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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  XFSM (1)


xfsm - monitor your file systems’ status


Command Line Parameters
Brief User’s Guide


xfsm stands for X File System Monitor and runs under MIT’s X11 window system on several flavors of UNIX. It is a tool designed to make monitoring your file systems’ status easy by displaying a simple bar graph for each file system greater than size 0. It updates the file systems’ statistics at regular, user definable intervals.


xfsm accepts the following command line options:

        +rv                     reverse video (use to override xrdb entry)
        +synchronous            syncronous mode(use to override xrdb entry)
        -?                      help
        -A                      show available space in MBs
        -a                      absolute display mode
        -background <arg>       backgound color
        -b                      black bars (disable gray fill)
        -bg <arg>               same as -background
        -bordercolor <arg>      border color
        -borderwidth <arg>      border width
        -detailgeometry <arg>   Geometry of detail window. Only X and Y are
        -display                display
        -e                      extend warning to ring bell when file
                                        system is above warning level
        -f                      show free space rather than space used
        -fg <arg>               same as -forground
        -font <arg>             font
        -foreground <arg>       forground color(also file system bar color)
        -fsb                    draw file system bars without a border
        -geometry <arg>         geometry (will override extreme window
                                        sizes to apply reasonable settings)
        -help                   help
        -i <arg>                interval at which stats are updated
        -iconic                 iconic
        -it <arg1 ... argn>     ignore file systems of this type
        -m                      minimize window size
        -mb                     draw menu borders
        -mnl                    minimize window size so that the longest
                                        file system name fits
        -name <arg>             run xfsm under this name
        -ot <arg>               show only file systems of this type
        -p                      don’t display percentages
        -pu                     popup alarm
        -r                      display space with respect to root
        -rootdf                 display df % values when in root mode
        -rs <arg>               specify the amount of space reserved for root
        -rv                     reverse video
        -s                      select only these file systems
        -S                      select only file systems matching these patterns
        -synchronous            synchronous mode
        -title                  title to show in main window
        -v                      verbose
        -w <arg>                display warning when usage reaches <arg> %
        -wl0c                   color for file systems below 1st warning level
        -wl1 <arg>              threshold for first warning level
        -wl1c <arg>             color for first warning level
        -wl2 <arg>              threshold for second warning level
        -wl2c <arg>             color for second warning level
        -wl3 <arg>              threshold for third warning level
        -wl3c <arg>             color for third warning level
        -xrm                    set an entry in the resource database for
                                                this execution only
        help                    help


xfsm can be controlled via the following resources:

        absolute                absolute display mode
        available               show available space in MBs
        background              universal backgound color
        <filesystem>.background background color for a file system
        bell                    extend warning to ring bell when any
                                        file system is above warning level
        borderColor             border color
        borderWidth             border width
        detailWin.geometry      Geometry of detail window. Only X and Y are
        detailWin.share         have detail window share file system color
        display                 display
        font                    font
        foreground              universal foreground color
        <filesystem>.foreground foreground color for a file system
        fs_border               do we draw borders around file systems?
        gray                    black bars
        help                    show help
        mainWin.geometry        main window geometry
        iconic                  start program in iconic mode
        minimize                minimize window size
        menuborder              draw menu borders
        name                    run xfsm under this name
        percent                 don’t display percentages
        root                    display space with respect to root
        rootdf                  display df % values when in root mode
        reverseVideo            reverse video
        synchronous             syncronous mode
        updInterval             interval at which stats are updated
        used                    show space free rather than space available
        verbose                 verbose mode
        warnval                 display warning pixmap when usage reaches
        warn1val                threshold for first warning level
        warn1col                color for first warning level
        warn2val                threshold for second warning leve
        warn2col                color for second warning level
        warn3val                threshold for third warning level
        warn3col                color for third warning level


The following abbreviations are used:

        LB - left mouse button         MB - middle mouse button         RB - right mouse button

Once you have started xfsm you will get a window containing at least 1 bar graph (xfsm removes all file systems of size 0) and 2 menus. The Menus are:

        Update Now - updates all files systems’ statistics now
        Quit       - exits xfsm

If you click on the graph of a file system (LB, MB) you get a window displaying the detailed statistics for the file system. Clicking on the file system again (LB, MB) or clicking in the detail window (LB, MB), closes the detail window while clicking on another file system (LB, MB) while the detail window is open, displays this file system’s statistics in the detail window. (Check the 5th item in the Troubleshooting section in the documentation to see the limitations of the default mode of xfsm with regard to calculating percentages.)

The right mouse button is used to toggle the display mode. The default startup mode graphs all file systems relative to their size. By clicking with the right mouse button in any of the windows, the graphs are drawn in absolute size. Clicking (RB) again, reverts back to the original mode.

If you have specified the -w flag with a valid parameter, xfsm will display an exclamation mark after the file system’s percent display when the file system’s useage exceeds the specified threshold. If you also specified the -e option, xfsm will sound the bell when the above condition is true for at least 1 file system when the file systems statistics are updated. You can use the -wl1, -wl1c, -wl2, -wl2c, -wl3, -wl3c options to set additional warning levels and associate them with colors. A word about colors: If you use them (ie. specify forground and background colors) you probably want to use the -b flag to disable the grey fill. If you don’t do this, the color of the file system bars will be filled using the gray tile, which IMHO looks rather horrible.

Xfsm will recognize automount file systems. If file systems are added or removed after startup, they will be caught at update time. Xfsm will then resize the main window to enable it properly display a status bar for each file system. If you specify file systems to be ignored (via the -d or -D option) xfsm will remember these file systems even if they are not present at startup time. This enables you to have xfsm ignore file systems which are not mounted at startup time.

The following keys can be used to control xfsm:

        q - quit xfsm
        u - update now
        t - toggle display mode
        c - close the detail window

The Detail Window can display the following statistics. Depending on the system you are on, you may not get all these statistics:

        Device Name             The actual device name
        Total Size              The file system size in MB
        Space Free              Free space in MB
        Sapce Available         Space Available to non-root in MB
        Mount Type              Type of Mount
        Mount Option            Mount Options
        Block Size              The size of a block in Bytes
        Blocks                  The number of blocks
        Blocks Free             The number of free blocks
        Blocks Available        Blocks available to non-root
        File Inodes             The number of Inodes
        Free Inodes             The number of free Inodes
        Inodes Availible        Inodes available to non-root user

If a device name is too long to be dispayed in the detail window, the detail window will resize to accomodate the name. This resizing will take place every time a file system name is too long to fit into the default width of the detail window. You can resize the main window but xfsm will not let you make the main window smaller beyond a certain point. This is to ensure that the output remains neat and legible. When the main window is not wide enough to display the entire name of a file system, the name will be truncated so that it does not overwrite the percentages.


xfsm was written by Robert Gasch ( and is copyright by the author. Xfsm is distributed under the GNU General Public Licence.


The strstr() used for DYNIX ports is a slightly modified version of the GNU source.

Many thanks to the following people who all contributed a great deal to evolving xfsm to new levels of sophistication:

        Bruno (
        Jim (
        Joost (
        Malcolm (
        Jose (
        R.K. (

Lastly, my apologies for not giving credit to all the people who helped me out with this, offered their suggestions and supplied platform exceptions for various UNIX falvors - the list would simple become too big.

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