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Manual Reference Pages  -  VGD (1)


vgd - Viewglob communication daemon.


See Also


vgd [options]


vgd acts as a mediator between any number of vgseer(1) processes and a single Viewglob display process (which it controls). It keeps track of the active terminal and passes information from the corresponding vgseer (if there is one) to the display.

While vgseer can be used on a remote machine using ssh or telnet, it only makes sense for vgd to be running on the same X server as the user (meaning, in most cases, locally).

After successful startup, vgd uses the syslog interface for error reporting if running as a daemon.

This program is slightly misnamed; traditionally, a single daemon process provides a service on a machine for all users. In Viewglob’s case, there should be separate vgd processes for each physical user running Viewglob. The viewglob startup script handles this automatically, and is recommended for simple usage.


This program follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes. A summary is included below.
-p, --port=<number>
  Listen on the given port. The default is 16108 (1-GLOB).
-P, --persistent=<on/off>
  Keep vgd around even after all vgseers have disconnected. It will sit and listen for new connections instead of exiting. Persistence is off by default.
-D, --daemon=<on/off>
  Run vgd as a daemon (it relinquishes its terminal). vgd runs as a daemon by default.
-d, --display=<vgclassic|vgmini|[path]>
  Display program. The Viewglob package comes with vgclassic and vgmini (the new display). Though there aren’t any other displays in existence at this point, one could be used by passing its path. The default is vgmini.
-s, --sort-style=<windows|ls>
  In the display, sort files with directories first (Windows) or purely by name (ls). ls mode is the default.
-r, --dir-order=<descending|ascending|ascending-pwd-first>
  In the display, list directories in descending order (the default), ascending (last referenced directory has the top listing), or ascending with the current directory always first.
-i, --file-icons=<on/off>
  Show or hide the file type icons in the display.
-j, --jump-resize=<on/off>
  Enable or disable the automatic moving+resizing feature of vgmini.
-z, --font-size-modifier=<+/-##>
  Increase or decrease the base font size in the display by the given number. E.g. “-z +2” increases the window manager’s default by 2, while “-z -2” decreases the default by 2.
  Define the colours used for interpreting LS_COLORS as you would in an .Xdefaults file. This means <colour> can be a name such as “DarkSlateGray” or a hex specification like #RRGGBB (quoted on the command line). There are also other forms: see XParseColor(3) for more information. The defaults are easy to read on a light coloured background, but probably not suitable for a dark background. For that case, these should be a good starting point (add to vgd.conf):
black #000000
red #c11125
green #50881e
yellow #c4b400
blue #1662a2
magenta #ef709a
cyan #2ca3a4
white #ffffff
-h, --help Show summary of options.
-V, --version
  Show the version of the program.


vgd keeps track of the active terminal by querying the X server. This doesn’t work great for tabbed terminals such as gnome-terminal and konsole, because they share an X window. With these, you will need to wake up vgd when you shuffle around. If you switch to a shell and the display doesn’t automatically update, send it the refocus command C-g <TAB>.

By default vgmini is in jump/resize mode, which means it’ll move to be near the active terminal and change its dimensions to try to match. Some window managers just don’t deal with this well and the resizing can get wacky. If you’re seeing this behaviour, you can disable jump/resize mode (or switch to a different window manager).


If present, this file specifies a default configuration for vgd. The file syntax is:
<long_option_name> [ <whitespace> <value> ]
The ’#’ character can be used for comments.
So, to always listen on port 5555, run in persistent mode, and use a slightly smaller font than your window manager suggests, the file should contain:
port 5555
persistent on
font-size-modifier -1
Configuration file options can be overridden on the command line.
Each instance of vgd listens on both an Internet-domain socket on the specified port, and a Unix-domain socket named for that port. Connection attempts on either socket are treated equivalently.


  Used by the display as described in dir_colors(5).
If you encounter an issue where certain filenames do not show in the display and you are using an encoding other than UTF-8, you may want to read about the GLib environment variables:
For example, for iso8859-1, run:


Exit status is 0 if vgd daemonizes or exits successfully. If vgd fails to obtain a connection to the X display, exit status is 3. If a socket setup error occurs, exit status is 2. For other errors, exit status is 1.


Stephen Bach <>


viewglob(1), vgseer(1), ls(1), dir_colors(5), XParseColor(3),
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VGD (1) April 26, 2006

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