xmonad-contrib-0.13: Third party extensions for xmonad

CopyrightDevin Mullins <me@twifkak.com>
LicenseBSD3-style (see LICENSE)
MaintainerDevin Mullins <me@twifkak.com>
Safe HaskellNone




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"] }
              $ def

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
              $ def

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.
  2. XMonad must be configured to notice UrgencyHints. If you've added withUrgencyHook, you may need to hit mod-shift-space to reset the layout.
  3. 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 l Source #

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 l Source #

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.




urgencyConfig :: UrgencyConfig Source #

The default UrgencyConfig. suppressWhen = Visible, remindWhen = Dont. Use a variation of this in your config just as you use a variation of def 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 :: DzenUrgencyHook Source #

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.




filterUrgencyHook :: [WorkspaceId] -> Window -> X () Source #

urgencyhook such that windows on certain workspaces never get urgency set.

Useful for scratchpad workspaces perhaps:

main = xmonad (withUrgencyHook (filterUrgencyHook ["NSP", "SP"]) defaultConfig)

minutes :: Rational -> Rational Source #

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

seconds :: Rational -> Int Source #

Multiplies by ONE MILLION, for functions that take microseconds.

Use like:

(5.5 `seconds`)

In GHC 7 and later, you must either enable the PostfixOperators extension (by adding

{-# LANGUAGE PostfixOperators #-}

to the top of your file) or use seconds in prefix form:

seconds 5.5

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 a Source #

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

class UrgencyHook h where Source #

The class definition, and some pre-defined instances.

Minimal complete definition



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


UrgencyHook StdoutUrgencyHook Source # 


urgencyHook :: StdoutUrgencyHook -> Window -> X () Source #

UrgencyHook SpawnUrgencyHook Source # 


urgencyHook :: SpawnUrgencyHook -> Window -> X () Source #

UrgencyHook BorderUrgencyHook Source # 


urgencyHook :: BorderUrgencyHook -> Window -> X () Source #

UrgencyHook FocusHook Source # 


urgencyHook :: FocusHook -> Window -> X () Source #

UrgencyHook DzenUrgencyHook Source # 


urgencyHook :: DzenUrgencyHook -> Window -> X () Source #

UrgencyHook NoUrgencyHook Source # 


urgencyHook :: NoUrgencyHook -> Window -> X () Source #

UrgencyHook (Window -> X ()) Source # 


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

borderUrgencyHook :: String -> Window -> X () Source #

A hook that sets the border color of an urgent window. The color will remain until the next time the window gains or loses focus, at which point the standard border color from the XConfig will be applied. You may want to use suppressWhen = Never with this:

withUrgencyHookC BorderUrgencyHook { urgencyBorderColor = "#ff0000" } urgencyConfig { suppressWhen = Never } ...

(This should be urgentBorderColor but that breaks XMonad.Layout.Decoration. borderColor breaks anyone using XPConfig from XMonad.Prompt. We need to think a bit more about namespacing issues, maybe.)

focusHook :: Window -> X () 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 { ...

spawnUrgencyHook :: String -> Window -> X () 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.

stdoutUrgencyHook :: Window -> X () Source #

For debugging purposes, really.