Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


daky's X11 hotkey daemon

dxhd is heavily inspired by sxhkd, written in Go, and has an elegant syntax for configuration files!

Thanks JetBrains for providing dxhd with free licenses.


dxhd is being rewritten in the Rust programming language. The two main collaborators, dakyskye and NotUnlikeTheWaves, are working on it.

Follow issue #39 for more information regarding the rewrite.

The reason why a rewrite is required is that the current codebase is terrible (but the app works well so it does not matter for an end-user). There is only one known bug in the parser which I have documented here. It will be resolved, as well as many things will be improved, after releasing the rewritten dxhd.

the bug:


# super + {a,b}
echo it was either {aaaaa,bbbbbbb}
echo I want to print {aaaaa,bbbbbbb}
echo I can print anything {tho, though}

Parser will error on this. There is a workaround you can use (for some cases):


# super + {a,b}
echo it was either "$what"
echo I want to print "$what"
# echo I can print anything {tho, though} <-- good luck


NOTE: the git version, a.k.a. the master version is usually more bug-free than the released, binary ones, since introduced bugs first get fixed in this version.

  • Manual Arch User Repository installation
git clone
# or binary version - git clone
cd dxhd-git
# or cd dxhd-bin if you cloned binary one
makepkg -si
AUR helper Command
paru paru -S dxhd
yay yay -S dxhd
  • From the source
git clone
cd dxhd
make fast

Copy the dxhd executable file somewhere in your $PATH

... or alternatively run make install, which builds and copies the built executable to /usr/bin/ directory.

  • From releases

Download the dxhd executable file from the latest release, from releases page, then copy dxhd executable file somewhere in your $PATH.

Note: go getting dxhd is possible, but not recommended. Read more here

Features (what's inside parentheses, are just minimal example patterns)

Feature Description
key press events super + key, where key is a non-modifier key
key release events super + @key where key is a non-modifier key, and @ is a specifier
mouse button press events mouseN where n is button number
mouse button release events @mouseN where n is button number, and @ is a specifier
variants {a,b,c}
ranges {1-9}, {a-z}, {1-3,5-9,i-k,o-z}
in-place reloading dxhd -r
calculating the time parsing a config file took dxhd -p
editing config files quickly dxhd -e
running as a daemon dxhd -b
running interactively dxhd -i
support for any shell scripting language sh, bash, ksh, zsh, python, perl, etc. given as a shebang
support for global variable declarations in a config -
support for scripting, as much as a user wishes! -
support for running as many dxhd instances simultaneously as you want, to logically separate your keybindings -


The default config file is ~/.config/dxhd/, however, dxhd can read a file from any path, by passing it to -c:

dxhd -c /my/custom/path/to/a/config/file

A dxhd config file should contain a shebang (defaults to /bin/sh) on top of a file, which will be the shell used for executing commands.


* config file *


test=5 # a globally declared variable for each keybinding command

## a comment
######### also a comment

# modifier + keys
<what to do>

# modifier + @keys
<what to do on release event>


By just running dxhd, you only get information level logs, however, you can set DEBUG environment variable, which will output more information, like what bindings are registered, what command failed etc.

To kill every running instance of dxhd, you can use built-in -k flag, which under the hood uses pkill command to kill instances.


Rather than dxhd self daemonising itself, let other programs do their job.

The --background (-b) flag is a simple workaround for daemonising dxhd. It uses /usr/sh shell to achieve it, as Go does not allow forking a process without executing it.

For further help, join the developer's Discord guild




Licensed under the MIT license.


Why was dxhd made

Because I had (and have) 20 workspaces, and sxhkd did not allow me to have 11-19 range, that was one of the main reasons I started developing dxhd

What makes dxhd better than sxhkd

  • dxhd uses shebang to determine which shell to use (so you don't have to set an environment variable)
  • dxhd config file syntax matches shell, python, perl and probably some other languages syntax
  • dxhd config lets you declare global variables for each keybinding command
  • dxhd is great with scripting, because of it's elegant syntax. multi line scripts do not need \ at the end of line
  • dxhd allows you to have different range in a keybinding's command, for example, 1-9 in a keybinding, and 11-19 in it's command
  • dxhd has support for mouse bindings out of the box, no patching required!

How do I port my sxhkd config to dxhd

It is simple enough! (I personally used Vim macros when I did it.. Vim users will get it)

  • convert any line starting with single # to a dxhd comment (so ## or more)
  • put # before every keybinding (super + a to # super + a)
  • remove spaces before lines (echo foo to echo foo) (optional)
  • remove every end-line backslash (echo bar \ to echo bar) (probably optional, unsure)

So you'd end up with from:

# print hello world
super + a
	echo hello \
	echo world



## print hello world
# super + a
echo hello
echo world

I use ranges, released key events and chords from sxhkd, does dxhd have them

Yes! And no. dxhd has released key events and ranges, but no chords (yet - wip)

How do global variables inside a config file work

Everything after (if there is) the shebang before the first comment/keybinding is collected and passed to each keybinding command

A shell example:


INFO="$(wmctrl -m)"

## print info about my WM
# super + i
echo "Info about your WM:"
echo "$INFO"

A Python example:


foo="foo bar"

## print the value of foo variable
# super + i

Is dxhd faster than sxhkd

They haven't benchmarked yet, so I don't know. However, been using dxhd since the first release and haven't noticed any speed loss!

Why is the released binary file +8mb +6mb +3mb

Because it's statically built, to make sure it will work on any supported machine!

Why is go getting dxhd not recommended

Whilst go getting dxhd should work fine, it's not recommended, because we can't know what version of dxhd you use in case you want to open a bug report or so. +It's not like dxhd has any bug issue is not opened for already, since the developer of dxhd himself uses dxhd daily, but still.

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