xdotool - fake keyboard/mouse input, window management, and more

What is xdotool?

This tool lets you simulate keyboard input and mouse activity, move and resize windows, etc. It does this using X11’s XTEST extension and other Xlib functions.

Additionally, you can search for windows and move, resize, hide, and modify window properties like the title. If your window manager supports it, you can use xdotool to switch desktops, move windows between desktops, and change the number of desktops.

Mailing List

The xdotool users mailing list is: [email protected]

I’ll be announcing new versions on this mailing list. Additionally, if you want help or want to contribute patches to xdotool, the mailing list is a good place to go.

If you want to file a bug, you can do that on the issue tracker.



Platform Install Method
Debian and Ubuntu apt-get install xdotool
FreeBSD pkg install xdotool
Fedora dnf install xdotool
OSX brew install xdotool
OpenSUSE zypper install xdotool
Source Code on GitHub

Building From Source

If the build fails, it might be because you don’t have the required libraries and header files installed. You will need to set install them, and if you don’t have pkg-config for x11 and xtst, set DEFAULT_LIBS and DEFAULT_INC (see the Makefile) correctly.

If all else fails, please email the mailing list or file a bug.

Using xdotool

Basic usage is: xdotool <cmd> [args].

See man xdotool for more detailed usage.


Example: focus the firefox url bar

WID=`xdotool search "Mozilla Firefox" | head -1`
xdotool windowactivate --sync $WID
xdotool key --clearmodifiers ctrl+l

# As of version 2.20100623, you can do this simpler version of above:
xdotool search "Mozilla Firefox" windowactivate --sync key --clearmodifiers ctrl+l

Example: Resize all visible gnome-terminal windows

WIDS=`xdotool search --onlyvisible --name "gnome-terminal"`
for id in $WIDS; do
  xdotool windowsize $id 500 500

# As of version 2.20100623, you can do this simpler version of above:
xdotool search --onlyvisible --classname "gnome-terminal" windowsize %@ 500