XSET(1) MachTen Programmer’s Manual XSET(1)

xset - user preference utility for X

xset [-display display] [-b] [b on/off] [b [volume [pitch
[duration]]] [[-]bc] [-c] [c on/off] [c [volume]]
[[-+]fp[-+=] path[,path[,...]]] [fp default] [fp rehash]
[[-]led [integer]] [led on/off] [m[ouse]
[accel_mult[/accel_div] [threshold]]] [m[ouse] default] [p
pixel color] [[-]r [keycode]] [r on/off] [s [length
[period]]] [s blank/noblank] [s expose/noexpose] [s
on/off] [s default] [s activate] [s reset] [q]

This program is used to set various user preference
options of the display.

-display display
This option specifies the server to use; see X(1).

b The b option controls bell volume, pitch and dura-
tion. This option accepts up to three numerical
parameters, a preceding dash(-), or a ’on/off’
flag. If no parameters are given, or the ’on’
flag is used, the system defaults will be used.
If the dash or ’off’ are given, the bell will be
turned off. If only one numerical parameter is
given, the bell volume will be set to that value,
as a percentage of its maximum. Likewise, the
second numerical parameter specifies the bell
pitch, in hertz, and the third numerical parameter
specifies the duration in milliseconds. Note that
not all hardware can vary the bell characteris-
tics. The X server will set the characteristics
of the bell as closely as it can to the user’s

bc The bc option controls bug compatibility mode in
the server, if possible; a preceding dash(-) dis-
ables the mode, otherwise the mode is enabled.
Various pre-R4 clients pass illegal values in some
protocol requests, and pre-R4 servers did not cor-
rectly generate errors in these cases. Such
clients, when run against an R4 server, will ter-
minate abnormally or otherwise fail to operate
correctly. Bug compatibility mode explicitly
reintroduces certain bugs into the X server, so
that many such clients can still be run. This
mode should be used with care; new application
development should be done with this mode dis-
abled. The server must support the MIT-SUNDRY-
NONSTANDARD protocol extension in order for this
option to work.

c The c option controls key click. This option can
take an optional value, a preceding dash(-), or an
’on/off’ flag. If no parameter or the ’on’ flag
is given, the system defaults will be used. If the
dash or ’off’ flag is used, keyclick will be dis-
abled. If a value from 0 to 100 is given, it is
used to indicate volume, as a percentage of the
maximum. The X server will set the volume to the
nearest value that the hardware can support.

fp= path,...
The fp= sets the font path to the entries given in
the path argument. The entries are interpreted by
the server, not by the client. Typically they are
directory names or font server names, but the
interpretation is server-dependent.

fp default
The default argument causes the font path to be
reset to the server’s default.

fp rehash
The rehash argument resets the font path to its
current value, causing the server to reread the
font databases in the current font path. This is
generally only used when adding new fonts to a
font directory (after running mkfontdir to recre-
ate the font database).

-fp or fp-
The -fp and fp- options remove elements from the
current font path. They must be followed by a
comma-separated list of entries.

+fp or fp+
This +fp and fp+ options prepend and append ele-
ments to the current font path, respectively.
They must be followed by a comma-separated list of

led The led option controls the keyboard LEDs. This
controls the turning on or off of one or all of
the LEDs. It accepts an optional integer, a pre-
ceding dash(-) or an ’on/off’ flag. If no parame-
ter or the ’on’ flag is given, all LEDs are turned
on. If a preceding dash or the flag ’off’ is
given, all LEDs are turned off. If a value
between 1 and 32 is given, that LED will be turned
on or off depending on the existence of a preced-
ing dash. A common LED which can be controlled is
the ‘‘Caps Lock’’ LED. ‘‘xset led 3’’ would turn
led #3 on. ‘‘xset -led 3’’ would turn it off.
The particular LED values may refer to different
LEDs on different hardware.

m The m option controls the mouse parameters. The
parameters for the mouse are ‘acceleration’ and
‘threshold’. The acceleration can be specified as
an integer, or as a simple fraction. The mouse,
or whatever pointer the machine is connected to,
will go ‘acceleration’ times as fast when it trav-
els more than ‘threshold’ pixels in a short time.
This way, the mouse can be used for precise align-
ment when it is moved slowly, yet it can be set to
travel across the screen in a flick of the wrist
when desired. One or both parameters for the m
option can be omitted, but if only one is given,
it will be interpreted as the acceleration. If no
parameters or the flag ’default’ is used, the sys-
tem defaults will be set.

p The p option controls pixel color values. The
parameters are the color map entry number in deci-
mal, and a color specification. The root back-
ground colors may be changed on some servers by
altering the entries for BlackPixel and
WhitePixel. Although these are often 0 and 1,
they need not be. Also, a server may choose to
allocate those colors privately, in which case an
error will be generated. The map entry must not
be a read-only color, or an error will result.

r The r option controls the autorepeat. If a pre-
ceding dash or the ’off’ flag is used, autorepeat
will be disabled. If no parameters or the ’on’
flag is used, autorepeat will be enabled. If a
specific keycode is specified as a parameter,
autorepeat for that keycode is enabled or dis-

s The s option lets you set the screen saver parame-
ters. This option accepts up to two numerical
parameters, a ’blank/noblank’ flag, an
’expose/noexpose’ flag, an ’on/off’ flag, an
’activate/reset’ flag, or the ’default’ flag. If
no parameters or the ’default’ flag is used, the
system will be set to its default screen saver
characteristics. The ’on/off’ flags simply turn
the screen saver functions on or off. The ’acti-
vate’ flag forces activation of screen saver even
if the screen saver had been turned off. The
’reset’ flag forces deactivation of screen saver
if it is active. The ’blank’ flag sets the pref-
erence to blank the video (if the hardware can do
so) rather than display a background pattern,
while ’noblank’ sets the preference to display a
pattern rather than blank the video. The ’expose’
flag sets the preference to allow window exposures
(the server can freely discard window contents),
while ’noexpose’ sets the preference to disable
screen saver unless the server can regenerate the
screens without causing exposure events. The
length and period parameters for the screen saver
function determines how long the server must be
inactive for screen saving to activate, and the
period to change the background pattern to avoid
burn in. The arguments are specified in seconds.
If only one numerical parameter is given, it will
be used for the length.

q The q option gives you information on the current

These settings will be reset to default values when you
log out.

Note that not all X implementations are guaranteed to
honor all of these options.

X(1), Xserver(1), xmodmap(1), xrdb(1), xsetroot(1)

Bob Scheifler, MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
David Krikorian, MIT Project Athena (X11 version)

X Version 11 Release 6 4