Image viewer for X11/Wayland
Branch: master
Clone or download
eXeC64 navigator: Simplify file polling
We don't need to know when all paths were last touched, just when we
switched to the current path, and the last time that the file changed.

This also fixes a bug where imv would double-load images as it refreshed
its internal mtime.
Latest commit 28eb7b5 Feb 16, 2019 status imv - X11/Wayland Image Viewer

imv is a command line image viewer intended for use with tiling window managers.


  • Wayland Support
  • Support for over 30 different image file formats including:
    • Photoshop PSD files
    • Animated GIFS
    • Various RAW formats
    • SVG
  • Configurable key bindings and behaviour

Example Usage

The following examples are a quick illustration of how you can use imv. For full documentation see the man page.

Opening images

imv image1.png another_image.jpeg a_directory

Opening a directory recursively

imv -r Photos

Opening images via stdin

find . "*.png" | imv

Open an image fullscreen

imv -f image.jpeg

Viewing images in a random order

find . "*.png" | shuf | imv

Viewing images from stdin

curl http://somesi.te/img.png | imv -

Advanced use

imv can be used to select images in a pipeline by using the p hotkey to print the current image's path to stdout. The -l flag can also be used to tell imv to list the remaining paths on exit for a "open set of images, close unwanted ones with x, then quit imv to pass the remaining images through" workflow.

Through custom bindings, imv can be configured to perform almost any action you like.

Deleting unwanted images

In your imv config:

<Shift+x> = exec rm "$imv_current_file"; close

Then press 'X' within imv to delete the image and close it.

Rotate an image

In your imv config:

<Shift+r> = exec mogrify -rotate 90 "$imv_current_file"

Then press 'R' within imv to rotate the image 90 degrees using imagemagick.

Tag images from imv using dmenu as a prompt

In your imv config:

u = exec echo $imv_current_file >> ~/tags/$(ls ~/tags | dmenu -p "tag")

Then press 'u' within imv to tag the current image.

Viewing images from the web

curl -Osw '%{filename_effective}\n' '[1-10].jpg' | imv


imv can be used to display slideshows. You can set the number of seconds to show each image for with the -t option at start up, or you can configure it at runtime using the t and T hotkeys to increase and decrease the image display time, respectively.

To cycle through a folder of pictures, showing each one for 10 seconds:

imv -t 10 ~/Pictures/London

The -x switch can be used to exit imv after the last picture instead of cycling through the list.


imv depends on pthreads, FontConfig, SDL2, SDL_TTF and asciidoc. Additional dependencies are determined by which backends are selected when building imv. You can find a summary of which backends are available and control which ones imv is built with in

$ make
# make install

Macro PREFIX controls installation prefix. If more control over installation paths is required, macros BINPREFIX, MANPREFIX and DATAPREFIX are available. Eg. to install imv to home directory, run:

$ BINPREFIX=~/bin PREFIX=~/.local make install

In case something goes wrong during installation process you may use verbose mode to inspect commands issued by make:

$ V=1 make


imv has a work-in-progress test suite. The test suite requires cmocka.

$ make check


imv's source is published under the MIT license.