pmquery provides a command-line-option compatible implementation of
the xconfirm and xmessage tools, using a look-and-feel that is
consistent with pmchart. Several extensions to the functionality of
the original tools have been made, in order to improve their specific
utility for pmchart, but wherever possible the original semantics
pmconfirm displays a line of text for each -t argument specified (or
a file when the -file argument is used), and a button for each -b
argument specified. When one of the buttons is pressed, the label of
that button is written to pmquery's standard output. This provides a
means of communication/feedback from within shell scripts and a means
to display useful information to a user from an application.
pmmessage displays a window containing a message from the command
line, a file, or standard input. It additionally allows buttons to
be associated with an exit status, and only optionally will write the
label of the button to standard output.
pmquery extends the above tools to additionally support limited user
input, as free form text. In this -input mode, any text entered will
be output when the default button is pressed. A default text can be
entered using the same mechanisms as the other tools.
Command line options are available to specify font style, frame
style, modality and one of several different icons to be presented
for tailored visual feedback to the user.
-c or -center
Center the window on the display.
Pop up the window near the mouse cursor.
Displays a button with the label button-name. If button-name is
the empty string, the button in that position is not displayed.
If no -b arguments are present, the default is a button with the
label Continue. The exit status associated with button-name is
Displays a button with the label button-name and specifies it as
the button to be activated when enter is pressed. The exit
status associated with button-name is zero.
This option will create one button for each comma-separated
button argument. Each button consists of a label optionally
followed by a colon and an exit value. The exit value will be
returned if that button is selected. The default exit value is
100 plus the button number. Buttons are numbered from the left
starting with one.
Defines the button with a matching label to be the default. If
not specified there is no default. The corresponding resource
is defaultButton. Pressing Return anywhere in the xmessage
window will activate the default button. The default button has
a wider border than the others.
Displays message. Any number of strings can be listed on the
command line (each must be preceded with the -t option).
Displays the file filename. All -t options will be ignored. A
filename of `-' reads from standard input.
Displays the icon icontype where icontype is one of: info,
error, question, warning, critical. action is also accepted as
a synonym for error for backward compatibility. pmquery
introduces the additional archive and host icon types as well as
the original xconfirm types listed earlier.
Use fontname as the font. This option is only available when
using the X Window System.
Use string as the window title.
This causes the program to write the label of the button pressed
to standard output. It is the default behaviour for pmconfirm
This causes the program to not write the label of the button
pressed to standard output. It is the default behaviour for
This provides xconfirm with an X-compatible geometry string
specification. This option is only available when using the X
When displaying a file, always use a slider instead of
determining automatically whether a slider is necessary.
Do not create a slider, and clip text to the window size,
instead of determining automatically whether a slider is
Do not display a frame around the contents.
Grab the keyboard/pointer and do not allow further input until a
button is pressed.
Exit with status 0 after secs seconds if the user has not
clicked on a button yet. The corresponding resource is timeout.
The following shell script will display a window with an information
icon, asking the user a yes or no question with "Yes" as the default.
case `pmquery -t "Really power down?" -b No -B Yes -icon question
A second example, which prompts for a hostname then starts a terminal
with an ssh session connected to the requested host.
host=`pmquery -input -icon host -b Cancel -B OK \
-header "Remote Terminal - Secure Shell"
[ "$host" = "Cancel" -o -z "$host" ] && exit
gnome-terminal -e "ssh $host"
pmquery is an excellent choice of utility for the "PCP_XCONFIRM_PROG"
Performance Co-Pilot configuration parameter (refer to pcp.conf(5)
Note that PCP_XCONFIRM_PROG will be automatically set to pmquery
inside tools like pmchart, unless PCP_XCONFIRM_PROG is already set in
This page is part of the PCP (Performance Co-Pilot) project.
Information about the project can be found at ⟨http://www.pcp.io/⟩.
If you have a bug report for this manual page, send it to
firstname.lastname@example.org. This page was obtained from the project's upstream
Git repository ⟨git://git.pcp.io/pcp⟩ on 2017-03-13. If you discover
any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you
believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or
you have corrections or improvements to the information in this
COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail
Performance Co-Pilot PMQUERY(1)