Variable parameters are shown in emphasis: argument

Optional parameters are shown in square brackets: [argument]

All other characters shown are required verbatim. Whitespace is required where shown, but it is fine to add more whitespace.


The keys file defines the keyboard shortcuts for fluxbox(1).

You can customize fluxbox\(cqs key handling through the ~/.fluxbox/keys file. The file consists of lines of the basic format:

[modifiers] key :'command' [arguments ...]

The space between the key and the : before the command is mandatory.

All modifiers and commands are case-insensitive. Some command arguments (especially those that will be passed to the shell) are case-sensitive. Some key names are case-sensitive.

Lines beginning with a # or ! are considered comments and are unread by fluxbox.

You will need to “reload” fluxbox after editing the keys file so it picks up your change.


You can get a list of possible modifiers by calling \(oqxmodmap -pm\(cq. This also shows you to which keys the modifiers are mapped, but the following modifiers are most commonly used:

Shift Control Mod1 Mod4

where Mod1 is the Alt key on the PC keyboard and Mod4 is usually a key branded with a familiar company logo.

There are also some special modifiers that refer to mouse button events


The mouse cursor is over the desktop (root window), and not any window.


The mouse cursor is over the toolbar (which is normally at the bottom of the screen).


The mouse cursor is over a window.


The mouse cursor is over a window\(cqs titlebar.


The mouse cursor is over a tab.


Limits this action to double-clicks only.

Combining Modifiers

To combine two or more modifiers, just list them (space-delimited) in any order.


You may specify a key by its key name (for example, a or space) or by its numeric keycode (for example, 38 or 0xf3).

If you don\(cqt know the name of a key, you can run xev(1) in a terminal, push the key, and see the name in the output. If you have some "special" keys that do not produce a key name in the output of xev(1), you can just use the keycode (NOT the keysym!) in your keys file.

Commands can also be bound to mouse events (N denotes the number of the button, eg. 1 is the primary button, 4/5 are the wheel buttons):


The mouse button N is pressed down and held.


The mouse button N is clicked (pressed and released with no movement in between)


The mouse button N is currently held, the bound action is triggered as often as the mouse moves.

There are some special "keys" that let you bind events to non-keyboard events:


Fires when the workspace changes. This can be used to change backgrounds or do anything else you like when you switch to a new workspace. See the EXAMPLES below for one idea.


Use caution with this event! For example, do NOT bind this to any action that changes your current workspace. If you break your fluxbox with this feature, you get to keep the pieces.


Key bindings can be chained in a fashion similar to Emacs key bindings using the syntax:

modifiers-1 key-1 modifiers-2 key-2 :'command' [arguments ...]*

To abort a chained command part-way through typing it, press the <ESC> key.

To Bind CTRL+C CTRL+X (Which means, press CTRL+C then CTRL+X) to quit fluxbox.

Control c Control x :Quit


A specific set of key mappings can be activated and de-activated on-the-fly using what are called keymodes. The syntax to define a mapping in a keymode is:

keymode: modifiers key :'command' [arguments ...]

Where keymode is any alpha-numeric string name.

When this keymode is activated (see the KeyMode command below), all bindings prefaced by that keymode name become active (and all other keybindings will be deactivated) until the keymode changes again.


Some commands have multiple names which are shown below as


Related commands have been grouped below as


The commands are broken up into sections as follows

Mouse Commands

Window Commands

Workspace Commands

Menu Commands

Window Manager Commands

Special Commands

Mouse Commands

These commands may only be bound to mouse buttons (plus modifiers), not keystrokes. In all cases, the action finishes when the mouse button is released.


Start dragging to move the window.

StartResizing [corner]

Start dragging to resize the window as if you had grabbed the window at the specified corner.

By default corner is BottomRight, but may be overridden with one of:

NearestCorner NearestEdge NearestCornerOrEdge Center TopLeft Top TopRight Left Right BottomLeft Bottom BottomRight

If NearestCornerOrEdge is specified the size of the corner can also be specified to be the larger of one or two following numbers: [pixel-size [percent-size]] or percent-size%, where percent-size is the percentage of half the window width or height. If no size is given, it defaults to 50 pixels and 30%.


Start dragging to add this window to another\(cqs tabgroup.


Activates the tab underneath the mouse.

Window Commands

These commands ordinarily affect only the currently focused window. The OnWindow modifier and ForEach command may affect the window that is used.

Minimize | MinimizeWindow | Iconify

Minimize the current window, equivalent to the window button.

Maximize | MaximizeWindow

Maximize the current window, equivalent to the window button.

MaximizeHorizontal / MaximizeVertical

Maximize the current window in one direction only, leaving the other dimension unchanged.


Resize the window\(cqs content to fit the whole screen, without any window decoration.

Raise / Lower

Reorder this window to the top or bottom of the window stack, within its current layer. See fluxbox(1) for a discussion of layers.

RaiseLayer / LowerLayer [offset]

Raise the window up to the layer above, or lower it to the layer below. See fluxbox(1) for a discussion of layers.

SetLayer layer

Move the window to the specified layer. layer should be one of AboveDock, Dock, Top, Normal, Bottom, Desktop. See fluxbox(1) for a discussion of layers.


Close the current window, equivalent to the window button.

Kill | KillWindow

Close a window that\(cqs not responding to Close, like using xkill(1).

Shade | ShadeWindow

Toggle the shaded state of the current window, equivalent to the window button. A shaded window appears as only the title bar.

ShadeOn / ShadeOff

Set the shaded state of the window to On / Off.

Stick | StickWindow

Toggle the sticky state of the current window, equivalent to the window button. A sticky window is visible on all workspaces.

SetDecor decor

Sets which window decorations will be shown. decor has the same format as the \(oq[Deco]\(cq parameter in the apps file. See fluxbox-apps(5) for more info.


Toggles the presence of the window decorations (title bar, window buttons, and resize bar).

NextTab / PrevTab

Cycle to the next / previous tab in the current tab group.

Tab number

Cycle to the given tab in the current tab group, where 1 is the first tab. A negative number counts from the end of the tab group (-1 is the last tab, -2 is the next-to-last, etc.).

MoveTabRight / MoveTabLeft

Reorder the tabs in the current tab group, swapping the current tab with the one to the right / left.


Remove the current tab from the tab group, placing it in its own window.

ResizeTo width[%] height[%]

Resizes the window to the given width and height. If the value is given in percent, then the window size will be based on the current screen\(cqs size.

Resize delta-width[%] delta-height[%]

Resizes the window relative to the current width and height. If the value is given in percent, then the window size will be based on the current window\(cqs size.

ResizeHorizontal delta-width[%] / ResizeVertical delta-height[%]

Resizes the window in one dimension only. If the value is given in percent, then the window size will be based on the current window\(cqs size.

MoveTo x[%] y[%] [anchor]

Moves the window to the given coordinates, given in pixels or relatively to the current screen size if % is specified after the value.

If either x or y is set to \*, that coordinate will be ignored, and the movement will only take place in one dimension.

The default anchor is the upper left corner, but this may be overridden with one of:

TopLeft Left BottomLeft Top Center Bottom TopRight Right BottomRight

Move delta-x delta-y

Moves the window relative to its current position. Positive numbers refer to right and down, and negative to left and up, respectively.

MoveRight d / MoveLeft d / MoveUp d / MoveDown d

Moves the window relative to its current position by the number of pixels specified in d. If the number is negative, it moves in the opposite direction.

TakeToWorkspace workspace / SendToWorkspace workspace

Sends you along with the current window to the selected workspace. SendToWorkspace just sends the window. The first workspace is number 1, not 0.

TakeToNextWorkspace [offset] / TakeToPrevWorkspace [offset]

Sends you along with the current window to the next or previous workspace. If you set offset to a value greater than the default of 1, it will move you that number of workspaces ahead or behind. If you go beyond the end of the currently defined workspaces, it will wrap around to the other end automatically.

SendToNextWorkspace [offset] / SendToPrevWorkspace [offset]

Identical to the "TakeTo..." commands, but again this sends only the window, and does not move you away from your current workspace.

SetAlpha [alpha [unfocused-alpha]]

Sets the alpha value of a window.

Putting a + or - in front of the value adds or subtracts from the current value. A plain integer sets the value explicitly.

no arguments

Resets both focused and unfocused settings to default opacity.

one argument

Changes both focused and unfocused alpha settings.

two arguments

First value becomes the focused alpha, second becomes the unfocused alpha value.

SetHead number

Moves the window to the given display head. Only available when fluxbox has been compiled with Xinerama support.

SendToNextHead [offset] / SendToPrevHead [offset]

Sends the current window to the next/previous display head. If you specify an offset greater than 1, it will move the window that many heads. If this takes the window beyond the total number of heads, it will wrap around to the beginning.

SetXProp PROP=value

Sets the xproperty PROP of the current window to value. Delete the content of PROP by using PROP=.

Workspace Commands

These commands affect the entire workspace (or "desktop" as it is sometimes called).

AddWorkspace / RemoveLastWorkspace

Adds or removes a workspace from the end of the list of workspaces.

NextWorkspace [n] / PrevWorkspace [n] / RightWorkspace [n] / LeftWorkspace [n]

Switch to the Next / Previous workspace. All versions accept an offset value n, which defaults to 1 and refers to the number of workspaces to move at one time. {Next,Prev}Workspace wrap around when going past the last workspace, whereas {Right,Left}Workspace do not.

Workspace number

Jumps to the given workspace number. The first workspace is 1.

NextWindow [{options}] [pattern] / PrevWindow [{options}] [pattern]

Focuses the next / previous window in the focus list.

options is one or more of the following, space delimited:


Instead of moving in order of most-recent focus, move in order of when the window was opened (or, the order shown in the iconbar).


Only include the current tab in windows with multiple tabs.

If pattern arguments are supplied, only windows that match all the patterns are considered - all others are skipped. See the section CLIENT PATTERNS below for more information.

This pair of commands has a special side-effect when the keybinding used has a modifier - It will temporarily raise the cycled window to the front so you can see it, but if you continue holding down the modifier and press the key again (For example, keep holding "Alt" while you tap the "Tab" key a few times), fluxbox will lower the window again when you move on to the next one. This allows you to preview the windows in order, but does not change the order in doing so.

NextGroup [{options}] [pattern] / PrevGroup [{options}] [pattern]

Equivalent to NextWindow / PrevWindow above, but with the groups option forced on.

GotoWindow number [{options}] [pattern]

Focuses and activates the window at position number in the focus list. The options and pattern arguments have the same meaning as NextWindow above.

Activate [pattern] | Focus [pattern]

With pattern, this is an alias for GoToWindow 1 pattern. Without, this behaves like a window command, so that OnWindow events can change the focused window.

Attach pattern

Combines all windows that match the pattern into a single tab group. See CLIENT PATTERNS for more about the pattern arguments.

FocusLeft / FocusRight / FocusUp / FocusDown

Focus to the next window which is located in the direction specified.

ArrangeWindows pattern / ArrangeWindowsVertical pattern / ArrangeWindowsHorizontal pattern

Tries to arrange all windows on the current workspace so that they overlap the least amount possible. ArrangeWindowsVertical prefers vertical splits (windows side by side), whereas ArrangeWindowsHorizontal prefers horizontal splits (windows on top of eachother). See CLIENT PATTERNS for more about the pattern arguments.


Minimizes all windows on the current workspace. If they are already all minimized, then it restores them.

Deiconify mode destination

Deiconifies windows (or, restores from a minimized state).

Where mode may be one of:


All icons across all workspaces.


All icons on the current workspace.


The last icon across all workspaces.

LastWorkspace (default)

The last icon on the current workspace.

And destination may be one of:

Current (default)

Deiconify to the current workspace.


Deiconify to the window\(cqs original workspace, but does so in the background, without moving you there.

SetWorkspaceName name / SetWorkspaceNameDialog

Sets the name of the current workspace.


Closes all windows on all desktops.

Menu Commands

These commands open or close fluxbox popup menus. For more information on what these menus contain or how to configure them, see fluxbox(1).


Opens the root menu. See ROOT MENU in fluxbox-menu(5) for details.


Opens a menu showing all workspaces and windows. See Workspace Menu in fluxbox(1) for details.


Opens a menu containing actions for the current window. See WINDOW MENU in fluxbox-menu(5) for details.

ClientMenu [pattern]

Opens a menu that contains all windows. If you specify a pattern, only matching windows will be in the menu. Selecting a window will jump to that workspace and raise the window. See CLIENT PATTERNS below for more details on the pattern argument.

CustomMenu path

Opens a custom menu file. This path must be a valid menu file in the same format as detailed by the ROOT MENU section of fluxbox-menu(5).


Hide all fluxbox popup menus.

Window Manager Commands

These commands affect the Window Manager, or more than one window.

Restart [path]

Restarts fluxbox. This does not close any running applications. If the optional path is a path to an executable window manager, that manager is started in place of fluxbox.

Quit | Exit

Exits fluxbox. This will normally cause X to stop as well and terminate all existing applications, returning you to the login manager or console.

Reconfig | Reconfigure

Reloads all fluxbox configuration files including the keys file, apps file, and init file, if they have changed.

SetStyle path

Sets the current style to that given in path, which must be the full path to a fluxbox style.


Reloads only the current style. Useful after editing a style which is currently in use.

ExecCommand args ... | Exec args ... | Execute args ...

Probably the most-used binding of all. Passes all the arguments to your $SHELL (or /bin/sh if $SHELL is not set). You can use this to launch applications, run shell scripts, etc. Since all arguments are passed verbatim to the shell, you can use environment variables, pipes, or anything else the shell can do. Note that processes only see environment variables that were set before fluxbox started (such as in ~/.fluxbox/startup), or any that are set via the Export or SetEnv commands, below. See fluxbox(1) for more details on the ENVIRONMENT and \~/.fluxbox/startup file.


Pops up a dialog box that lets you type in any of these commands manually.

SetEnv name value | Export name=value

Sets an environment variable in Fluxbox. It will be passed to any applications spawned by any future ExecCommand commands.

SetResourceValue resourcename resourcevalue | SetResourceValueDialog

Sets a fluxbox resource value, which are normally stored in the init file. See fluxbox(1) for more details on available resources and allowed values.

Special Commands

These commands have special meanings or behaviors.

MacroCmd {command1} {command2} {command3} ...

Allows you to execute more than one command with one keybinding. The commands will be executed in series. The { } brackets are literally required, as in the following example:

MacroCmd {MoveTo 0 0} {ResizeTo 1280 800}

Delay {command} [microseconds]

Delays running command for the given amount of time. If the same key binding is activated again, the timer will be restarted.

ToggleCmd {command1} {command2} ...

Alternates between the commands. On the first press of the bound key, runs command1. On the next press, runs command2.

BindKey keybinding

Adds the given keybinding (which must be a valid key binding as defined in the DESCRIPTION section above) to your keys file.

KeyMode keymode [return-keybinding]

Activates the named keymode (or, all key binding lines prefaced with the same keymode:) and deactivates all others until the return-keybinding (by default Escape) is pressed. The default keymode is named default.

ForEach {command} [{condition}] | Map {command} [{condition}]

Runs the given command (normally one from the Window Commands section above) on each window. If you specify a condition (See Conditions, below) the action will be limited to matching windows.

If {condition} {then-command} [{else-command}] | Cond {condition} {then-command} [{else-command}]

If the condition command returns true, then run the then-command, otherwise run the optional else-command. See Conditions below for more information on the condition argument.


These special commands are used to match windows conditionally. They are commonly used by the If and ForEach command.

Matches pattern

Returns true if the current window matches the given pattern. See CLIENT PATTERNS below for details on the pattern syntax.

If your key binding uses the OnWindow modifier, it matches against the window you clicked, not the currently focused window.

To check other windows besides the currently focused one, see the Every and Some conditions below.

Some condition

Returns true if any window on any workspace (not just the currently focused one) matches the condition.

Every condition

Returns true if every window on every workspace (not just the current one) matches the condition.

Not condition

Returns true if condition returns false, and vice-versa.

And {condition1} {condition2} [{condition3} ...]

Returns true if and only if all given conditions return true.

Or {condition1} {condition2} [{condition3} ...]

Returns true if any of the listed conditions return true.

Xor {condition1} {condition2} [{condition3} ...]

Returns the boolean xor of the truth values for all conditions listed.


Many of the more advanced commands take a pattern argument, which allows you to direct the action at a specific window or set of windows which match the properties specified in the pattern.

A pattern looks like this

([propertyname[!]=]regexp) ...

Match definitions are enclosed in parentheses (...), and if no propertyname is given then Name is assumed. The regexp can contain any regular expression, or the special value [current], which matches the corresponding value of the currently focused window. See regex(7) for more information on acceptable regular expressions.

propertyname is not case sensitive, whereas the regexp is.

If you specify multiple (pattern) arguments, this implies an AND condition - All specified patterns must match.

You can use = to test for equality or != to test for inequality.

The following values are accepted for propertyname


A string, corresponding to the CLASSNAME property (The first field of WM_CLASS from the output of the xprop(1) utility).


A string, corresponding to the CLASSCLASS property (The second field of WM_CLASS from the output of the xprop(1) utility).


A string, corresponding to the window title (WM_NAME from xprop(1)).


A string, corresponding to the ROLE property (WM_WINDOW_ROLE from xprop(1)).


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window is transient (typically, a popup dialog) or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window is maximized or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window is maximized horizontally or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window is maximized vertically or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window is minimized (iconified) or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window is fullscreen or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window is shaded or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window is sticky (on all workspaces) or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window has asked to be left off the focus list (or, the alt-tab list), or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window has asked to be left off the icon list (or, the taskbar), or not.


Either yes or no, depending on whether the window has the urgent hint set.


A number corresponding to the workspace number to which the window is attached. The first workspace here is 0. You may also use [current] to match the currently visible workspace.


A string corresponding to the name of the workspace to which the window is attached.


The number of the display head to which the window is attached. You may match this against the special value [mouse] which refers to the head where the mouse pointer currently resides.


The string name of the window\(cqs layer, which is one of AboveDock, Dock, Top, Normal, Bottom, Desktop


The number of the currently used screen. If the setup of the running xserver involves independent screens (not Xinerama), the $DISPLAY environment contains something like :0.1 or :1.0. The part after the dot (.) is the number of the screen.


A string, corresponding to any xproperty (Use either the xprop(1) utility or the SetXProp command to set a xproperty to a window)

Matches any windows with the CLASSNAME of "xterm".


Matches any windows with the same CLASSNAME as the currently focused window.


Matches any windows on the same head as the mouse but on a different layer than the currently focused window.

(Head=[mouse]) (Layer!=[current])

Matches any windows having a xproperty named FOO with "bar" in it.




This is the default location for the keybinding definitions.


X key names are in this file.


X key names are also in this file.


session.keyFile: location

This may be set to override the location of the keybinding definitions.


Remember that ExecCommand command can take advantage of other environment variables if they are set before fluxbox is started, or via the Export or SetEnv commands. For example, if $TERM is set, it could be use like this:

Mod1 x :ExecCommand $TERM

For more information about environment variables, see your shell\(cqs manual.


Here are some interesting and/or useful examples you can do with your keys file.

# Mod4+drag moves a window
OnWindow Mod4 Mouse1 :StartMoving

# If any xterm windows are open, cycle through them. If none are open, open
# one:
Mod4 t :If {Some Matches (xterm)} {NextWindow (xterm)} {Exec xterm}

# Set a different wallpaper on every workspace:
ChangeWorkspace :Exec fbsetbg ~/.fluxbox/bg$(xprop -root _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP | awk '{print $3}').png

# Focusses the next window with it's xproperty 'PROP' set to 'foo'
Mod4 p Mod4 Tab :NextWindow (@PROP=foo)


Jim Ramsay < at jimramsay com> (>fluxbox-1.0.0)

Curt Micol <asenchi at asenchi com> (>fluxbox-0.9.11)

Tobias Klausmann <klausman at users sourceforge net> (\(lafluxbox-0.9.11)

Grubert <grubert at users sourceforge net> (fluxbox)

Matthew Hawkins <matt at mh dropbear id au> (blackbox)

Wilbert Berendsen <wbsoft at xs4all nl> (blackbox)

RELATED TO fluxbox-keys…


Jim Ramsay <[email protected]>