XSET 1 "Release 4" "X Version 11"
Table of contents
XSET 1 "Release 4" "X Version 11"
xset - user preference utility for X
[-b] [b on/off] [b [volume [pitch [duration]]]
[-c] [c on/off] [c [volume]]
[[-+]fp[-+=] path[,path[,...]]] [fp default] [fp rehash]
[[-]led [integer]] [led on/off]
[m[ouse] [acceleration [threshold]]] [m[ouse] default]
[p pixel color]
[[-]r] [r on/off]
[s [length [period]]] [s blank/noblank]
[s expose/noexpose] [s on/off] [s default]
This program is used to set various user preference options of the display.
This option specifies the server to use; see X(1).
The b option controls bell volume, pitch and duration.
This option accepts up to three numerical parameters, a preceding
dash(-), or a 'on/off' flag. If no parameters are
given, or the 'on' flag is used, the system defaults will be used.
If the dash or 'off' are given, the bell will be turned
If only one numerical parameter is given, the
bell volume will be set to that value, as a percentage of its maximum.
Likewise, the second numerical
parameter specifies the bell pitch, in hertz, and
the third numerical parameter
specifies the duration in milliseconds. Note that not
all hardware can vary the bell characteristics. The X server will set
the characteristics of the bell as closely as it can to the user's
The bc option controls bug compatibility mode in the server,
if possible; a preceding dash(-) disables the mode, otherwise the mode
is enabled. Various pre-R4 clients pass illegal values in some
protocol requests, and pre-R4 servers did not correctly generate
errors in these cases. Such clients, when run against an R4 server,
will terminate abnormally or otherwise fail operate correctly.
Bug compatibility mode explicitly reintroduces certain bugs into the
X server, so that many such clients can still be run. This mode should be
used with care; new application development should be done with this mode
disabled. The server must support the MIT-SUNDRY-NONSTANDARD
protocol extension in order for this option to work.
The c option controls key click.
This option can take an optional value, a preceding dash(-),
or an 'on/off' flag.
If no parameter or the 'on' flag is given, the system defaults
will be used. If the dash or 'off' flag is used, keyclick will be
If a value from 0 to 100 is given, it is used to
indicate volume, as a percentage of the maximum.
The X server will set
the volume to the nearest value that the hardware can support.
The fp= sets the font path to the directories given in the path argument.
The directories are interpreted by the server, not by the client, and are
server-dependent. Directories that do not contain font databases created by
mkfontdir will be ignored by the server.
The default argument causes the font path to be reset to the server's
The rehash argument causes the server to reread the font databases in
the current font path. This is generally only used when adding new fonts to
a font directory (after running mkfontdir to recreate the font database).
-fp or fp-
The -fp and fp- options remove elements from the current
font path. They must be followed by a comma-separated list of directories.
\+fp or fp\+
This \+fp and fp\+ options prepend and append elements to the
current font path, respectively. They must be followed by a comma-separated
list of directories.
The led option controls the keyboard LEDs.
This controls the turning on or off of one or all of the LEDs.
It accepts an optional integer, a preceding dash(-) or an 'on/off' flag.
If no parameter or the 'on' flag is given, all LEDs are turned on.
If a preceding dash or the flag 'off' is given, all LEDs are turned off.
If a value between 1 and 32 is given, that LED will be turned on or off
depending on the existence of a preceding dash.
A common LED which can be controlled is the ``Caps Lock'' LED. ``xset
led 3'' would turn led #3 on. ``xset -led 3'' would turn it off.
The particular LED values may refer to different LEDs on different
The m option controls the mouse parameters.
The parameters for the mouse are `acceleration' and `threshold'.
The mouse, or whatever pointer the machine is connected to,
will go `acceleration' times as fast when it travels more than `threshold'
pixels in a short time. This way, the mouse can be used for precise
alignment when it is moved slowly, yet it can be set to travel across
the screen in a flick of the wrist when desired. One or both
parameters for the
option can be omitted, but if only one is
given, it will be interpreted as the acceleration.
If no parameters or the flag 'default' is used, the system defaults will
The p option controls pixel color values.
The parameters are the color map entry number in decimal,
and a color specification. The root background colors may be changed
on some servers by altering the entries for BlackPixel and WhitePixel.
Although these are often 0 and 1, they need not be. Also, a server may
choose to allocate those colors privately, in which case an error will
be generated. The map entry must not be a read-only color,
or an error will result.
The r option controls the autorepeat.
If a preceding dash or the 'off' flag is used, autorepeat will be disabled.
If no parameters or the 'on' flag is used, autorepeat will be enabled.
The s option lets you set the screen saver parameters.
This option accepts up to two numerical parameters, a 'blank/noblank'
flag, an 'expose/noexpose' flag, an 'on/off' flag, or the 'default' flag.
If no parameters or the 'default' flag is used, the system will be set
to its default screen saver characteristics.
The 'on/off' flags simply turn the screen saver functions on or off.
The 'blank' flag sets the
preference to blank the video (if the hardware can do so) rather than
display a background pattern, while 'noblank' sets the
preference to display a pattern rather than blank the video.
The 'expose' flag sets the
preference to allow window exposures (the server can freely discard
window contents), while 'noexpose' sets the preference to disable
screen saver unless the server can regenerate the screens without
causing exposure events.
The length and period
parameters for the screen saver function determines how long the
server must be inactive for screen saving to activate, and the period
to change the background pattern to avoid burn in.
The arguments are specified in seconds.
If only one numerical parameter is given, it will be used for the length.
These settings will be reset to default values when you log out.
The q option gives you information on the current settings.
Note that not all X implementations are guaranteed to honor all of these
X(1), Xserver(1), xmodmap(1), xrdb(1), xsetroot(1)
Copyright 1988, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
See X(1) for a full statement of rights and permissions.
Bob Scheifler, MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
David Krikorian, MIT Project Athena (X11 version)