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Manpage of FEH


Section: User Commands (1)
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BSD mandoc


feh - image viewer and cataloguer  


[options ] files or directories ...  


This manual documents feh 1.16.2

Compile-time switches: libcurl support enabled, Xinerama support enabled  


is a mode-based image viewer. It is especially aimed at commandline users who need a fast image viewer without huge GUI dependencies, though it can also be started by (graphical) file managers to view an image.

supports filelists, various image sorting modes, image captions and more. Configurable keyboard shortcuts are used to control it; the mouse is also supported, but only required for very few actions.

can also be used as wallpaper setter.  


is based on various modes, which are selected at startup by comandline options.

Slideshow mode is the default. It opens one window and displays the first image in it, the keyboard and mouse can be used to change slides (images) In slideshow mode, images can be deleted either from the filelist or from the disk, the new filelist can then be saved to the disk and reopened at a later time.

Montage mode forms a montage from the filelist. The resulting image can be viewed or saved, and its size can be limited by height, width or both.

Index mode forms an index print from the filelist. Image thumbnails are shown along with the filename, filesize and pixel size, printed using a truetype font of your choice. The resulting image can be viewed or saved, and its size can be limited by height, width or both.

Thumbnail mode is like index mode, but the mini-images are clickable and open the selected image in a new window.

Multiwindow mode shows images in multiple windows, instead of as a slideshow in one window. Don't use with a large filelist ;)

List mode doesn't display images. Outputs an ls - style listing of the files in the filelist, including image info such as size, pixels, type, etc. Customlist mode will display whatever image info you want, in the format you choose.

can also list either all the loadable files in a filelist or all the unloadable files. Useful for preening a directory.  


-A , --action [flag action ]
Specify a shell command as an action to perform on the image. In slideshow or multiwindow mode, the action will be run when the action_0 key is pressed, in list mode, it will be run for each file. In loadable/unloadable mode, it will be run for each loadable/unloadable file, respectively.

If flag is Qq ; , will reload the current image instead of switching to the next one after executing the action.

The action will be executed by /bin/sh. Use format specifiers to refer to image info. See Sx FORMAT SPECIFIERS for examples. E.g. Qq feh -A mv ~/images/%n * . In slideshow mode, the next image will be shown after running the action, in multiwindow mode, the window will be closed.

--action1 .. --action9
Extra actions which can be set and triggered using the appropiate number key.
-Z , --auto-zoom
Zoom pictures to screen size in fullscreen / fixed geometry mode.
-x , --borderless
Create borderless windows.
-P , --cache-thumbnails
Enable thumbnail caching in ~/.thumbnails Only works with thumbnails <= 256x256 pixels.
-K , --caption-path path
Path to directory containing image captions. This turns on caption viewing, and if captions are found in path which is relative to the directory of each image, they are overlayed on the displayed image. E.g. with caption path Qq captions/ , and viewing image Qq images/foo.jpg , the caption will be looked for in Qq images/captions/foo.jpg.txt .
-L , --customlist format
Don't display images, print image info according to format instead. See Sx FORMAT SPECIFIEDRS .
Exit feh after one loop through the slideshow.
-G , --draw-actions
Draw the defined actions and what they do at the top-left of the image.
-d , --draw-filename
Draw the filename at the top-left of the image.
Show overlay texts (as created by --draw-filename et al ) on a semi-transparent background to improve their readability
-f , --filelist file
This option is similar to the playlists used by music software. If file exists, it will be read for a list of files to load, in the order they appear. The format is a list of image filenames, absolute or relative to the current directory, one filename per line.

If file doesn't exist, it will be created from the internal filelist at the end of a viewing session. This is best used to store the results of complex sorts (-Spixels for example ) for later viewing.

Any changes to the internal filelist (such as deleting a file or it being pruned for being unloadable) will be saved to file when exits. You can add files to filelists by specifying them on the commandline when also specifying the list.

If file is Qq - , will read the filelist from its standard input.

-e , --font font
Set global font. Should be a truetype font, resident in the current directory or the font directory, and should be defined in the form fontname/points, like Qq myfont/12 .
-C , --fontpath path
Specify path as extra directory in which to search for fonts; can be used multiple times to add multiple paths.
Disable antialiasing for zooming, background setting etc.
-I , --fullindex
Same as Index mode, but you also get image size and dimensions printed below each thumbnail. Enables Sx MONTAGE MODE OPTIONS .
-F , --fullscreen
Make the window fullscreen. Note that in this mode, large images will always be scaled down to fit the screen, --zoom zoom only affects smaller images and never scales larger than necessary to fit the screen size. The only exception is a zoom of 100, in which case images will always be shown at 100% zoom, no matter their dimensions.
-g , --geometry width x height [+ x + y ]
Limit (and don't change) the window size. Takes an X-style geometry string like 640x480 with optional +x+y window offset. Note that larger images will be zoomed out to fit, but you can see them at 1:1 by clicking the zoom button.
-Y , --hide-pointer
Hide the pointer (useful for slideshows)
-B , --image-bg style
Use style as background for transparent image parts and the like. Accepted values: checks (default), white, black.
-i , --index
Enable Index mode. Index mode is similar to montage mode, and accepts the same options. It creates an index print of thumbails, printing the image name beneath each thumbnail. Index mode enables certain other options, see Sx INDEX MODE OPTIONS and Sx MONTAGE MODE OPTIONS .
--index-dim bool
Toggle showing image dimensions in thumbnail/index mode.
--index-name bool
Toggle showing the filename in thumbnail/index mode.
--index-size bool
Toggle showing the filesize in thumbnail/index mode.
--info commandline
Execute commandline and display its output in the bottom left corner of the image. Can be used to display e.g. image dimensions or EXIF information. Supports Sx FORMAT SPECIFIERS .
-k , --keep-http
When viewing files using HTTP, normally deletes the local copies after viewing, or, if caching, on exit. This option prevents this so that you get to keep the local copies. They will be in /tmp with Qq Nm in the name.
-l , --list
Don't display images. Analyse them and display an ls(1)-Nostyle listing. Useful in scripts to hunt out images of a certain size/resolution/type etc.
-U , --loadable
Don't display images. Just print out their names if imlib2 can successfully load them.
-M , --menu-font font
Use font (truetype, with size, like Qq yudit/12 ) as menu font.
-m , --montage
Enable montage mode. Montage mode creates a new image consisting of a grid of thumbnails of the images in the filelist. When montage mode is selected, certain other options become available. See Sx MONTAGE MODE OPTIONS .
-w , --multiwindow
Disable slideshow mode. With this setting, instead of opening multiple files in slideshow mode, multiple windows will be opened; one per file.
Don't jump to the first image after resorting the filelist.
-N , --no-menus
Don't load or show any menus.
By default, window sizes are limited to the screen size. With this option, windows will have the size of the image inside them. Note that they may become very large this way, making them unmanageable in certain window managers.
Disable Xinerama support. Only makes sense when you have Xinerama support compiled in.
-j , --output-dir directory
Save files to directory (only useful with -k)
-p , --preload
Preload images. This doesn't mean hold them in RAM, it means run through them and eliminate unloadable images first. Otherwise they will be removed as you flick through. This also analyses the images to get data for use in sorting, such as pixel size, type etc. A preload run will be automatically performed if you specify one of these sort modes.
-q , --quiet
Don't report non-fatal errors for failed loads. Verbose and quiet modes are not mutually exclusive, the first controls informational messages, the second only errors.
-z , --randomize
When viewing multiple files in a slideshow, randomize the file list before displaying.
-r , --recursive
Recursively expand any directories in the commandline arguments to the content of those directories, all the way down to the bottom level.
-R , --reload int
Reload filelist and current image after int seconds. Useful for viewing HTTP webcams or frequently changing directories. (Note that the filelist reloading is still experimental.)

If an image is removed, feh will either show the next one or quit. However, if an image still exists, but can no longer be loaded, feh will continue to try loading it.

-n , --reverse
Reverse the sort order. Use this to invert the order of the filelist. E.g. to sort in reverse width order, use -nSwidth
-. , --scale-down
When not in fullscreen: Scale images to screen size if they are too big.
-D , --slideshow-delay float
For slideshow mode, wait float seconds between automatically changing slides. Useful for presentations. Specify a negative number to set the delay (which will then be float * (-1) ) but start feh in paused mode.
-S , --sort sort_type
The file list may be sorted according to image parameters. Allowed sort types are: name, filename, width, height, pixels, size, format. For sort modes other than name or filename, a preload run will be necessary, causing a delay proportional to the number of images in the list.
-| , --start-at filename
Start the filelist at filename See Sx USAGE EXAMPLES .
-T , --theme theme
Load options from config file with name theme - see Sx THEMES CONFIG SYNTAX for more info. Note that commandline options always override theme options. The theme can also be set via the program name (e.g. with symlinks) so by default will look for a Qq Nm theme.
-t , --thumbnails
Same as Index mode, but the thumbnails are clickable image launchers. Note that --fullscreen does not affect the thumbnail window. It does, however, work for the image windows launched from thumbnail mode. Also supports Sx MONTAGE MODE OPTIONS .
-~ , --thumb-title string
Set title for windows opened from thumbnail mode. See also Sx FORMAT SPECIFIERS .
-^ , --title title
Set window title. Applies to all windows except those opened from thumbnail mode. See Sx FORMAT SPECIFIERS .
-u , --unloadable
Don't display images. Just print out their names if imlib2 can NOT successfully load them.
-V , --verbose
output useful information, progress bars, etc.
-v , --version
output version information and exit.
--zoom percent | max | fill
Zoom images by percent when in full screen mode or when window geometry is fixed. When combined with --auto-zoom zooming will be limited to the specified percent Specifying max is like setting --auto-zoom using fill makes feh zoom the image like the --bg-fill mode.



-0 , --reload-button int
Set button to reload the image (default: 0)
-1 , --pan-button int
Set button to pan the image (hold button down and move mouse to move the image) When the mouse is not moved, advances to the next image in slideshow mode. (default: 1 , usually the left button)
-2 , --zoom-button int
Set button to enable zoom mode (default: 2 , usually the middle button)
-3 , --menu-button int
Set button to activate the menu. (default: 3 , usually the right button)
Require CTRL+Button for menu activation.
-4 , --prev-button int
Set button to switch to the previous image in slideshow mode (default: 4 , usually Aq mousewheel up )
-5 , --next-button int
Set button to switch to the next image in slideshow mode (default: 5 , usually Aq mousewheel down )
-8 , --rotate-button int
Use CTRL+Button to rotate the current image (default : 2)
Don't require CTRL+Button for rotation - just use the button.
-9 , --blur-button int
Use CTRL+Button for blurring (default : 1)
Don't require CTRL+Button for blurring - just use the button.



These additional options can be used for index, montage and (partially) thumbnail mode.

-a , --alpha int
When drawing thumbnails onto the background, set their transparency level to int (0 - 255)
-b , --bg file | trans
Use file as background for your montage. With this option specified, the montage size will default to the size of file if no size restrictions were specified. Alternatively, if file is Qq trans , the background will be made transparent.
-X , --ignore-aspect
By default, the montage thumbnails will retain their aspect ratios, while fitting into thumb-width/-height. This options forces them to be the size set by --thumb-width and --thumb-height This will prevent any empty space in the final montage.
-H , --limit-height pixels
Limit the height of the montage. These options can be used together to define the image size exactly, or separately. If only one is specified, the other is calculated from the number of files specified and the size of the thumbnails. The default is to limit width to 800 pixels and calculate the height as necessary.
-W , --limit-width pixels
Limit the width of the montage.
-o , --output file
Save the created montage to file
-O , --output-only file
Just save the created montage to file without displaying it.
-s , --stretch
Normally, if an image is smaller than the specified thumbnail size, it will not be enlarged. If this option is set, the image will be scaled up to fit the thumnail size. Aspect ratio will be maintained unles --ignore-aspect is specified.
-E , --thumb-height pixels
Set thumbnail height.
-y , --thumb-width pixels
Set thumbnail width.
-J , --thumb-redraw n
Only relevant for --thumbnails Redraw thumbnail window every n images. In <= 1.5, the thumbnail image used to be redrawn after every computed thumbnail (so, it updated immediately) However, since the redrawing takes quite long (especially for thumbnail mode on a large filelist) this turned out to be a major performance penalty. As a workaround, the thumbnail image is redrawn every 10th image now by default. Set n = 1 to get the old behaviour, n = 0 will only redraw once all thumbnails are loaded.



-@ , --title-font font
Set font to print a title on the index, if no font is specified, no title will be printed.



can also be used as a background setter. It will store the command line necessary to set the background in ~/.fehbg so to have your background restored everytime you start X, you can add Qq eval $(cat ~/.fehbg) to your X startup script (like ~/.xinitrc )

Note that all options except --bg-tile support Xinerama. So, if you have multiple screens connected and use e.g. --bg-center will center the image on each screen. You can use --no-xinerama to treat the whole X display as one screen.

The following options control how exactly the background is set. Each of them takes exactly one file as argument.

Center the file on the background. If it is too small, it will be surrounded by a black border
Like --bg-scale but preserves aspect ratio by zooming the image until it fits. Either a horizontal or a vertical part of the image will be cut off
Like --bg-fill but scale the image to the maximum size that fits the screen with black borders on one side.
Fit the file into the background without repeating it, cutting off stuff or using borders. But the aspect ratio is not preserved either
Tile (repeat) the image in case it is too small for the screen



Image path/filename
Image height
Total number of files in filelist
Current mode
Image name
Number of image pixels
Image size in bytes
Image format
Number of current file
Image width



has two config files: themes for theme definitions and keys for key bindings. It will try to read them from $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/feh/ which (when XDG_CONFIG_HOME is unset) defaults to ~/.config/feh/ If the files are not found in that directory, it will also try /etc/feh/

All config files treat lines starting with a Qq # character as comments. Note that mid-line comments are not supported.  


This file allows the naming of option groups, called themes.

It takes entries of the form Qq Ar theme options ... , where theme is the name of the entry and options are the options which will be applied when the theme is used.

An example entry would be Qq imagemap -rVq --thumb-width 40 --thumb-height 30 .

You cane use this theme in two ways. Either call Qo -Timagemap *.jpg Qc or create a symbolic link to with the name of the theme you want it to use. So from the example above: Qo ln -s `which ` ~/bin/imagemap Qc . Now just run Qq imagemap *.jpg to use these options.

Note that you can split a theme over several lines by placing a backslash at the end of a line, like in the shell.

You can combine these themes with commandline options. An example fehrc is provided with a couple of cool example themes.  


This file defines the key bindings. It has entries of the form Qq Ar action Op Ar key1 Op Ar key2 Op Ar key3 .

Each key is an X11 keysym name as shown by xev(1), like Qq Delete . It may optionally start with modifiers for things like Control, in which case key looks like mod - keysym Po for example Qq C-Delete for Ctrl+Delete or Qq C-1-Delete for Ctrl+Alt+Delete Pc

Available modifiers are C for Control S for Shift and 1 , 4 for Mod1 and Mod4

Specifying an action without any keys unbinds it (i.e. the default bindings are removed).

For a list of the action names, see Sx KEYS .  


In an image window, the following keys may be used (The strings in Bo square brackets Bc are the config action names )

a Bq toggle_actions
Toggle actions display (see --draw-actions )
A Bq toggle_aliasing
Enable/Disable anti-aliasing
c Bq toggle_caption
Caption entry mode. If --caption-path has been specified, then this enables caption editing. The caption at the bottom of the screen will turn yellow and can be edited. Hit return to confirm and save the caption, or escape to cancel editing. Note that you can insert an actual newline into the caption using Aq CTRL+return .
d Bq toggle_filenames
Toggle filename display (see --draw-filename )
f Bq save_filelist
Save the current filelist to a unique filename
h Bq toggle_pause
Pause/Continue the slideshow. When it is paused, it will not automatically change slides based on --slideshow-delay
i Bq toggle_info
Toggle info display (see --info )
m Bq toggle_menu
Show menu. Use the arrow keys and return to select items, Aq escape to close the menu.
n , Ao Space Ac , Ao Right Ac Bq next_img
Show next image
o Bq toggle_pointer
Toggle pointer visibility
p , Ao Backspace Ac , Ao Left Ac Bq prev_img
Show previous image
q , Ao Escape Ac Bq quit
Quit feh
r Bq reload_image
Reload current image. Useful for webcams
s Bq save_image
Save the current image to a unique filename
v Bq toggle_fullscreen
Toggle fullscreen
w Bq size_to_image
Change window size to fit current image size
x Bq close
Close current window
z Bq jump_random
Jump to a random position in the current filelist
< , > Bq orient_3 , orient_1
In place editing - rotate the images 90 degrees (counter)clockwise. The rotation is lossless, but may create artifacts in some image corners when used with JPEG images. Rotating in the reverse direction will make them go away. See jpegtran(1) for more about lossless JPEG rotation.
_ Bq flip
In place editing - vertical flip
| Bq mirror
In place editing - horizontal flip. Again, see jpegtran(1) for more information.
0 .. 9 Bq action_0 .. action_9
Execute the corresponding action (0 = --action , 1 = --action1 etc. )
Ao Return Ac Bq action_0
Run the command defined by --action
Ao home Ac Bq jump_first
Show first image
Ao end Ac Bq jump_last
Show last image
Ao page up Ac Bq jump_fwd
Go forward ~5% of the filelist
Ao page down Ac Bq jump_back
Go backward ~5% of the filelist
+ Bq reload_plus
Increase reload delay
- Bq reload_minus
Decrease reload delay
Ao delete Ac Bq remove
Remove current file from filelist
Ao CTRL+delete Ac Bq delete
Remove current file from filelist and delete it
Ao keypad left Ac , Ao Ctrl+Left Ac Bq scroll_left
Scroll to the left
Ao keypad right Ac , Ao Ctrl+Right Ac Bq scroll_right
Scroll to the right
Ao keypad up Ac , Ao Ctrl+Up Ac Bq scroll_up
Scroll up
Ao keypad down Ac , Ao Ctrl+Down Ac Bq scroll_down
Scroll down. Note that the scroll keys work without anti-aliasing for performance reasons, hit the render key after scrolling to antialias the image.
Aq Alt+Left Bq scroll_left_page
Scroll to the left by one page
Aq Alt+Right Bq scroll_right_page
Scroll to the right by one page
Aq Alt+Up Bq scroll_up_page
Scroll up by one page
Aq Alt+Down Bq scroll_down_page
Scroll down by one page
Ao keypad begin Ac Bq render
Antialias the image
Ao keypad + Ac , Ao Up Ac Bq zoom_in
Zoom in
Ao keypad - Ac , Ao Down Ac Bq zoom_out
Zoom out
Ao keypad * Ac Bq zoom_default
Zoom to 100%
Ao keypad / Ac Bq zoom_fit
Zoom to fit the window size



The following keys bindings are used for the feh menu:

Ao Escape Ac Bq menu_close
Close the menu
Ao Up Ac Bq menu_up
Highlight previous menu item
Ao Down Ac Bq menu_down
Highlight next menu item
Ao Left Ac Bq menu_parent
Highlight parent menu item
Ao Right Ac Bq menu_child
Highlight child menu item
Ao Return Ac , Ao Space Ac Bq menu_select
Select highlighted menu item



When viewing an image, by default mouse button 1 pans (moves the image around) or, when only clicked, moves to the next image (slideshow mode only) button 2 zooms Po click and drag left->right to zoom in, right->left to zoom out, click once to restore zoom to 100% Pc ; and mouse button 3 opens the menu.

CTRL+Button 1 blurs or sharpens the image (drag left to blur, right to sharpen) CTRL+Button 2 rotates the image around the center point.

A note about pan and zoom modes: In pan mode, if you reach a window border but haven't yet panned to the end of the image, will warp your cursor to the opposite border so you can continue panning.

When clicking the zoom button and immediately releasing it, the image will be back at 100% zoom. When clicking it and moving the mouse while holding the button down, the zoom will be continued at the previous zoom level. The zoom will always happen so that the pixel on which you entered the zoom mode remains stationary. So, to enlarge a specific part of an image, click the zoom button on that part.  


In slideshow mode, handles the following signals:

Switch to next image
Switch to previous image



Here are some examples of useful option combinations. See also: Aq

feh /opt/images
Show all images in /opt/images
feh -r /opt/images
Recursively show all images found in /opt/images and subdirectories
feh -rSfilename /opt/images
Same as above, but sort by filename. By default, feh will show files in the order it finds them on the hard disk, which is usually somewhat random.
feh -t -Sfilename -E 128 -y 128 -W 1024 /opt/images
Show 128x128 pixel thumbnails, limit window width to 1024 pixels.
feh -t -Sfilename -E 128 -y 128 -W 1024 -P -C /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-dejavu/ -e DejaVuSans/8 /opt/images
Same as above, but enable thumbnail caching in ~/.thumbnails and use a smaller font.
feh -irFarial/14 -O index.jpg /opt/images
Make an index print of /opt/images and all directories below it, using 14 point Arial to write the image info under each thumbnail. Save the image as index.jpg and don't display it, just exit. Note that this even works without a running X server
feh --unloadable -r /opt/images
Print all unloadable images in /opt/images, recursively
feh -w /opt/images/holidays
Open each image in /opt/images/holidays in its own window
feh -FD5 -Sname /opt/images/presentation
Show the images in .../presentation, sorted by name, in fullscreen, automatically change to the next image after 5 seconds
feh -rSwidth -A Qo mv '%f' ~/images/'%n' Qc /opt/images
View all images in /opt/images and below, sorted by width, move an image to ~/image/image_name when enter is pressed
feh --start-at ./foo.jpg .
View all images in the current directory, starting with foo.jpg. All other images are still in the slideshow and can be viewed normally
feh --start-at foo.jpg
Same as above
feh --info "exifgrep '(Model|DateTimeOriginal|FNumber|ISO|Flash)' '%f' | cut -d . -f 4-" .
Show some EXIF information, extracted by exifprobe/exifgrep



requires the jpegtran binary (usually distributed in Qo libjpeg-progs Qc or similar ) for lossless rotation.

To view images from URLs such as http://, you need compiled with libcurl support (enabled by default). See the Sx VERSION section.  


In a Xinerama setup, fullscreen mode only works properly on screen 0. Set XINERAMA_SCREEN to the correct screen number or toggle fullscreen off, then on as a workaround.

Thumbnail mode is somewhat inefficient, and because of that not nearly as fast as it could be.  


If you find a bug, please report it to Aq or via Aq . You are also welcome to direct any feh-related comments/questions/... to #feh on

Please include the feh version Aq the output of Qq feh --version , steps to reproduce the bug and (if necessary), images to reproduce it.  


Plans for the following releases:

  • Make zoom options more intuitive



Copyright (C) 1999, 2000 by Tom Gilbert (and various contributors). Copyright (C) 2010 by Daniel Friesel (and even more contributors).

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies of the Software and its documentation and acknowledgment shall be given in the documentation and software packages that this Software was used.


Current developer: Daniel Friesel Aq

Original author (no longer developing) Tom Gilbert Aq

See also:




This document was created by man2html using the manual pages.
Time: 17:30:54 GMT, October 23, 2013

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