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dvtm - dynamic virtual terminal manager


dvtm [-v] [-M] [-m modifier] [-d delay] [-h lines] [-t title] [-s status-fifo] [-c cmd-
fifo] [command ...]


dvtm is a dynamic tiling window manager for the console. As a console window manager it
tries to make it easy to work with multiple console based applications.


-v Print version information to standard output and exit.

-M Toggle default mouse grabbing upon startup. Use this to allow normal mouse
operation under X.

-m modifier
Set command modifier at runtime.

-d delay
Set the delay ncurses waits before deciding if a character that might be part of an
escape sequence is actually part of an escape sequence.

-h lines
Set the scrollback history buffer size at runtime.

-t title
Set a static terminal title and don't change it to the one of the currently focused

-s status-fifo
Open or create the named pipe status-fifo read its content and display it in the
statusbar. See the dvtm-status script for an usage example.

-c cmd-fifo
Open or create the named pipe cmd-fifo and look for commands to execute which were
defined in config.h.

command ...
Execute command(s), each in a separate window.


Keyboard commands
Mod Each keybinding begins with Mod which defaults to ^g, but can be changed in
config.h or with the -m command line option.

Mod-c Create a new shell window.

Mod-x Close focused window.

Mod-l Increases the master area width about 5% (all except grid and fullscreen layout).

Mod-h Decreases the master area width about 5% (all except grid and fullscreen layout).

Mod-j Focus next window.

Mod-k Focus previous window.

Mod-n Focus the n-th window.

Focus previously selected window.

Mod-. Toggle minimization of current window.

Mod-u Focus next non minimized window.

Mod-i Focus previous non minimized window.

Mod-m Maximize current window (change to fullscreen layout).

Scroll up.

Scroll down.

Toggle between defined layouts (affects all windows).

Zooms/cycles current window to/from master area.

Mod-t Change to vertical stack tiling layout.

Mod-b Change to bottom stack tiling layout.

Mod-g Change to grid layout.

Mod-s Show/hide the status bar.

Mod-r Redraw whole screen.

Mod-a Toggle keyboard multiplexing mode, if activated keypresses are sent to all visible

Mod-B Toggle bell (off by default).

Mod-M Toggle dvtm mouse grabbing.

Mod-v Enter copy mode (see section below for navigation commands).

Mod-/ Enter copy mode and start searching forward.

Mod-? Enter copy mode and start searching backwards.

Mod-p Paste last copied text from copy mode at current cursor position.

Mod-F1 Show this manual page.

Send the Mod key.

Mod-q Quit dvtm.

Mouse commands
Copy and Paste
By default dvtm captures mouse events to provide the actions listed below.
Unfortunately this interferes with the standard X copy and paste mechanism. To
work around this you need to hold down Shift while selecting or pasting text.
Alternatively you can disable mouse support at compile time, start dvtm with the -M
flag or toggle mouse support during runtime with Mod-M.

Button1 click
Focus window.

Button1 double click
Focus window and toggle maximization.

Button2 click
Zoom/cycle current window to/from master area.

Button3 click
Toggle minimization of current window.

Copy mode
Copy mode gives easy access to past output. The commands use vi style keybindings and
support number prefixes as command multipliers.

Copy mode can be entered with Mod-v.

Once in, navigation works with vi style keybindings (h,j,k,l,^,$,g,H,M,L,G) as well
as with the Arrows/Home/End/Page-Down/Page-Up keys. CTRL+u can be used as a
synonym for Page-Up and similarly CTRL+d corresponds to a Page-Down.

Search forward with / and backwards with ?. Jump forward to next match with n.
Jump backwards to next match with N.

To start making a selection press v (similar to visual mode in vi).

To copy the current selection use y. If you haven't made a selection the current
line is copied. Add a number prefix to copy n lines starting from the current
line. This command leaves the copy mode.

The previously copied text can be pasted at the current cursor position with Mod-p.

Copy mode is automatically left upon copying something. To manually exit at any
time press either ESC, CTRL+c or q.


By default dvtm uses its own terminfo file and therefore sets TERM=dvtm within the client
windows. This can be overridden by setting the DVTM_TERM environment variable to a valid
terminal name before launching dvtm.


See the dvtm-status script as an example of how to display text in the status bar.


dvtm is customized by creating a custom config.h and (re)compiling the source code. This
keeps it fast, secure and simple.

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