ROFI-THEME(5) File Formats Manual ROFI-THEME(5)

rofi-theme - Rofi theme format files

The easiest way to get started theming rofi is by modifying your existing theme.

Themes can be modified/tweaked by adding theming elements to the end of the\ config file. The default location of this file is ~/.config/rofi/config.rasi, if the file does not exists, you can create it.

A basic config:

configuration {
  modes: [ combi ];
  combi-modes: [ window, drun, run ];
@theme "gruvbox-light"
/* Insert theme modifications after this */

For example if we want to change the Type to filter text in the entry box we append the following:

entry {
    placeholder: "Type here";

In the above section, entry indicates the widget, placeholder is the property we want to modify and we set it to the string "Type here". To find the commonly available widgets in rofi, see the 'Basic structure' section.

To change the mouse over cursor to a pointer, add:

entry {
    placeholder: "Type here";
    cursor: pointer;

For the next modification, we want to add the icon after each text element and increase the size. First we start by modifying the element widget:

element {
  orientation: horizontal;
  children: [ element-text, element-icon ];
  spacing: 5px;

Resulting in the following packing:

│ element                                                             │ 
│ ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────┐ ┌─────────────────┐ │ 
│ │element─text                                 │ │ element─icon    │ │ 
│ └─────────────────────────────────────────────┘ └─────────────────┘ │ 

The element (container) widget hold each entry in the listview, we add the two pre-defined children in the order we want to show. We also specify the packing direction (orientation) and the spacing between the children (spacing). We specify the space between the two children in absolute pixels (px).

To increase the icon-size, we need to modify the element-icon widget.

element-icon {
    size: 2.5em;
│ element                                                             │ 
│ ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────┐ ┌─────────────────┐ │ 
│ │element─text                                 │ │    element      │ │ 
│ │                                             │ │       ─         │ │ 
│ │                                             │ │     icon        │ │ 
│ └─────────────────────────────────────────────┘ └─────────────────┘ │ 

In this example we specify the size in the em ⟨⟩ unit.

Now lets change the text color of both the entry and the element-text widget to red and background to blue.

entry, element-text {
  text-color: red;
  background-color: rgb(0,0,255);

Here we use two different methods of writing down the color, for text-color we used a named color, for background-color we specify it in rgb. We also specify the property for multiple widgets by passing a comma separated list of widget names.

If you want to center the text relative to the icon, we can set this:

element-text {
    vertical-align: 0.5;
│ element                                                             │ 
│ ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────┐ ┌─────────────────┐ │ 
│ │                                             │ │    element      │ │ 
│ │element-text                                 │ │       ─         │ │ 
│ │                                             │ │     icon        │ │ 
│ └─────────────────────────────────────────────┘ └─────────────────┘ │ 

We can also specify the color and width of the cursor. You could, for example, create a crimson block cursor like this:

entry {
  cursor-color: rgb(220,20,60);
  cursor-width: 8px;

By default, the cursor-color will be the same as the text-color. The cursor-width will always default to 2 pixels.

If you want to see the complete theme, including the modification you can run:

rofi -dump-theme

By default, rofi loads the default theme. This theme is always loaded. The default configuration contains:

@theme "default"

To unload the default theme, and load another theme, add the @theme statement to your config.rasi file.

If you have a theme loaded via @theme or use the default theme, you can tweak it by adding overriding elements at the end of your config.rasi file.

For the difference between @import and @theme see the Multiple file handling section in this manpage.

To see the default theme, run the following command:

rofi -no-config -dump-theme

The need for a new theme format was motivated by the fact that the way rofi handled widgets has changed. From a very static drawing of lines and text to a nice structured form of packing widgets. This change made it possible to provide a more flexible theme framework. The old theme format and config file are not flexible enough to expose these options in a user-friendly way. Therefore, a new file format has been created, replacing the old one.

The encoding of the file is UTF-8. Both unix (\n) and windows (\r\n) newlines format are supported. But unix is preferred.

C and C++ file comments are supported.

  • Anything after // and before a newline is considered a comment.
  • Everything between /* and */ is a comment, this comment can span multiple lines.

Comments can be nested and the C comments can be inline.

The following is valid:

// Magic comment.
property: /* comment */ value;

However, this is not:

prop/*comment*/erty: value;

White space and newlines, like comments, are ignored by the parser.


property: name;

Is identical to:

     property             :

The preferred file extension for the new theme format is rasi. This is an abbreviation for rofi advanced style information. If a theme file is split over multiple files, include files can have the: rasinc extension.

Each element has a section with defined properties. Global properties can be defined in section * { }. Sub-section names begin with an optional hash symbol #.

It is advised to define the global properties section on top of the file to make inheritance of properties clearer.

/* Global properties section */
* {
    // list of properties
/* Element theme section. */
{element path} {
    // list of properties
{elements... } {
    // list of properties

If there are multiple sections with the same name, they are merged. Duplicate properties are overwritten and the last parsed entry kept.

A theme can have one or more global properties sections. If there is more than one, they will be merged.

The global properties section denotes the defaults for each element. Each property of this section can be referenced with @{identifier} (See Properties section)

A global properties section is indicated with a * as element path.

A theme can have multiple element theme sections.

The element path can consist of multiple names separated by whitespace or dots. Each element may contain any number of letters, numbers and -'s. The first element in the element path can optionally start with a # (for historic reasons). Multiple elements can be specified by a ,.

This is a valid element name:

element normal.normal {
    background-color: blue;
button {
    background-color: blue;

And is identical to:

element normal normal, button {
    background-color: blue;

Each section inherits the global properties. Properties can be explicitly inherited from their parent with the inherit keyword. In the following example:

window {
 a: 1;
 b: 2;
 children: [ mainbox ];
mainbox {
    a: inherit;
    b: 4;
    c: 8;

The element mainbox will have the following set of properties (if mainbox is a child of window):

a: 1;
b: 4;
c: 8;

If multiple sections are defined with the same name, they are merged by the parser. If multiple properties with the same name are defined in one section, the last encountered property is used.

The properties in a section consist of:

{identifier}: {value};

Both fields are mandatory for a property.

The identifier names the specified property. Identifiers can consist of any combination of numbers, letters and '-'. It must not contain any whitespace. The structure of the value defines the type of the property. The current parser does not define or enforce a certain type of a particular identifier. When used, values with the wrong type that cannot be converted are ignored.

The current theme format supports different types:

  • a string
  • an integer number
  • a fractional number
  • a boolean value
  • a color
  • image
  • text style
  • line style
  • a distance
  • a padding
  • a border
  • a position
  • a reference
  • an orientation
  • a cursor
  • a list of keywords
  • an array of values
  • an environment variable
  • Inherit

Some of these types are a combination of other types.

Format: (["'])[:print:]+\1

Strings are always surrounded by double (") or single (', apostrophe) quotes. Between the quotes there can be any printable character.

For example:

font: "Awasome 12";

The string must be valid UTF-8, special characters can be escaped:

text { content: "Line one\n\tIndented line two 'Quoted text'"; }
text { content: 'Line one\n\tIndented line two "Quoted text"'; }
text { content: "Line one\n\tIndented line two \"Quoted text\""; }

The following special characters can be escaped: \b, \f, \n, \r, \t, \v, \, " and ' (double quotes inside single-quotes or in reverse don't need escape).

Format: [-+]?[:digit:]+

An integer may contain any number.

For examples:

lines: 12;

Format: [-+]?[:digit:]+(\.[:digit:]+)?

A real is an integer with an optional fraction.

For example:

real: 3.4;

The following is not valid: .3, 3. or scientific notation: 3.4e-3.

Format: (true|false)

Boolean value is either true or false. This is case-sensitive.

For example:

dynamic: false;

rofi support a limited set of background-image formats.

  • Format: url("path to image");
  • Format: url("path to image", scale); where scale is: none, both, width, height
  • Format: linear-gradient(stop color,stop1, color, stop2 color, ...);
  • Format: linear-gradient(to direction, stop color,stop1, color, stop2 color,
  • Format: linear-gradient(angle, stop color,stop1, color, stop2 color, ...); Angle in deg,rad,grad (as used in color).

Where the path is a string, and stop color is of type color.

rofi supports the color formats as specified in the CSS standard (1,2,3 and some of CSS 4)

  • Format: #{HEX}{3} (rgb)
  • Format: #{HEX}{4} (rgba)
  • Format: #{HEX}{6} (rrggbb)
  • Format: #{HEX}{8} (rrggbbaa)
  • Format: rgb[a]({INTEGER},{INTEGER},{INTEGER}[, {PERCENTAGE}])
  • Format: rgb[a]({INTEGER}%,{INTEGER}%,{INTEGER}%[, {PERCENTAGE}])
  • Format: hsl[a]( {ANGLE}, {PERCENTAGE}, {PERCENTAGE} [, {PERCENTAGE}])
  • Format: hwb[a]( {ANGLE}, {PERCENTAGE}, {PERCENTAGE} [, {PERCENTAGE}])
  • Format: {named-color} [ / {PERCENTAGE} ]

The white-space format proposed in CSS4 is also supported.

The different values are:

  • {HEX} is a hexadecimal number ('0-9a-f' case insensitive).
  • {INTEGER} value can be between 0 and 255 or 0-100 when representing percentage.
  • {ANGLE} is the angle on the color wheel, can be in deg, rad, grad or turn. When no unit is specified, degrees is assumed.
  • {PERCENTAGE} can be between 0-1.0, or 0%-100%
  • {named-color} is one of the following colors:AliceBlue, AntiqueWhite, Aqua, Aquamarine, Azure, Beige, Bisque, Black, BlanchedAlmond, Blue, BlueViolet, Brown, BurlyWood, CadetBlue, Chartreuse, Chocolate, Coral, CornflowerBlue, Cornsilk, Crimson, Cyan, DarkBlue, DarkCyan, DarkGoldenRod, DarkGray, DarkGrey, DarkGreen, DarkKhaki, DarkMagenta, DarkOliveGreen, DarkOrange, DarkOrchid, DarkRed, DarkSalmon, DarkSeaGreen, DarkSlateBlue, DarkSlateGray, DarkSlateGrey, DarkTurquoise, DarkViolet, DeepPink, DeepSkyBlue, DimGray, DimGrey, DodgerBlue, FireBrick, FloralWhite, ForestGreen, Fuchsia, Gainsboro, GhostWhite, Gold, GoldenRod, Gray, Grey, Green, GreenYellow, HoneyDew, HotPink, IndianRed, Indigo, Ivory, Khaki, Lavender, LavenderBlush, LawnGreen, LemonChiffon, LightBlue, LightCoral, LightCyan, LightGoldenRodYellow, LightGray, LightGrey, LightGreen, LightPink, LightSalmon, LightSeaGreen, LightSkyBlue, LightSlateGray, LightSlateGrey, LightSteelBlue, LightYellow, Lime, LimeGreen, Linen, Magenta, Maroon, MediumAquaMarine, MediumBlue, MediumOrchid, MediumPurple, MediumSeaGreen, MediumSlateBlue, MediumSpringGreen, MediumTurquoise, MediumVioletRed, MidnightBlue, MintCream, MistyRose, Moccasin, NavajoWhite, Navy, OldLace, Olive, OliveDrab, Orange, OrangeRed, Orchid, PaleGoldenRod, PaleGreen, PaleTurquoise, PaleVioletRed, PapayaWhip, PeachPuff, Peru, Pink, Plum, PowderBlue, Purple, RebeccaPurple, Red, RosyBrown, RoyalBlue, SaddleBrown, Salmon, SandyBrown, SeaGreen, SeaShell, Sienna, Silver, SkyBlue, SlateBlue, SlateGray, SlateGrey, Snow, SpringGreen, SteelBlue, Tan, Teal, Thistle, Tomato, Turquoise, Violet, Wheat, White, WhiteSmoke, Yellow, YellowGreen,transparent

For example:

background-color: #FF0000;
border-color: rgba(0,0,1, 0.5);
text-color: SeaGreen;


background-color: transparent;
text-color: Black;

Format: (bold|italic|underline|strikethrough|none)

Text style indicates how the highlighted text is emphasized. None indicates that no emphasis should be applied.

  • bold: make the text thicker then the surrounding text.
  • italic: put the highlighted text in script type (slanted).
  • underline: put a line under the text.
  • strikethrough: put a line through the text.

The following options are available on pango 1.50.0 and up:

  • uppercase: Uppercase the text.
  • lowercase: Lowercase the text.

The following option is disabled as pango crashes on this if there is eel upsizing or wrapping. This will be re-enabled once fixed:

capitalize: Capitalize the text.

Format: (dash|solid)

Indicates how a line should be drawn. It currently supports: - dash: a dashed line, where the gap is the same width as the dash - solid: a solid line

  • Format: {Integer}px
  • Format: {Real}em
  • Format: {Real}ch
  • Format: {Real}%
  • Format: {Real}mm

A distance can be specified in 3 different units:

  • px: Screen pixels.
  • em: Relative to text height.
  • ch: Relative to width of a single number.
  • mm: Actual size in millimeters (based on dpi).
  • %: Percentage of the monitor size.

Distances used in the horizontal direction use the monitor width. Distances in the vertical direction use the monitor height. For example:

   padding: 10%;

On a full-HD (1920x1080) monitor, it defines a padding of 192 pixels on the left and right side and 108 pixels on the top and bottom.

Rofi supports some maths in calculating sizes. For this it uses the CSS syntax:

width: calc( 100% - 37px );
width: calc( 20% min 512 );

It supports the following operations:

  • + : Add
  • - : Subtract
  • / : Divide
  • - : Multiply
  • modulo : Modulo
  • min : Minimum of lvalue or rvalue;
  • max : Maximum of lvalue or rvalue;
  • floor : Round down lvalue to the next multiple of rvalue
  • ceil : Round up lvalue to the next multiple of rvalue
  • round : Round lvalue to the next multiple of rvalue

It uses the C precedence ordering.

  • Format: {Integer}
  • Format: {Distance}
  • Format: {Distance} {Distance}
  • Format: {Distance} {Distance} {Distance}
  • Format: {Distance} {Distance} {Distance} {Distance}

If no unit is specified, pixels are assumed.

The different number of fields in the formats are parsed like:

  • 1 field: all
  • 2 fields: top&bottom left&right
  • 3 fields: top, left&right, bottom
  • 4 fields: top, right, bottom, left

  • Format: {Integer}
  • Format: {Distance}
  • Format: {Distance} {Distance}
  • Format: {Distance} {Distance} {Distance}
  • Format: {Distance} {Distance} {Distance} {Distance}
  • Format: {Distance} {Line style}
  • Format: {Distance} {Line style} {Distance} {Line style}
  • Format: {Distance} {Line style} {Distance} {Line style} {Distance} {Line style}
  • Format: {Distance} {Line style} {Distance} {Line style} {Distance} {Line style} {Distance} {Line style}

Borders are identical to padding, except that each distance field has a line style property.

When no unit is specified, pixels are assumed.

Indicate a place on the window/monitor.

│ north west  │    north    │  north east │
│   west      │   center    │     east    │
│ south west  │    south    │  south east │
Format: (center|east|north|west|south|north east|north west|south west|south east)

It is possible to hide widgets:

inputbar {
    enabled: false;


A reference can point to another reference. Currently, the maximum number of redirects is 20. A property always refers to another property. It cannot be used for a subpart of the property. For example, this is not valid:

highlight: bold @pink;

But this is:

* {
    myhigh: bold #FAA;
window {
    highlight: @myhigh;

A reference can point to another reference. Currently, the maximum number of redirects is 20. A property always refers to another property. It cannot be used for a subpart of the property.


window {
    width: var( width, 30%);

If the property width is set globally (*{}) that value is used, if the property width is not set, the default value is used.

Format: (horizontal|vertical)

Specify the orientation of the widget.

Format: (default|pointer|text)

Specify the type of mouse cursor that is set when the mouse pointer is over the widget.

Format: [ keyword, keyword ]

A list starts with a '[' and ends with a ']'. The entries in the list are comma-separated. The keyword in the list refers to an widget name.

Format: [ value, value, ... ]

An list starts with a '[' and ends with a ']'. The entries in the list are comma-separated.

Format: ${:alnum:}

This will parse the environment variable as the property value. (that then can be any of the above types). The environment variable should be an alphanumeric string without white-space.

* {
    background-color: ${BG};
Format: env(ENVIRONMENT, default)

This will parse the environment variable as the property value. (that then can be any of the above types). The environment variable should be an alphanumeric string without white-space. If the environment value is not found, the default value is used.

window {
    width: env(WIDTH, 40%);

If environment WIDTH is set, then that value is parsed, otherwise the default value (40%).

Format: inherit

Inherits the property from its parent widget.

mainbox {
    border-color: inherit;

Element paths exists of two parts, the first part refers to the actual widget by name. Some widgets have an extra state.

For example:

element selected {

Here element selected is the name of the widget, selected is the state of the widget.

The difference between dots and spaces is purely cosmetic. These are all the same:

element .selected {
element.selected {
element selected {

The default widgets available in rofi and the default hierarchic:

  • overlay: the overlay widget.
  • mainbox: The mainbox box.
  • inputbar: The input bar box.
box: the horizontal @box packing the widgets
  • case-indicator: the case/sort indicator @textbox
  • prompt: the prompt @textbox
  • entry: the main entry @textbox
  • num-rows: Shows the total number of rows.
  • num-filtered-rows: Shows the total number of rows after filtering.
  • textbox-current-entry: Shows the text of the currently selected entry.
  • icon-current-entry: Shows the icon of the currently selected entry.
listview: The listview.
  • scrollbar: the listview scrollbar
  • element: a box in the listview holding the entries
  • element-icon: the widget in the listview's entry showing the (optional) icon
  • element-index: the widget in the listview's entry keybindable index (1,2,3..0)
  • element-text: the widget in the listview's entry showing the text.
mode-switcher: the main horizontal @box packing the buttons.
button: the buttons @textbox for each mode
message: The container holding the textbox.
textbox: the message textbox

Note that these path names match the default theme. Themes that provide a custom layout will have different elements, and structure.

State: State of widget

Optional flag(s) indicating state of the widget, used for theming.

These are appended after the name or class of the widget.

button selected.normal { }

element selected.urgent { }

Currently only the entrybox and scrollbar have states:

{visible modifier}.{state}

Where visible modifier can be: - normal: no modification - selected: the entry is selected/highlighted by user - alternate: the entry is at an alternating row (uneven row)

Where state is: - normal: no modification - urgent: this entry is marked urgent - active: this entry is marked active

These can be mixed.


nametotextbox {
    background-color: #003642;
    text-color: #008ed4;

Sets all selected textboxes marked active to the given text and background color. Note that a state modifies the original element, it therefore contains all the properties of that element.

The scrollbar uses the handle state when drawing the small scrollbar handle. This allows the colors used for drawing the handle to be set independently.

The following properties are currently supported:

  • enabled: enable/disable rendering of the widget
  • padding: padding Padding on the inside of the widget
  • margin: padding Margin on the outside of the widget
  • border: border Border around the widget (between padding and margin)/
  • border-radius: padding Sets a radius on the corners of the borders.
  • background-color: color Background color
  • background-image: image Background image
  • border-color: color Color of the border
  • cursor: cursor Type of mouse cursor that is set when the mouse pointer is hovered over the widget.

  • font: string The font used in the window
  • transparency: string Indicating if transparency should be used and what type:
  • real - True transparency. Only works with a compositor.
  • background - Take a screenshot of the background image and use that.
  • screenshot - Take a screenshot of the screen and use that.
  • Path to png file - Use an image.
  • location: position
    The place of the anchor on the monitor
  • anchor: anchor
    The anchor position on the window
  • fullscreen: boolean Window is fullscreen.
  • width: distance The width of the window
  • x-offset: distance
  • y-offset: distance The offset of the window to the anchor point, allowing you to push the window left/right/up/down

  • background-color: color
  • handle-width: distance
  • handle-color: color
  • border-color: color

  • orientation: orientation Set the direction the elements are packed.
  • spacing: distance Distance between the packed elements.

  • background-color: color
  • border-color: the color used for the border around the widget.
  • font: the font used by this textbox (string).
  • str/content: the string to display by this textbox (string).
  • vertical-align: Vertical alignment of the text. A number between 0 (top) and 1 (bottom).
  • horizontal-align: Horizontal alignment of the text. A number between 0 (left) and 1 (right).
  • text-color: the text color to use.
  • text-transform: text style {color} for the whole text.
  • highlight: text style {color}. color is optional, multiple highlight styles can be added like: bold underline italic #000000; This option is only available on the element-text widget.
  • width: override the desired width for the textbox.
  • content: Set the displayed text (String).
  • placeholder: Set the displayed text (String) when nothing is entered.
  • placeholder-markup: If true, placeholder text supports pango markup for stylizing.
  • placeholder-color: Color of the placeholder text.
  • blink: Enable/Disable blinking on an input textbox (Boolean).
  • markup: Force markup on, beware that only valid pango markup strings are shown.
  • tab-stops: array of distances. Set the location of tab stops by their distance from the beginning of the line. Each distance should be greater than the previous one. The text appears to the right of the tab stop position (other alignments are not supported yet).
  • cursor-width: The width of the cursor.
  • cursor-color: The color used to draw the cursor.
  • cursor-outline: Enable a border (outline) around the cursor. (Boolean)
  • cursor-outline-width: The width of the border around the cursor. (Double)
  • cursor-outline-color: The color to use for the cursor outline. (Color)
  • text-outline: Enable a border (outline) around the text. (Boolean)
  • text-outline-width: The width of the border around the text. (Double)
  • text-outline-color: The color to use for the text outline. (Color)

  • columns: integer Number of columns to show (at least 1)
  • fixed-height: boolean Always show lines rows, even if fewer elements are available.
  • dynamic: boolean True if the size should change when filtering the list, False if it should keep the original height.
  • scrollbar: boolean If the scrollbar should be enabled/disabled.
  • scrollbar-width: distance Width of the scrollbar
  • cycle: boolean When navigating, it should wrap around
  • spacing: distance Spacing between the elements (both vertical and horizontal)
  • lines: integer Number of rows to show in the list view.
  • layout: orientation Indicate how elements are stacked. Horizontal implements the dmenu style.
  • reverse: boolean Reverse the ordering (top down to bottom up).
  • flow: orientation The order the elements are layed out. Vertical is the original 'column' view.
  • fixed-columns: boolean Do not reduce the number of columns shown when number of visible elements is not enough to fill them all.
  • require-input: boolean Listview requires user input to be unhidden. The list is still present and hitting accept will activate the first entry.

The listview widget is special container widget. It has the following fixed children widgets:

  • 0 or more element widgets of the type box.
  • An optional scrollbar widget. This can be enabled using the scrollbar property.

These cannot be changed using the children property.

Each Entry displayed by listview is captured by a box called element. An element widget can contain the following special child widgets:

  • element-icon: An icon widget showing the icon associated to the entry.
  • element-text: A textbox widget showing the text associated to the entry.
  • element-index: A textbox widget that shows the shortcut keybinding number.

By default the element-icon and element-text child widgets are added to the element. This can be modified using the children property or the [no]-show-icons option.

A child added with another name is treated the same as the special widget described in the advanced layout ⟨#advanced-layout⟩ section.

The element-text widget in the listview is the one used to show the text. On this widget set the highlight property (only place this property is used) to change the style of highlighting. The highlight property consist of the text-style property and a color.

To disable highlighting:

  element-text {
    highlight: None;

To set to red underlined:

  element-text {
    highlight: underline red;

The new format allows the layout of the rofi window to be tweaked extensively. For each widget, the themer can specify padding, margin, border, font, and more. It even allows, as an advanced feature, to pack widgets in a custom structure.

The whole view is made out of boxes that pack other boxes or widgets. The box can be vertical or horizontal. This is loosely inspired by GTK ⟨⟩.

The current layout of rofi is structured as follows:

│ window {BOX:vertical}                                                              │
│ ┌───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐  │
│ │ mainbox  {BOX:vertical}                                                       │  │
│ │ ┌───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │  │
│ │ │ inputbar {BOX:horizontal}                                                 │ │  │
│ │ │ ┌─────────┐ ┌─┐ ┌───────────────────────────────┐ ┌───┐ ┌───┐ ┌───┐ ┌───┐ │ │  │
│ │ │ │ prompt  │ │:│ │ entry                         │ │#fr│ │ / │ │#ns│ │ci │ │ │  │
│ │ │ └─────────┘ └─┘ └───────────────────────────────┘ └───┘ └───┘ └───┘ └───┘ │ │  │
│ │ └───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │  │
│ │                                                                               │  │
│ │ ┌───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │  │
│ │ │ message                                                                   │ │  │
│ │ │ ┌───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │ │  │
│ │ │ │ textbox                                                               │ │ │  │
│ │ │ └───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │ │  │
│ │ └───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │  │
│ │                                                                               │  │
│ │ ┌───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │  │
│ │ │ listview                                                                  │ │  │
│ │ │ ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐   │ │  │
│ │ │ │ element                                                             │   │ │  │
│ │ │ │ ┌─────────────────┐ ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │   │ │  │
│ │ │ │ │element─icon     │ │element─text                                 │ │   │ │  │
│ │ │ │ └─────────────────┘ └─────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │   │ │  │
│ │ │ └─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘   │ │  │
│ │ └───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │  │
│ │                                                                               │  │
│ │ ┌───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │  │
│ │ │  mode─switcher {BOX:horizontal}                                           │ │  │
│ │ │ ┌───────────────┐   ┌───────────────┐  ┌──────────────┐ ┌───────────────┐ │ │  │
│ │ │ │ Button        │   │ Button        │  │ Button       │ │ Button        │ │ │  │
│ │ │ └───────────────┘   └───────────────┘  └──────────────┘ └───────────────┘ │ │  │
│ │ └───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │  │
│ └───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘  │
  • ci is the case-indicator
  • fr is the num-filtered-rows
  • ns is the num-rows

│ window {BOX:vertical}                                                            │
│ ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐  │
│ │ error─message {BOX:vertical}                                                │  │
│ │ ┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐  │  │
│ │ │ textbox                                                                │  │  │
│ │ └────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘  │  │
│ └─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘  │

The layout of rofi can be tweaked by packing the 'fixed' widgets in a custom structure.

The following widgets are fixed, as they provide core rofi functionality:

  • prompt
  • entry
  • overlay
  • case-indicator
  • message
  • listview
  • mode-switcher
  • num-rows
  • num-filtered-rows

The following keywords are defined and can be used to automatically pack a subset of the widgets. These are used in the default theme as depicted in the figure above.

  • mainbox Packs: inputbar, message, listview, mode-switcher
  • inputbar Packs: prompt,entry,case-indicator

Any widget name starting with textbox is a textbox widget, others are box widgets and can pack other widgets.

There are several special widgets that can be used by prefixing the name of the widget:

This is a read-only textbox widget. The displayed string can be set with content.


textbox-custom {
  expand: false;
  content: "My Message";

This is an icon widget. The displayed icon can be set with filename and size with size. If the property action is set, it acts as a button. action can be set to a keybinding name and completes that action. (see rofi -show keys for a list).

If the squared property is set to false the widget height and width are not forced to be equal.


icon-paste {
    expand: false;
    filename: "gtk-paste";
    size: 24;
    vertical-align: 0.5;
    action: "kb-primary-paste";

This is a textbox widget that can have a 'clickable' action. The action can be set to: keybinding: accepts a keybinding name and completes that action. (see rofi -show keys for a list).

button-paste {
    expand: false;
    content: "My Clickable Message";
    vertical-align: 0.5;
    action: "kb-primary-paste";

To specify children, set the children property (this always happens on the box child, see example below):

inputbar {
  children: [prompt,entry,overlay,case-indicator];

The theme needs to be updated to match the hierarchy specified.

Below is an example of a theme emulating dmenu:

* {
    background-color:      Black;
    text-color:            White;
    border-color:          White;
    font:            "Times New Roman 12";
window {
    anchor:     north;
    location:   north;
    width:      100%;
    padding:    4px;
    children:   [ horibox ];
horibox {
    orientation: horizontal;
    children:   [ prompt, entry, listview ];
listview {
    layout:     horizontal;
    spacing:    5px;
    lines:      10;
entry {
    expand:     false;
    width:      10em;
element {
    padding: 0px 2px;
element selected {
    background-color: SteelBlue;

Just like CSS, rofi uses the box model for each widget.

│ margin                                                           │
│  ┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐  │
│  │ border                                                     │  │
│  │ ┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │  │
│  │ │ padding                                                │ │  │
│  │ │ ┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │ │  │
│  │ │ │ content                                            │ │ │  │
│  │ │ └────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │ │  │
│  │ └────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │  │
│  └────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘  │

Explanation of the different parts:

  • Content - The content of the widget.
  • Padding - Clears an area around the widget. The padding shows the background color of the widget.
  • Border - A border that goes around the padding and content. The border use the border-color of the widget.
  • Margin - Clears an area outside the border. The margin is transparent.

The box model allows us to add a border around elements, and to define space between elements.

The size of each margin, border, and padding can be set. For the border, a linestyle and radius can be set.

Widgets that can pack more then one child widget (currently box and listview) have the spacing property. This property sets the distance between the packed widgets (both horizontally and vertically).

│ ┌────────┐ s ┌────────┐ s ┌────────┐  │
│ │ child  │ p │ child  │ p │ child  │  │
│ │        │ a │        │ a │        │  │
│ │        │ c │        │ c │        │  │
│ │        │ i │        │ i │        │  │
│ │        │ n │        │ n │        │  │
│ └────────┘ g └────────┘ g └────────┘  │

More dynamic spacing can be achieved by adding dummy widgets, for example to make one widget centered:

│  ┌───────────────┐  ┌────────┐  ┌───────────────┐  │
│  │ dummy         │  │ child  │  │ dummy         │  │
│  │ expand: true; │  │        │  │ expand: true; │  │
│  │               │  │        │  │               │  │
│  │               │  │        │  │               │  │
│  │               │  │        │  │               │  │
│  └───────────────┘  └────────┘  └───────────────┘  │

If both dummy widgets are set to expand, child will be centered. Depending on the expand flag of child the remaining space will be equally divided between both dummy and child widget (expand enabled), or both dummy widgets (expand disabled).

To get debug information from the parser, run rofi like:

G_MESSAGES_DEBUG=Parser rofi -show run

Syntax errors are shown in a popup and printed out to command line with the above command.

To see the elements queried during running, run:

G_MESSAGES_DEBUG=Theme rofi -show run

To test minor changes, part of the theme can be passed on the command line, for example to set it to full-screen:

rofi -theme-str 'window { fullscreen:true;}' -show run

Another syntax to modify theme properties is:

rofi -theme+window+fullscreen true -show run

To print the current theme, run:

rofi -dump-theme

Parts of the theme can be conditionally loaded, like the CSS @media option.

@media ( min-width: 120 ) {

It supports the following keys as constraint:

  • min-width: load when width is bigger or equal then value.
  • max-width: load when width is smaller then value.
  • min-height: load when height is bigger or equal then value.
  • max-height: load when height is smaller then value.
  • min-aspect-ratio load when aspect ratio is over value.
  • max-aspect-ratio: load when aspect ratio is under value.
  • monitor-id: The monitor id, see rofi -help for id's.
  • enabled: Boolean option to enable. Supports environment variable or DMENU to detect if in dmenu mode.

@media takes an integer number or a fraction, for integer number px can be added.

@media ( min-width: 120 px ) {
@media ( enabled: env(DO_LIGHT, false )) {
@media ( enabled: DMENU) {

It is possible to define conflicting constraints in the theme. These conflicts are not explicitly reported. The most common example is forcing a specific window size, for example by enabling full-screen mode, having number of lines set in the listview and having the listview expand to available space. There is clearly a conflict in these 3 constraints. In this case, listview will not limit to the number of lines, but tries to fill the available space. It is up to the theme designer to make sure the theme handles this correctly.

Rofi uses pango ⟨⟩ for font rendering. The font should be specified in a format that pango understands. This normally is the font name followed by the font size. For example:

mono 18


FontAwesome 22

From the pango manpage:

The string must have the form


where FAMILY-LIST is a comma-separated list of families optionally terminated by a comma, STYLE_OPTIONS is a whitespace-separated list of words where each word describes one of style, variant, weight, stretch, or gravity, and SIZE is a decimal number (size in points) or optionally followed by the unit modifier “px” for absolute size. VARIATIONS is a comma-separated list of font variation specifications of the form “axis=value” (the = sign is optional).

The following words are understood as styles: "Normal”, “Roman”, “Oblique”, “Italic”.

The following words are understood as variants: “Small-Caps”, “All-Small-Caps”, “Petite-Caps”, “All-Petite-Caps”, “Unicase”, “Title-Caps”.

The following words are understood as weights: “Thin”, “Ultra-Light”, “Extra-Light”, “Light”, “Semi-Light”, “Demi-Light”, “Book”, “Regular”, “Medium”, “Semi-Bold”, “Demi-Bold”, “Bold”, “Ultra-Bold”, “Extra-Bold”, “Heavy”, “Black”, “Ultra-Black”, “Extra-Black”.

The following words are understood as stretch values: “Ultra-Condensed”, “Extra-Condensed”, “Condensed”, “Semi-Condensed”, “Semi-Expanded”, “Expanded”, “Extra-Expanded”, “Ultra-Expanded”.

The following words are understood as gravity values: “Not-Rotated”, “South”, “Upside-Down”, “North”, “Rotated-Left”, “East”, “Rotated-Right”, “West”.

Any one of the options may be absent. If FAMILY-LIST is absent, then the family_name field of the resulting font description will be initialized to NULL. If STYLE-OPTIONS is missing, then all style options will be set to the default values. If SIZE is missing, the size in the resulting font description will be set to 0.

A typical example:

"Cantarell Italic Light 15 `wght`=200"

Rofi supports 3 ways of specifying an icon:

  • Filename
  • icon-name, this is looked up via the icon-theme.
  • Markup String. It renders a string as an icon.

For the first two options, GdkPixbuf is used to open and render the icons. This in general gives support for most required image formats. For the string option it uses Pango to render the string. The string needs to start with a <span tag, that allows you to set color and font.

Markup string:

echo -en "testing\0icon\x1f<span color='red'>⏻</span>" | ./rofi -dmenu

Getting supported icon formats:

G_MESSAGES_DEBUG=Helpers.IconFetcher rofi

This uses the debug framework and prints out a list of supported image file extensions.

The rasi file format offers two methods of including other files. This can be used to modify existing themes, or have multiple variations on a theme.

  • import: Import and parse a second file.
  • theme: Discard theme, and load file as a fresh theme.


@import "myfile"
@theme "mytheme"

The specified file can either by name, filename,full path.

If a filename is provided, it will try to resolve it in the following order:

  • If path is absolute and file exists, it will open the file. This includes expansion of '~' or '~user'
  • On an @import or @theme it looks in the directory of the file that tried to include it.
  • ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/rofi/themes/
  • ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/rofi/
  • ${XDG_DATA_HOME}/rofi/themes/
  • ${INSTALL PREFIX}/share/rofi/themes/

A name is resolved (if it has no valid extension) as a filename by appending the .rasi extension.

Several examples are installed together with rofi. These can be found in {datadir}/rofi/themes/, where {datadir} is the install path of rofi data. When installed using a package manager, this is usually: /usr/share/.

rofi(1), rofi-script(5), rofi-theme-selector(1)