xmonad-contrib-bluetilebranch- Third party extensions for xmonad

MaintainerDevin Mullins <me@twifkak.com>




UrgencyHook lets you configure an action to occur when a window demands your attention. (In traditional WMs, this takes the form of "flashing" on your "taskbar." Blech.)



To wire this up, first add:

 import XMonad.Hooks.UrgencyHook

to your import list in your config file. Now, you have a decision to make: When a window deems itself urgent, do you want to pop up a temporary dzen bar telling you so, or do you have an existing dzen wherein you would like to highlight urgent workspaces?

Pop up a temporary dzen

Enable your urgency hook by wrapping your config record in a call to withUrgencyHook. For example:

 main = xmonad $ withUrgencyHook dzenUrgencyHook { args = ["-bg", "darkgreen", "-xs", "1"] }
               $ defaultConfig

This will pop up a dzen bar for five seconds telling you you've got an urgent window.

Highlight in existing dzen

In order for xmonad to track urgent windows, you must install an urgency hook. You can use the above dzenUrgencyHook, or if you're not interested in the extra popup, install NoUrgencyHook, as so:

 main = xmonad $ withUrgencyHook NoUrgencyHook
               $ defaultConfig

Now, your XMonad.Hooks.DynamicLog must be set up to display the urgent windows. If you're using the dzen or dzenPP functions from that module, then you should be good. Otherwise, you want to figure out how to set ppUrgent.

Useful keybinding

You can set up a keybinding to jump to the window that was recently marked urgent. See an example at focusUrgent.


Note: UrgencyHook installs itself as a LayoutModifier, so if you modify your urgency hook and restart xmonad, you may need to rejigger your layout by hitting mod-shift-space.


There are three steps to get right:

  1. The X client must set the UrgencyHint flag. How to configure this depends on the application. If you're using a terminal app, this is in two parts:
  • The console app must send a ^G (bell). In bash, a helpful trick is sleep 1; echo -e '\a'.
  • The terminal must convert the bell into UrgencyHint.
  1. XMonad must be configured to notice UrgencyHints. If you've added withUrgencyHook, you may need to hit mod-shift-space to reset the layout.
  2. The dzen must run when told. Run dzen2 -help and make sure that it supports all of the arguments you told DzenUrgencyHook to pass it. Also, set up a keybinding to the dzen action in XMonad.Util.Dzen to test if that works.

As best you can, try to isolate which one(s) of those is failing.

Example: Setting up irssi + rxvt-unicode

This is a commonly asked example. By default, the window doesn't get flagged urgent when somebody messages you in irssi. You will have to configure some things. If you're using different tools than this, your mileage will almost certainly vary. (For example, in Xchat2, it's just a simple checkbox.)

Configuring irssi

Irssi is not an X11 app, so it can't set the UrgencyHint flag on XWMHints. However, on all console applications is bestown the greatest of all notification systems: the bell. That's right, Ctrl+G, ASCII code 7, echo -e '\a', your friend, the bell. To configure irssi to send a bell when you receive a message:


Consult your local irssi documentation for more detail.

Configuring screen

A common way to run irssi is within the lovable giant, screen. Some distros (e.g. Ubuntu) like to configure screen to trample on your poor console applications -- in particular, to turn bell characters into evil, smelly "visual bells." To turn this off, add:

 vbell off # or remove the existing 'vbell on' line

to your .screenrc, or hit C-a C-g within a running screen session for an immediate but temporary fix.

Configuring rxvt-unicode

Rubber, meet road. Urxvt is the gateway between console apps and X11. To tell urxvt to set an UrgencyHint when it receives a bell character, first, have an urxvt version 8.3 or newer, and second, set the following in your .Xdefaults:

 urxvt.urgentOnBell: true

Depending on your setup, you may need to xrdb that.

Configuring xmonad

Hopefully you already read the section on how to configure xmonad. If not, hopefully you know where to find it.

Stuff for your config file:

withUrgencyHook :: (LayoutClass l Window, UrgencyHook h) => h -> XConfig l -> XConfig lSource

This is the method to enable an urgency hook. It uses the default urgencyConfig to control behavior. To change this, use withUrgencyHookC instead.

withUrgencyHookC :: (LayoutClass l Window, UrgencyHook h) => h -> UrgencyConfig -> XConfig l -> XConfig lSource

This lets you modify the defaults set in urgencyConfig. An example:

 withUrgencyHookC dzenUrgencyHook { ... } urgencyConfig { suppressWhen = Focused }

(Don't type the ..., you dolt.) See UrgencyConfig for details on configuration.

data UrgencyConfig Source

Global configuration, applied to all types of UrgencyHook. See urgencyConfig for the defaults.




suppressWhen :: SuppressWhen

when to trigger the urgency hook

remindWhen :: RemindWhen

when to re-trigger the urgency hook

urgencyConfig :: UrgencyConfigSource

The default UrgencyConfig. suppressWhen = Visible, remindWhen = Dont. Use a variation of this in your config just as you use a variation of defaultConfig for your xmonad definition.

data SuppressWhen Source

A set of choices as to when you should (or rather, shouldn't) be notified of an urgent window. The default is Visible. Prefix each of the following with "don't bug me when":



the window is currently visible


the window is on the currently focused physical screen


the window is currently focused


... aww, heck, go ahead and bug me, just in case.

data RemindWhen Source

A set of choices as to when you want to be re-notified of an urgent window. Perhaps you focused on something and you miss the dzen popup bar. Or you're AFK. Or you feel the need to be more distracted. I don't care.

The interval arguments are in seconds. See the minutes helper.



triggering once is enough

Repeatedly Int Interval

repeat arg1 times every arg2 seconds

Every Interval

repeat every arg1 until the urgency hint is cleared

focusUrgent :: X ()Source

Focuses the most recently urgent window. Good for what ails ya -- I mean, your keybindings. Example keybinding:

 , ((modm              , xK_BackSpace), focusUrgent)

clearUrgents :: X ()Source

Just makes the urgents go away. Example keybinding:

 , ((modm .|. shiftMask, xK_BackSpace), clearUrgents)

dzenUrgencyHook :: DzenUrgencyHookSource

Flashes when a window requests your attention and you can't see it. Defaults to a duration of five seconds, and no extra args to dzen. See DzenUrgencyHook.

data DzenUrgencyHook Source

Your set of options for configuring a dzenUrgencyHook.




duration :: Int

number of microseconds to display the dzen (hence, you'll probably want to use seconds)

args :: [String]

list of extra args (as Strings) to pass to dzen

data FocusHook Source

A hook which will automatically send you to anything which sets the urgent flag (as opposed to printing some sort of message. You would use this as usual, eg.

 withUrgencyHook FocusHook $ myconfig { ...



minutes :: Rational -> RationalSource

A prettified way of multiplying by 60. Use like: (5 minutes).

seconds :: Rational -> IntSource

Multiplies by ONE MILLION, for functions that take microseconds.

Use like:

 (5.5 `seconds`)

Stuff for developers:

readUrgents :: X [Window]Source

X action that returns a list of currently urgent windows. You might use it, or withUrgents, in your custom logHook, to display the workspaces that contain urgent windows.

withUrgents :: ([Window] -> X a) -> X aSource

An HOF version of readUrgents, for those who prefer that sort of thing.

newtype SpawnUrgencyHook Source

Spawn a commandline thing, appending the window id to the prefix string you provide. (Make sure to add a space if you need it.) Do your crazy xcompmgr thing.


SpawnUrgencyHook String 

class (Read h, Show h) => UrgencyHook h whereSource

The class definition, and some pre-defined instances.


urgencyHook :: h -> Window -> X ()Source