zenity - display GTK+ dialogs


zenity [options]


zenity is a program that will display GTK+ dialogs, and return (either in the return code, or on standard output) the users input. This allows you to present information, and ask for information from the user, from all manner of shell scripts.

For example, zenity --question will return either 0 or 1, depending on whether the user pressed OK or Cancel. zenity --entry will output on standard output what the user typed into the text entry field.

Comprehensive documentation is available in the GNOME Help Browser, under GNOME/Utilities.


This program follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (‘-’).

Dialog options

 Display calendar dialog
--entry Display text entry dialog
--error Display error dialog
 Display file selection dialog
--info Display info dialog
--list Display list dialog
 Display notification icon
 Display progress indication dialog
 Display question dialog
 Display text information dialog
 Display warning dialog
--scale Display scale dialog

General options

 Set the dialog title
 Set the window icon
 Set the dialog width
 Set the dialog height
 Set the dialog timeout
Calendar options

 Set the dialog text
 Set the calendar day
 Set the calendar month
 Set the calendar year
 Set the format for the returned date

Text entry options

 Set the dialog text
 Set the entry text
 Hide the entry text

Error options
 Set the dialog text
--no-wrap Do not enable text wrapping

File selection options
 Set the filename
 Allow selection of multiple filenames in file selection dialog
 Activate directory-only selection
--save Activate save mode
 Specify separator character when returning multiple filenames
 Confirm file selection if filename already exists

Info options
 Set the dialog text
--no-wrap Do not enable text wrapping

List options

 Set the dialog text
 Set the column header
 Use check boxes for first column
 Use radio buttons for first column
 Set output separator character
 Allow multiple rows to be selected
 Allow changes to text
 Specify what column to print to standard output. The default is to return the first column. ’ALL’ may be used to print all columns.
 Hide a specific column

Notification options

 Set the notification text
 Listen for commands on stdin

Progress options

 Set the dialog text
 Set initial percentage
 Close dialog when 100% has been reached
 Kill parent process if cancel button is pressed
 Pulsate progress bar

Question options

 Set the dialog text
--no-wrap Do not enable text wrapping

Text options

 Open file
 Allow changes to text

Warning options

 Set the dialog text
--no-wrap Do not enable text wrapping

Scale options

 Set the dialog text
 Set initial value
 Set minimum value
 Set maximum value
 Set step size
 Print partial values
 Hide value

Miscellaneous options

-?, --help Show summary of options.
--about Display an about dialog.
 Show version of program.

Also the standard GTK+ options are accepted.


Normally, zenity detects the terminal window from which it was launched and keeps itself above that window. This behavior can be disabled by unsetting the WINDOWID environment variable.


Display a file selector with the title Select a file to remove. The file selected is returned on standard output.
zenity --title="Select a file to remove" --file-selection
Display a text entry dialog with the title Select Host and the text Select the host you would like to flood-ping. The entered text is returned on standard output.
zenity --title "Select Host" --entry --text "Select the host you would like to flood-ping"
Display a dialog, asking Microsoft Windows has been found! Would you like to remove it?. The return code will be 0 (true in shell) if OK is selected, and 1 (false) if Cancel is selected.
zenity --question --title "Alert" --text "Microsoft Windows has been found! Would you like to remove it?"
Show the search results in a list dialog with the title Search Results and the text Finding all header files....
find . -name ’*.h’ | zenity --list --title "Search Results" --text "Finding all header files.." --column "Files"
Show an icon in the notification area
zenity --notification --window-icon=update.png --text "System update necessary!"
Display a weekly shopping list in a check list dialog with Apples and Oranges pre selected
zenity --list --checklist --column "Buy" --column "Item" TRUE Apples TRUE Oranges FALSE Pears FALSE Toothpaste
Display a progress dialog while searching for all the postscript files in your home directory

find $HOME -name ’*.ps’ | zenity --progress --pulsate


Zenity was written by Glynn Foster <>.

This manual page was written by Ross Burton <>.


gdialog(1), dialog(1)

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