Manual Reference Pages  - IRXEVENT (1)


irxevent - infrared X-event sender




irxevent [config file]


Irxevent is a program that I wrote to send button clicks and key presses to X applications triggered by a LIRC driven remote control. You can control your favorite CD/MP3 player or your TV tuner program or any other X application that responds to keyboard or mouse input. If you like to you can send emacs ^X^S from your armchair.

Irxevent is a complement to irexec and irpty.
-h --help display usage summary
-V --version
  display version


Irxevent works with the same config file as irexec and irpty (~/.lircrc). For a complete sample .lircrc look at examples/lircrc.

Part of your .lircrc could look like this:

begin prog = irxevent button = VIDEO_UP config = Key SHIFT-KP_Add CurrentWindow end begin prog = irxevent button = VIDEO_DOWN config = Key SHIFT-KP_Subtract CurrentWindow end begin prog = irxevent button = STOP config = Key ctrl-c CurrentWindow end begin prog = irxevent button = 0 config = Key f xawtv config = Key f xawtv end begin prog = irxevent button = POWER config = Key q xawtv end begin prog = irxevent button = CH_DOWN config = Button 1 329 92 kscd end begin prog = irxevent button = UP config = Button 1 110 80 GQmpeg end begin prog = irxevent button = DOWN config = Button 1 130 80 GQmpeg end

Simply said config = lines may look like this:

config = Key [shift-][ctrl-][alt-]<key> <windowname> | WindowID id         | CurrentWindow | RootWindow config = Button <button> <x> <y> <windowname> | CurrentWindow config = xy_Key <x> <y> [shift-][ctrl-][alt-]<key> <windowname>         | WindowID id | CurrentWindow | RootWindow

some more examples:

config = Key Up xawtv config = Key Down xawtv config = Button 1 50 110 xclickme config = Key q xawtv config = Key ctrl-c mpg123 config = Key shift-Page_Up rxvt

In BNF this looks like:

LINE    = "config =" <KEY|BUTTON|XYKEY> <TARGET>
XYKEY   = "xy_Key" <x_position> <y_position> <MOD>Keyname
KEY     = "Key" <MOD>Keyname
MOD     = ["shift-"]["numlock-"]["ctrl-"]["alt-"]["meta-"]
BUTTON  = "Button" <1..5> <x_position> <y_position>
TARGET  = Windowname | "WindowID" id | "CurrentWindow" | "RootWindow"


is the key symbol that is declared in X windows. E.g. "Up" refers to the cursor arrow pointing up. "KP_Add" is the plus sign on the key pad. Just take a look at irxevent.keys (in the documentation directory) if you are not sure about a symbol’s name.
can be the first characters of the window name displayed by the window manager or the name that is displayed below the icon. Some programs use the name displayed by the window manager to show a lot of status information but don’t change the icon name (like xawtv). Others append information to the window name ("GQmpeg - kill_windooz.mp3"). If neither window name nor icon name match the given Windowname information from XClassHint(3x) will be checked.
refers to the active window as returned by XGetInputFocus(3x). Most times this is the window with your mouse pointer in it.
refers to the root window as returned by RootWindow(3x). You may need this to send events to the window manager.
WindowID id:
refers to the window with window identifier id. id should be a decimal number. It is useful when irxevent can’t find the desired window by other means.


If you have problems finding the coordinates for a button click you can try xev -id <window_id>. The window_id can be found using xwininfo. If xev and xwininfo are not part of your distribution you can find them at a FTP server using the search engine at: http:\/\/ . xev also reports the names of key symbols like "Control_L" (your left control key) or "KP_Subtract" (the ’minus’ key on your keypad).

There are programs that do not accept any synthetic X-events by default because they can cause security problems. Currently xterm and xemacs are known to ignore events simulated by irxevent.

You can however make xterm accept external events by enabling "Allow SendEvents" in the "Main Options" (hold down the Ctrl button and press the left mouse button inside the xterm window). You can as well place this line into your .Xresources file to change this permanently:

XTerm.vt100.allowSendEvents: true

Yet another possibility is to start xterm like this:

xterm -xrm "XTerm.vt100.allowSendEvents: true"

xemacs will accept events if you set a built-in variable. The following was taken from the online help:

‘x-allow-sendevents’ is a built-in boolean variable.

Value: t


*Non-nil means to allow synthetic events. Nil means they are ignored.

Beware: allowing emacs to process SendEvents opens a big security hole.

In order to allow events you have to evaluate this lisp code (press Meta-x and enter the following expression):

         (setq x-allow-sendevents t)

Placing this line into your .xemacs-options file should have the same result.

If you have problems sending events please drop me an email.


Written by Heinrich Langos <>.


The documentation for lirc is maintained as html pages. They are located under html/ in the documentation directory.

irxevent 0.6.6 IRXEVENT (1) October 2002
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