Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Find file
609 lines (399 sloc) 18.5 KB
dzen, (c) 2007-2010 by Robert Manea
Dzen is a general purpose messaging, notification and menuing program for X11.
It was designed to be fast, tiny and scriptable in any language.
* Small, fast, very tiny set of dependencies (Xlib only by default)
* Scriptable in any language
* Sophisticated formating language - including colours, icons, graphics
* Versatile - display all sorts of information
* Interactive - user defined mouse and keyboard actions
* Optional XFT support
* Optional XINERAMA support
In order to build dzen you need the Xlib header files.
Edit to match your local setup (dzen is installed into
the /usr/local namespace by default).
Afterwards enter the following command to build and install dzen (if
necessary as root):
make clean install
Optionally if you want to use dzen's gadgets:
cd gadgets
make clean install
Note: By default dzen will not be compiled with Xinerama and XPM support.
Uncomment the respective lines in to change this.
Feature requests, patches or anything else related to dzen can be send
to: rob dot manea at gmail dot com
Running dzen
dzen accepts a couple of options:
-fg foreground color
-bg background color
-fn font
-ta alignement of title window content
l(eft), c(center), r(ight)
-tw title window width
-sa alignment of slave window, see "-ta"
-l lines, see (1)
-e events and actions, see (2)
-m menu mode, see (3)
-u update contents of title and
slave window simultaneously, see (4)
-p persist EOF (optional timeout in seconds)
-x x position
-y y position
-h line height (default: fontheight + 2 pixels)
-w width
-xs number of Xinerama screen
-v version information
see (5) for the in-text formating language.
X resources
Dzen is able to read font and color setting from X resources.
As an example you can add following lines to ~/.Xresources
dzen2.font: -*-fixed-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
dzen2.foreground: #22EE11
dzen2.background: black
Window layout
Dzen's window layout is as follows:
| Title window, single line |
| |
| scrollable |
| Slave window |
| multiple lines |
| lines to display simultaneously |
| controlled with the |
| '-l' option |
| |
| |
The first line you provide to dzen always goes to the title window,
all other consecutive lines will be drawn to the slave window unless
you explicitly overide this with the (5) In-text formating language
command ^tw().
Q1: I don't want a slave window, what to do?
A1: Do not provide the '-l' option, all lines will be displayed
in the title window, this is the default behaviour.
Q2: I used the '-l' option but no slave window appears.
A2: With the default event/action handling the slave window will
only be displayed if you hoover with the mouse over the title
window. See "(2) Events and actions" if you'd like to change
Q3: If I echo some text or cat a file dzen closes itself imediatelly.
A3: There are 2 different approaches dzen uses to terminate itself,
see next section "Termination".
Q4: Ok, the title and slave thing works, can I update the
contents of both windows at the same time?
A4: Sure, see "(4) Simultaneous updates" or use the in-text
command "^tw()" to explicitly draw to the title windwow.
See section (5) for further details
Q5: Can i chnage color of my input at runtime?
A5: Yes, you can change both background and foreground colors and
much more See "(5) In-Text formating language"
Q6: Can I use dzen as a menu?
A6: Yes, both vertical and horizontal menus are supported.
See "(3) Menu" for further details.
dzen uses two different approaches to terminate itself:
* Timed termination: if EOF is received -> terminate
- unless the '-p' option is set
· '-p' without argument persist forever
· '-p' with argument n persist for n seconds
* Interactive termination: if mouse button3 is clicked -> terminate
- this is the default behaviour, see (2)
- in some modes the Escape key terminates too, see (2)
Return values:
0 - dzen received EOF
1 - some error occured, inspect the error message
user defined - set with 'exit:retval' action, see (2)
(1) Option "-l": Slave window
Enables support for displaying multiple lines. The parameter to "-l"
specifies the number of lines to be displayed.
These lines of input are held in the slave window which becomes active as soon
as the pointer enters the title (default action) window.
If the mouse leaves the slave window it will be hidden unless it is set
sticky by clicking with Button2 into it (default action).
Button4 and Button5 (mouse wheel) will scroll the slave window up
and down if the content exceeds the window height (default action).
(2) Option '-e': Events and actions
dzen allows the user to associate actions to events.
The command line syntax is as follows:
-e 'event1=action1:option1:...option<n>,...,action<m>;...;event<l>'
Every event can take any number of actions and every action can take any number
of options. (By default limited to 64 each, easily changable in action.h)
An example:
-e 'button1=exec:xterm:firefox;entertitle=uncollapse,unhide;button3=exit'
on Button1 event (Button1 press on the mouse) execute xterm and
Note: xterm and firefox are options to the exec action
on entertitle (mouse pointer enters the title window) uncollapse
slave window and unhide the title window
on button3 event exit dzen
Supported events:
onstart Perform actions right after startup
onexit Perform actions just before exiting
onnewinput Perform actions if there is new input for the slave window
button1 Mouse button1 released
button2 Mouse button2 released
button3 Mouse button3 released
button4 Mouse button4 released (usually scrollwheel)
button5 Mouse button5 released (usually scrollwheel)
button6 Mouse button6 released
button7 Mouse button7 released
entertitle Mouse enters the title window
leavetitle Mouse leaves the title window
enterslave Mouse enters the slave window
leaveslave Mouse leaves the slave window
sigusr1 SIGUSR1 received
sigusr2 SIGUSR2 received
key_KEYNAME Keyboard events (*)
(*) Keyboard events:
Every key can be bound to an action (see below). The format is:
key_KEYNAME where KEYNAME is the name of the key as defined in
keysymdef.h (usually: /usr/include/X11/keysymdef.h). The part
after 'XK_' in keysymdef.h must be used for KEYNAME.
Supported actions:
exec:command1:..:n execute all given options
menuexec executes selected menu entry
exit:retval exit dzen and return 'retval'
print:str1:...:n write all given options to STDOUT
menuprint write selected menu entry to STDOUT
collapse collapse (roll-up) slave window
uncollapse uncollapse (roll-down) slave window
togglecollapse toggle collapsed state
stick stick slave window
unstick unstick slave window
togglestick toggle sticky state
hide hide title window
unhide unhide title window
togglehide toggle hide state
raise raise window to view (above all others)
lower lower window (behind all others)
scrollhome show head of input
scrollend show tail of input
scrollup:n scroll slave window n lines up (default n=1)
scrolldown:n scroll slave window n lines down (default n=1)
grabkeys enable keyboard support
ungrabkeys disable keyboard support
grabmouse enable mouse support
only needed with specific windowmanagers, such as fluxbox
ungrabmouse release mouse
only needed with specific windowmanagers, such as fluxbox
Note: If no events/actions are specified dzen defaults to:
Title only mode:
-e 'button3=exit:13'
Multiple lines and vertical menu mode:
-e 'entertitle=uncollapse,grabkeys;
Horizontal menu mode:
-e 'enterslave=grabkeys;leaveslave=ungrabkeys;
If you define any events/actions, there is no default behaviour,
i.e. you will have to specify _all_ events/actions you want to
(3) Option '-m', Menu
Dzen provides two menu modes, vertical and horizontal menus. You can
access these modes by adding 'v'(ertical) or 'h'(horizontal) to the
'-m' option. If nothing is specified dzen defaults to vertical menus.
Vertical menu, both invocations are equivalent:
dzen2 -p -l 4 -m < file
dzen2 -p -l 4 -m v < file
Horizontal menu:
dzen2 -p -l 4 -m h < file
All actions beginning with "menu" work on the selected menu entry.
Note: Menu mode only makes sense if '-l <n>' is specified!
Horizontal menus have no title window, so all actions
affecting the title window will be silently discarded
in this mode.
(4) Option '-u', Simultaneous updates
This option provides facilities to update the title and slave window at
the same time.
The way it works is best described by an example:
We want to display an updating clock in the title and some log
output in the slave window.
while true; do
date # output goes to the title window
dmesg | tail -n 10 # output goes to the slave window
sleep 1
done | dzen2 -l 10 -u
For this to work correctly it is essential to provide exactly the number
of lines to the slave window as defined by the parameter to '-l'.
(5) In-text formating & control language:
This feature allows to dynamically (at runtime) format the text dzen
displays and control its behaviour.
Currently the following commands are supported:
Note: Doubling the '^' character ('^^') will remove the special meaning from it.
^fg(color) set foreground color
^fg() without arguments, sets default fg color
^bg(color) set background color
^bg() without arguments, sets default bg color
^i(path) draw icon specified by path
Supported formats: XBM and optionally XPM
^r(WIDTHxHEIGHT) draw a rectangle with the dimensions
^ro(WIDTHxHEIGHT) rectangle outline
^c(RADIUS) draw a circle with size RADIUS pixels
^co(RADIUS) circle outline
^p(ARGUMENT) position next input amount of PIXELs to the right
or left of the current position
a.k.a. relative positioning
^pa(ARGUMENT) position next input at PIXEL
a.k.a. absolute positioning
^p(+-X) move X pixels to the right or left of the current position (on the X axis)
^p(+-X;+-Y) move X pixels to the right or left and Y pixels up or down of the current
position (on the X and Y axis)
^p(;+-Y) move Y pixels up or down of the current position (on the Y axis)
^p() without parameters resets the Y position to its default
^pa() takes the same parameters as described above but positions at
the absolute X and Y coordinates
Further ^p() also takes some symbolic names as argument:
_LOCK_X Lock the current X position, useful if you want to
align things vertically
_UNLOCK_X Unlock the X position
_LEFT Move current x-position to the left edge
_RIGHT Move current x-position to the right edge
_TOP Move current y-position to the top edge
_CENTER Move current x-position to center of the window
_BOTTOM Move current y-position to the bottom edge
^ca(BTN, CMD) ... ^ca()
Used to define 'clickable areas' anywhere inside the
title window or slave window.
- 'BTN' denotes the mouse button (1=left, 2=right, 3=middle, etc.)
- 'CMD' denotes the command that should be spawned when the specific
area has been clicked with the defined button
- '...' denotes any text or formating commands dzen accepts
- '^ca()' without arguments denotes the end of this clickable area
foo ^ca(1, echo one)^fg(red)click me and i'll echo one^fg()^ca() bar
Actions as commands:
^stick() See section (2) 'Events and actions' for a detailed description
^unstick() of each command.
^tw() draw to title window
This command has some annoyances, as only
the input after the command will be drawn
to the title window, so it is best used
only once and as first command per line.
^cs() clear slave window
This command must be the first and only command
per line.
^ib(VALUE) ignore background setting, VALUE can be either
1 to ignore or 0 to not ignore the bg color set
with ^bg(color).
This command is useful in combination with ^p()
and ^pa() in order to position the input inside
other already drawn input.
These commands can appear anywhere and in any combination in dzen's
The color can be specified either as symbolic name (e.g. red,
darkgreen, etc.) or as #rrggbb hex-value (e.g. #ffffaa).
Icons must be in the XBM or optionally XPM format, see the "bitmaps"
directory for some sample icons. With the standard "bitmap" application
you can easily draw your own icons.
Some examples:
^fg(red)I'm red text ^fg(blue)I am blue
^bg(#ffaaaa)The ^fg(yellow)text to ^bg(blue)^fg(orange)colorize
^fg(grey70)Some text containing ^^ characters
Input for icons:
^i(bitmaps/envelope.xbm) I am an envelope ^fg(yellow)and ^i(bitmaps/battery.xbm) I'm a baterry.
Input for rectangles:
6x4 rectangle ^r(6x4) ^fg(red)12x8 ^r(12x8) ^fg(yellow)and finally 100x15 ^r(100x15)
Input for relative positioning:
Some text^p(100)^fg(yellow)100 pixels to the right^p(50)^fg(red)50 more pixels to the right
* Display message and timeout after 10 seconds:
(echo "This is a message"; sleep 10) | dzen2 -bg darkred -fg grey80 -fn fixed
* Display message and never timeout:
echo "This is a message"| dzen2 -p
* Display updating single line message:
for i in $(seq 1 20); do A=${A}'='; print $A; sleep 1; done | dzen2
* Display header and a message with multiple lines:
(echo Header; cal; sleep 20) | dzen2 -l 8
Displays "Header" in the title window and the output of cal in the 8
lines high slave window.
* Display updating messages:
(echo Header; while true; do echo test$((i++)); sleep 1; done) | dzen2 -l 12
The slave window will update contents if new input has arrived.
* Display log files:
(su -c "echo LOGFILENAME; tail -f /var/log/messages") | dzen2 -l 20 -x 100 -y 300 -w 500
* Monthly schedule with remind:
(echo Monthly Schedule; remind -c1 -m) | dzen2 -l 52 -w 410 -p -fn lime -bg '#e0e8ea' -fg black -x 635
* Simple menu:
echo "Applications" | dzen2 -l 4 -p -m < menufile
* Horizontal menu without any files:
{echo Menu; echo -e "xterm\nxclock\nxeyes\nxfontsel"} | dzen2 -l 4 -m h -p
* Extract PIDs from the process table:
{echo Procs; ps -a} | dzen2 -m -l 12 -p \
-e 'button1=menuprint;button3=exit;button4=scrollup:3;button5=scrolldown:3;entertitle=uncollapse;leaveslave=collapse' \
| awk '{print $1}'
* Dzen as xmonad (see statusbar: | dzen2 -ta r -fn '-*-profont-*-*-*-*-11-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859' -bg '#aecf96' -fg black \
-p -e 'sigusr1=raise;sigusr2=lower;onquit=exec:rm /tmp/dzen2-pid;button3=exit' & echo $! > /tmp/dzen2-pid
Have fun.