FEH(1) BSD General Commands Manual FEH(1)
feh -- image viewer and cataloguer
feh [options] files or directories or URLs ...
This manual documents feh 2.3
Compile-time switches: libcurl support enabled, Xinerama support enabled, builtin EXIF support disabled
feh 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.
feh supports filelists, various image sorting modes, image captions, HTTP and more. Configurable keyboard shortcuts are used to control it;
the mouse is also supported, but only required for very few actions.
feh can also be used as wallpaper setter.
A little note about EXIF support: The recommended way to display EXIF data is using exiv2 / exifgrep via --info (see the USAGE EXAMPLES
section). However, if you compile feh with exif=1, you can also view them directly.
feh 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
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.
feh 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 load-
able/unloadable file, respectively.
If flag is ";", feh 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 FORMAT SPECIFIERS for examples. E.g.
"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.
Zoom pictures to screen size in fullscreen / fixed geometry mode.
Create borderless windows.
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 "captions/", and viewing image
"images/foo.jpg", the caption will be looked for in "images/captions/foo.jpg.txt".
-L, --customlist format
Don't display images, print image info according to format instead. See FORMAT SPECIFIEDRS.
Exit feh after one loop through the slideshow.
Draw the defined actions and what they do at the top-left of the image.
(only if compiled with exif=1) display some EXIF information in the bottom left corner, similar to using --info with exiv2 / exifgrep
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 feh
exits. You can add files to filelists by specifying them on the commandline when also specifying the list.
If file is "-", feh 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 "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.
Same as index mode, but with additional information below the thumbnails. Works just like "feh --index --index-info
%wx%h"". Enables MONTAGE MODE OPTIONS.
Note: This option needs to load all images to calculate the dimensions of the feh window, so when using it with many files it will
ake a while before a feh window is visible. Use --preload to get a progress bar.
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. Note that this option does not
enforce the geometry, changing it by a tiling WM or manually is still possible.
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.
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 INDEX MODE OPTIONS and MONTAGE MODE
Show image information based on format below thumbnails in index / thumbnail mode. See FORMAT SPECIFIERS. May contain newlines.
Note: If you specify image-related formats (such as %w or %s), feh needs to load all images to calculate the dimensions of its own
window. So when using them with many files, it will take a while before a feh window becomes visible. Use --preload to get a
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 FORMAT SPECIFIERS.
When viewing files using HTTP, feh 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 "feh" in the name.
Don't display images. Analyse them and display an ls(1) - style listing. Useful in scripts to hunt out images of a certain
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 "yudit/12") as menu font.
Enable montage mode. Montage mode creates a new image consisting of a grid of thumbnails of the images in the filelist. When mon-
tage mode is selected, certain other options become available. See MONTAGE MODE OPTIONS.
Disable slideshow mode. With this setting, instead of opening multiple files in slideshow mode, multiple windows will be opened; one
Don't jump to the first image after resorting the filelist.
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)
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.
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.
When viewing multiple files in a slideshow, randomize the file list before displaying.
Recursively expand any directories in the commandline arguments to the content of those directories, all the way down to the bottom
-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.
Reverse the sort order. Use this to invert the order of the filelist. E.g. to sort in reverse width order, use -nSwidth.
When not in fullscreen: Scale images to screen size if they are too big.
In tiling environments, this also causes the image to be centered in the window.
-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, for-
mat. 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 USAGE EXAMPLES.
-T, --theme theme
Load options from config file with name theme - see THEMES CONFIG SYNTAX for more info. Note that commandline options always over-
ride theme options. The theme can also be set via the program name (e.g. with symlinks), so by default feh will look for a "feh"
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 MONTAGE MODE OPTIONS.
-~, --thumb-title string
Set title for windows opened from thumbnail mode. See also FORMAT SPECIFIERS.
-^, --title title
Set window title. Applies to all windows except those opened from thumbnail mode. See FORMAT SPECIFIERS.
Don't display images. Just print out their names if imlib2 can NOT successfully load them.
output useful information, progress bars, etc.
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
MONTAGE MODE OPTIONS
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 "trans", the background will be made transparent.
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.
-W, --limit-width pixels
Limit the width of the montage, defaults to 800 pixels.
If both --limit-width and --limit-height are specified, the montage will be exactly width x height pixels in dimensions.
-o, --output file
Save the created montage to file.
-O, --output-only file
Just save the created montage to file without displaying it.
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 feh <= 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.
INDEX MODE OPTIONS
-@, --title-font font
Set font to print a title on the index, if no font is specified, no title will be printed.
feh can also be used as a background setter. Unless you pass the --no-fehbg option, 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 "eval $(cat ~/.fehbg)" to your X startup
script (like ~/.xinitrc).
Note that all options except --bg-tile support Xinerama. For instance, if you have multiple screens connected and use e.g. --bg-center, feh
will center the image on each screen. You may even specify more than one file, in that case, the first file is set on screen 0, the second
on screen 1, and so on.
Use --no-xinerama to treat the whole X display as one screen when setting wallpapers.
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
Tile (repeat) the image in case it is too small for the screen
Do not write a ~/.fehbg file
%f Image path/filename
%F Escaped image path/filename (for use in shell commands)
%h Image height
%l Total number of files in filelist
%m Current mode
%n Image name
%N Escaped image name
%p Number of image pixels
%s Image size in bytes
%S Image size in kilobytes (with kB postfix)
%t Image format
%u Number of current file
%w Image width
%v feh version
feh 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 "#" character as comments. Note that mid-line comments are not supported.
THEMES CONFIG SYNTAX
This file allows the naming of option groups, called themes.
It takes entries of the form "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 "imagemap -rVq --thumb-width 40 --thumb-height 30".
You cane use this theme in two ways. Either call "feh -Timagemap *.jpg" or create a symbolic link to feh with the name of the theme you want
it to use. So from the example above: "ln -s `which feh ` ~/bin/imagemap". Now just run "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.
KEYS CONFIG SYNTAX
This file defines the key bindings. It has entries of the form "action [key1 [key2 [key3]]]".
Each key is an X11 keysym name as shown by xev(1), like "Delete". It may optionally start with modifiers for things like Control, in which
case key looks like mod-keysym (for example "C-Delete" for Ctrl+Delete or "C-1-Delete" for Ctrl+Alt+Delete)
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 KEYS.
In an image window, the following keys may be used (The strings in [square brackets] are the config action names):
Toggle actions display (see --draw-actions)
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 <CTRL+return>.
(only if compiled with exif=1) Toggle EXIF tag display
Toggle filename display (see --draw-filename)
Save the current filelist to a unique filename
Pause/Continue the slideshow. When it is paused, it will not automatically change slides based on --slideshow-delay.
Toggle info display (see --info)
Show menu. Use the arrow keys and return to select items, <escape> to close the menu.
n, <Space>, <Right> [next_img]
Show next image
Toggle pointer visibility
p, <Backspace>, <Left> [prev_img]
Show previous image
q, <Escape> [quit]
Reload current image. Useful for webcams
Save the current image to a unique filename
Change window size to fit current image size
Close current window
Jump to a random position in the current filelist
<, > [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 loss-
less JPEG rotation.
In place editing - vertical flip
In place editing - horizontal flip. Again, see jpegtran(1) for more information.
0 .. 9 [action_0 .. action_9]
Execute the corresponding action (0 = --action, 1 = --action1 etc.)
Run the command defined by --action
Show first image
Show last image
<page up> [jump_fwd]
Go forward ~5% of the filelist
<page down> [jump_back]
Go backward ~5% of the filelist
Increase reload delay
Decrease reload delay
Remove current file from filelist
Remove current file from filelist and delete it
<keypad left>, <Ctrl+Left> [scroll_left]
Scroll to the left
<keypad right>, <Ctrl+Right> [scroll_right]
Scroll to the right
<keypad up>, <Ctrl+Up> [scroll_up]
<keypad down>, <Ctrl+Down> [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.
Scroll to the left by one page
Scroll to the right by one page
Scroll up by one page
Scroll down by one page
<keypad begin> [render]
Antialias the image
<keypad +>, <Up> [zoom_in]
<keypad ->, <Down> [zoom_out]
<keypad *> [zoom_default]
Zoom to 100%
<keypad /> [zoom_fit]
Zoom to fit the window size
The following keys bindings are used for the feh menu:
Close the menu
Highlight previous menu item
Highlight next menu item
Highlight parent menu item
Highlight child menu item
<Return>, <Space> [menu_select]
Select highlighted menu item
BUTTONS CONFIG SYNTAX
This works like the keys config file: the entries are of the form "action [binding]".
Each binding is a button name. It may optionally start with modifiers for things like Control, in which case binding looks like mod-button
(for example C-1 for Ctrl + Left button).
For the available modifiers, see KEYS CONFIGURATION SYNTAX.
In an image window, the following buttons may be used (The strings in [square brackets] are the config action names):
Reload current image
1 <left mouse button> [pan]
pan the current image
2 <middle mouse button> [zoom]
Zoom the current image
3 <right mouse button> [menu]
4 <mousewheel down> [prev]
Show previous image
5 <mousewheel up> [next]
Show next image
Blur current image
Rotate current image
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 (click and drag left->right to zoom in, right->left to zoom out, click once to restore zoom to 100%); 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, feh 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, feh handles the following signals:
Switch to next image
Switch to previous image
Here are some examples of useful option combinations. See also: <http://feh.finalrewind.org/examples/>
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
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 -f by_width -S width --reverse --list .
Write a list of all images in the directory to by_width, sorted by width (widest images first)
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 "mv %F ~/images/%N" /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 nor-
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
TILING WINDOW MANAGERS
feh was created with a floating window layout in mind. However, as of 2.0.1, it has limited support for tiling window managers.
Specifically, the --scale-down and --auto-zoom options will detect a tiling environment and scale the image up / down to the current window
size. Unfortunately, this causes every image to be rendered twice: First in a normal fashion, and then (after noticing that the window is
being tiled) again with the correct zoom level.
This is a known bug and will hopefully get fixed some time. For now, it can be avoided by using --geometry 500x500 (or any other geometry).
This will have the same behaviour as --scale-down, but without the flickering.
feh requires the jpegtran binary (usually distributed in "libjpeg-progs" or similar) for lossless rotation.
To view images from URLs such as http://, you need feh compiled with libcurl support (enabled by default). See the 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> or via <http://github.com/derf/feh/issues>. You are also welcome to direct any
feh-related comments/questions/... to #feh on irc.oftc.net.
Please include the feh version <the output of "feh --version">, steps to reproduce the bug and, if necessary, images to reproduce it.
Plans for the following releases:
o 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 "Soft-
ware"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distrib-
ute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the follow-
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies of the Software and its documentation and acknowledg-
ment shall be given in the documentation and software packages that this Software was used.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MER-
CHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER
DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
Current developer: Daniel Friesel <email@example.com>
Original author (no longer developing): Tom Gilbert <firstname.lastname@example.org>
See also: http://feh.finalrewind.org
February 03, 2012 BSD