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dwm volume control with hardware multimedia keys (pulseaudio)
* dwmconfig.h
* Hardware multimedia keys
/* Somewhere at the beginning of config.h include: */
You obviously need the X11 development packages installed, X11proto in particular, but
here is the location of the upstream copy of the keysyms header if you can't bother
using the contents of your own hard drive. ;-P
#include <X11/XF86keysym.h>
/* Add somewhere in your constants definition section */
static const char *upvol[] = { "/usr/bin/pactl", "set-sink-volume", "0", "+5%", NULL };
static const char *downvol[] = { "/usr/bin/pactl", "set-sink-volume", "0", "-5%", NULL };
static const char *mutevol[] = { "/usr/bin/pactl", "set-sink-mute", "0", "toggle", NULL };
/* If you use amixer, use this instead. Thanks go to DaniOrt3ga. */
static const char *upvol[] = { "/usr/bin/amixer", "set", "Master", "5%+", NULL };
static const char *downvol[] = { "/usr/bin/amixer", "set", "Master", "5%-", NULL };
static const char *mutevol[] = { "/usr/bin/amixerl", "set", "Master", "toggle", NULL };
/* To use light add this to the constant definition section. Thanks Hritik14. */
static const char *light_up[] = {"/usr/bin/light", "-A", "5", NULL};
static const char *light_down[] = {"/usr/bin/light", "-U", "5", NULL};
/* Add to keys[] array. With 0 as modifier, you are able to use the keys directly. */
static Key keys[] = {
{ 0, XF86XK_AudioLowerVolume, spawn, {.v = downvol } }
{ 0, XF86XK_AudioMute, spawn, {.v = mutevol } }
{ 0, XF86XK_AudioRaiseVolume, spawn, {.v = upvol } }
/* If you have a small laptop keyboard or don't want to spring your fingers too far away. */
static Key keys[] = {
{ MODKEY, XK_F11, spawn, {.v = downvol } },
{ MODKEY, XK_F9, spawn, {.v = mutevol } },
{ MODKEY, XK_F12, spawn, {.v = upvol } },
/* To use light add this to the keys[] array. Thanks Hritik14. */
static Key keys[] = {
{ 0, XF86XK_MonBrightnessUp, spawn, {.v = light_up} },
{ 0, XF86XK_MonBrightnessDown, spawn, {.v = light_down} },
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moadAlami commented Nov 25, 2019

I had so much trouble trying to get XF86 keys to work. Thank you so much.

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ivyraine commented Mar 28, 2020

Thank you!!! Worked perfectly

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hb0nes commented Apr 14, 2020

Omg thank you, this worked. How did you find the proper key definition for laptop volume keys? I am really curious.

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palopezv commented Apr 14, 2020

@hb0nes Trial and error. And several months hitting my head on the walls.

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Umbrien commented Apr 25, 2020

Thanks 👍

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aaronhooper commented May 27, 2020

Thanks for this. Worked like a charm

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chatzisnick commented Jun 10, 2020

Omg thank you, this worked. How did you find the proper key definition for laptop volume keys? I am really curious.

You can use xev for that!

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lytvyn139 commented Jun 15, 2020

Thank you ! {for those who doesn't get it, if you added lines 24-27, the hot keys are:

  • MOD+F9 mute
  • MOD+F11 down
  • MOD+F12 up
    worked fine with

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patrickmwila commented Sep 7, 2020

Thank You

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im-alexandre commented Sep 18, 2020

It looks great. Does it work with dose wheels in key keyboard?

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nong10 commented Oct 4, 2020

It works thanks so much

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bdealbuquerque commented Dec 17, 2020

It works perfectly. Thank you very much !

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Hritik14 commented Apr 1, 2021


static const char
	*light_up[] = {"/usr/bin/light", "-A", "5", NULL},
	*light_down[] = {"/usr/bin/light", "-U", "5", NULL};

static Key keys[] = {
	{ 0     ,			XF86XK_MonBrightnessUp  ,			spawn ,			{.v = light_up}}     ,
	{ 0     ,			XF86XK_MonBrightnessDown,			spawn ,			{.v = light_down}}   ,

You'll need to install light package, of course.

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pzaszp commented Apr 11, 2021

What are the keys to change vol?

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crackself commented May 18, 2021

Thanks, it work on my laptop.

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JavisDohnny commented Sep 27, 2021


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ProNebo commented Oct 7, 2021

Thanks! It helped!

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Mohammed-Alnahdi commented Dec 9, 2021

Thanks bro, it helpful.
I want ask you if can I use it because I am not finding the licencing?

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ahmedsamyh commented Dec 24, 2021

thanks it helped a lot!
i have a problem... how can i change the mute and volume of Headphone and Master simultaneously? because when i mute when my Headphone is connected it doesn't mute it...

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oyMarcel commented Dec 31, 2021

So, this question might be stupid, but where is the constants definition section? I can't seem to find it.

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palopezv commented Jan 1, 2022

@oyMarcel Look for the section where constants are defined. The C syntax is static const char *pointer.

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palopezv commented Jan 1, 2022

@ahmedsamyh You'll need to write a small script or program in the language of your choice that executes what you need and map it to a key combination in your keyboard, I advice you write another to undo it as well ;-).

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hard-tek commented Jan 5, 2022

Worked like a charm!

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ghost commented Jan 28, 2022

Amazing! Thanks.

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Arqib commented Feb 28, 2022

This works! Thanks.

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kravandir commented Mar 9, 2022


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GabubuAvailable commented Apr 9, 2022

That helped me. Thank you so much :-D

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DaniOrt3ga commented Jun 16, 2022

In case you use amixer:

static const char *upvol[] = { "/usr/bin/amixer", "set", "Master", "5%+", NULL };
static const char *downvol[] = { "/usr/bin/amixer", "set", "Master", "5%-", NULL };
static const char *mutevol[] = { "/usr/bin/amixer", "set", "Master", "toggle", NULL };

Check the +/- position

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GabubuAvailable commented Jun 17, 2022

i used amixer long time ago but thanks :)

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pranshuthegamer commented Jul 9, 2022

how do i install the x11 dev thing on arch?

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