Desktop Entry] Name=Spotify Exec=run-or-raise 'class = "Spotify"' spotify %U ...