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ROFI-SCRIPT(5) File Formats Manual ROFI-SCRIPT(5)


rofi script mode - Rofi format for scriptable mode.


rofi supports modes that use simple scripts in the background to generate a list and process the result from user actions. This provide a simple interface to make simple extensions to rofi.


To specify a script mode, set a mode with the following syntax: "{name}:{executable}"

For example:

rofi -show fb -modes ""

The name should be unique.


Rofi calls the executable without arguments on startup. This should generate a list of options, separated by a newline (\n) (This can be changed by the script). If the user selects an option, rofi calls the executable with the text of that option as the first argument. If the script returns no entries, rofi quits.

A simple script would be:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
if [ x"$@" = x"quit" ]

exit 0 fi echo "reload" echo "quit"

This shows two entries, reload and quit. When the quit entry is selected, rofi closes.


Rofi sets the following environment variable when executing the script:


An integer number with the current state:

  • 0: Initial call of script.
  • 1: Selected an entry.
  • 2: Selected a custom entry.
  • 10-28: Custom keybinding 1-19 ( need to be explicitly enabled by script ).


Environment get set when selected entry get set with the property value of the


Environment get set when script sets data option in header.

Passing mode options

Extra options, like setting the prompt, can be set by the script. Extra options are lines that start with a NULL character (\0) followed by a key, separator (\x1f) and value.

For example to set the prompt:

echo -en "\0prompt\x1fChange prompt\n"

The following extra options exists:

  • prompt: Update the prompt text.
  • message: Update the message text.
  • markup-rows: If 'true' renders markup in the row.
  • urgent: Mark rows as urgent. (for syntax see the urgent option in dmenu mode)
  • active: Mark rows as active. (for syntax see the active option in dmenu mode)
  • delim: Set the delimiter for for next rows. Default is '\n' and this option should finish with this. Only call this on first call of script, it is remembered for consecutive calls.
  • no-custom: If set to 'true'; only accept listed entries, ignore custom input.
  • use-hot-keys: If set to true, it enabled the Custom keybindings for script. Warning this breaks the normal rofi flow.
  • keep-selection: If set, the selection is not moved to the first entry, but the current position is maintained. The filter is cleared.
  • new-selection: If keep-selection is set, this allows you to override the selected entry (absolute position).
  • data: Passed data to the next execution of the script via ROFI_DATA.
  • theme: Small theme snippet to f.e. change the background color of a widget.

The theme property cannot change the interface while running, it is only usable for small changes in, for example background color, of widgets that get updated during display like the row color of the listview.

Parsing row options

Extra options for individual rows can be set. The extra option can be specified following the same syntax as mode option, but following the entry.

For example:

echo -en "aap\0icon\x1ffolder\n"

The following options are supported:

  • icon: Set the icon for that row.
  • display: Replace the displayed string. (Original string will still be used for filtering)
  • meta: Specify invisible search terms used for filtering.
  • nonselectable: If true the row cannot activated.
  • info: Info that, on selection, gets placed in the ROFI_INFO environment variable. This entry does not get searched for filtering.
  • urgent: Set urgent flag on entry (true/false)
  • active: Set active flag on entry (true/false)

multiple entries can be passed using the \x1f separator.

echo -en "aap\0icon\x1ffolder\x1finfo\x1ftest\n"

Executing external program

If you want to launch an external program from the script, you need to make sure it is launched in the background. If not rofi will wait for its output (to display).

In bash the best way to do this is using coproc.

coproc ( myApp > /dev/null 2>&1 )

DASH shell

If you use the dash shell for your script, take special care with how dash handles escaped values for the separators. See issue #1201 on github.

Script locations

To specify a script there are the following options:

  • Specify an absolute path to the script.
  • The script is executable and located in your $PATH

Scripts located in the following location are loaded on startup:

The script is in $XDG_CONFIG_PATH/rofi/scripts/, this is usually ~/.config/rofi/scripts/.


rofi(1), rofi-sensible-terminal(1), dmenu(1), rofi-theme(5), rofi-theme-selector(1)


Qball Cow ⟨⟩

Rasmus Steinke ⟨⟩

Morgane Glidic ⟨⟩

Original code based on work by: Sean Pringle ⟨⟩

For a full list of authors, check the AUTHORS file.