chained keybindings for X11
xchainkeys is a standalone X11 program to create chained key bindings similar to those found in the ratpoison window manager or the screen terminal multiplexer.
Latest stable is xchainkeys-0.11.tar.gz.
All releases can be found under /download/xchainkeys
Latest developments are available via github:
git clone https://github.com/hbekel/xchainkeys
GNU autotools are used for building and installing xchainkeys:
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr
$ sudo make install
README file and an example configuration file will be installed
DESTDIR variable can be used for a staged install.
-f, --file : Alternative config file
-k, --keys : Show valid keyspecs
-d, --debug : Enable debug messages
-h, --help : Print this help text
-v, --version : Print version information
To autostart xchainkeys on X startup, add the following command to
Alternatively use your WM/DE’s autostart mechanism to start xchainkeys as a background process.
Create the file
~/.config/xchainkeys/xchainkeys.conf or copy the
example config file
$PREFIX/share/doc/xchainkeys/example.conf to the
See the included manual page for all the details on configuration.
Bind the key sequence “Control-t Return” to run
C-t Return :exec xterm
This implies creating a default chain with the prefix key
C-t, containing default bindings for the
:escape actions, and is thus
C-t :enter timeout=3000 abort=auto
C-t C-t :escape
C-t C-g :abort
C-t Return :exec xterm
Note that the number of keys in a keychain is not limited, e.g
C-t x c h a i n k e y s :exec xmessage "xchainkeys!"
can be invoked by pressing
C-t and then typing “xchainkeys”.
Musca resize mode
The following example creates a named
:group of bindings to implement a
dedicated frame resize mode for the
musca window manager:
C-w i :group "resize" musca -c 'resize up'
C-w k :group "resize" musca -c 'resize down'
C-w j :group "resize" musca -c 'resize left'
C-w l :group "resize" musca -c 'resize right'
C-w ... (other bindings for window management)
Invoke any of the above bindings (e.g. press
C-w i) and then continue
l to resize the current musca frame. Since timeout
and automatic abort are disabled, you can continue resizing until you
are satisfied with the result. Then simply press any other key to quit
resize mode. If you want to invoke another window management command
right away, you can use
C-w to quit resize mode and immediately enter
C-w chain (or any other toplevel chain) again.
The benefit of using a named
:group over a dedicated chain with
abort=manual is that you don’t have to waste another prefix
key. Instead you can temporarily redefine an existing chain to contain
only a specific subset of keys, behaving in the desired manner.