Welcome to xatk’s documentation

xatk is a keyboard-driven window switcher for X11. It dynamically binds windows to keyboard shortcuts, so it is possible to reach any window with one or a few keystrokes.


xatk is a single python file program that you can put in any directory defined in the PATH environment variable. To run xatk you should have python 2 (>= 2.7) and python-xlib installed.

Alternatively you can install xatk with pip (python2 version):

$ pip install xatk


Before running xatk you may want to change some configuration options. First, create the default configuration file:

$ mkdir -p ~/.xatk
$ xatk --print-defaults > ~/.xatk/xatkrc

Then open ~/.xatk/xatkrc and make changes. The most interesting option is prefix which is set to Super (Windows) by default. This means that all keyboard shortcuts will start with Super modifier. You can define any modifier you like or even combination of modifiers and keys. Look at the comment blocks in the default configuration file for more customization options.

When you get ready with configuration, you can start xatk by running it with no arguments:

$ xatk

If no error occurr you will be able to notice shortcuts in window titles. To activate a specific window press prefix + shortcut.

If you want to exit the program run:

$ xatk --kill

It’s the same as kill xatk with SIGTERM. It’s safe.


If you use GDM or KDM, you can add xatk to ~/.xprofile. If you use startx or xinit you can add xatk to ~/.xinitirc before line exec window-manager. Also GNOME, KDE and Xfce have dedicated GUI tools to add programs to startup.