Minimal xmonad config

Posted on 5 April 2021

Some time ago, a colleague asked me about xmonad configuration of special key handlers when he noticed I’m xmonad user as well. He was interested in as simple as possible xmonad config file which defines actions for for volume and brightness control keys found on all recent laptops.

So let’s see the minimal example of such configuration I come up with (on Fedora 33 machine with xmonad-0.15-7.fc33.x86_64 package):

import Graphics.X11.ExtraTypes.XF86

import XMonad
import XMonad.Config
import XMonad.Util.EZConfig

myKeys = [
   ((0, xF86XK_AudioRaiseVolume),  spawn "amixer -D pulse sset Master 10%+")
 , ((0, xF86XK_AudioLowerVolume),  spawn "amixer -D pulse sset Master 10%-")
 , ((0, xF86XK_AudioMute),         spawn "amixer -D pulse sset Master toggle")
 , ((0, xF86XK_AudioMicMute),      spawn "amixer -D pulse sset Capture toggle")
 , ((0, xF86XK_MonBrightnessUp),   spawn "brightnessctl set +10%")
 , ((0, xF86XK_MonBrightnessDown), spawn "brightnessctl set 10%-")

main = xmonad $ def `additionalKeys` myKeys

First of all we need to import Graphics.X11.ExtraTypes.XF86 module, which defines KeySym constants like xF86XK_AudioRaiseVolume we want to use in our definition of key shortcuts.

Then we create myKeys list with definitions of key shortcut actions as understood by additionalKeys function from XMonad.Util.EZConfig module. As you can see, each key listed there starts a subprocess with given command via spawn function.

And finally, we add myKeys configuration on top of default xmonad configuration def via additionalKeys function, and pass the result to xmonad.

If you want to build your own configuration on top of this example, I suggest to start with xmonad page on archlinux wiki. The introduction there is very nice, references upstream haskell wiki when necessary and I just added a note about Graphics.X11.ExtraTypes.XF86 module with a simple example similar to what is shown in this post.

Do you have a comment or question? You can contact me.