gdialog - display dialog boxes from shell scripts
gdialog --create-rc file
gdialog [ --title title ] [ --backtitle backtitle ] [ --clear ] [
--separate-output ] box-options
Gdialog is a program that will let you to present a variety of ques-
tions or display messages using dialog boxes from a shell script. Cur-
rently, these types of dialog boxes are implemented:
yes/no box, menu box, input box, message box, text box, info box,
checklist box, radiolist box and gauge box.
This program is much like the dialog program, but along with displaying
textual dialog boxes if the environment variable DISPLAY is unset, if
the environment variable is set it will instead display graphical dia-
log boxes using gtk/gnome.
The screen will be cleared to the screen attribute on exit.
Since gdialog supports run-time configuration, this can be used
to dump a sample configuration file to the file specified by
For checklist widgets, output result one line at a time, with no
quoting. This facilitates parsing by another program.
Specifies a title string to be displayed at the top of the dia-
Specifies a backtitle string to be displayed on the backdrop, at
the top of the screen.
--yesno text height width
A yes/no dialog box of size height rows by width columns will be
displayed. The string specified by text is displayed inside the
dialog box. If this string is too long to be fitted in one line,
it will be automatically divided into multiple lines at appro-
priate places. The text string may also contain the sub-string
"\n" or newline characters `\n' to control line breaking explic-
itly. This dialog box is useful for asking questions that
require the user to answer either yes or no. The dialog box has
a Yes button and a No button, in which the user can switch
between by pressing the TAB key.
--msgbox text height width
A message box is very similar to a yes/no box. The only differ-
ence between a message box and a yes/no box is that a message
box has only a single OK button. You can use this dialog box to
display any message you like. After reading the message, the
user can press the ENTER key so that dialog will exit and the
calling shell script can continue its operation.
--infobox text height width
An info box is basically a message box. However, in this case,
dialog will exit immediately after displaying the message to the
user. The screen is not cleared when dialog exits, so that the
message will remain on the screen until the calling shell script
clears it later. This is useful when you want to inform the user
that some operations are carrying on that may require some time
--inputbox text height width [init]
An input box is useful when you want to ask questions that
require the user to input a string as the answer. If init is
supplied it is used to initialize the input string. When input-
ing the string, the BACKSPACE key can be used to correct typing
errors. If the input string is longer than can be fitted in the
dialog box, the input field will be scrolled. On exit, the input
string will be printed on stderr.
--textbox file height width
A text box lets you display the contents of a text file in a
dialog box. It is like a simple text file viewer. The user can
move through the file by using the UP/DOWN, PGUP/PGDN and
HOME/END keys available on most keyboards. If the lines are too
long to be displayed in the box, the LEFT/RIGHT keys can be used
to scroll the text region horizontally. For more convenience,
forward and backward searching functions are also provided.
--menu text height width menu-height [ tag item ] ...
As its name suggests, a menu box is a dialog box that can be
used to present a list of choices in the form of a menu for the
user to choose. Each menu entry consists of a tag string and an
item string. The tag gives the entry a name to distinguish it
from the other entries in the menu. The item is a short descrip-
tion of the option that the entry represents. The user can move
between the menu entries by pressing the UP/DOWN keys, the first
letter of the tag as a hot-key, or the number keys 1-9. There
are menu-height entries displayed in the menu at one time, but
the menu will be scrolled if there are more entries than that.
When dialog exits, the tag of the chosen menu entry will be
printed on stderr.
--checklist text height width list-height [ tag item status ] ...
A checklist box is similar to a menu box in that there are mul-
tiple entries presented in the form of a menu. Instead of choos-
ing one entry among the entries, each entry can be turned on or
off by the user. The initial on/off state of each entry is spec-
ified by status. On exit, a list of the tag strings of those
entries that are turned on will be printed on stderr.
--radiolist text height width list-height [ tag item status ] ...
A radiolist box is similar to a menu box. The only difference
is that you can indicate which entry is currently selected, by
setting its status to on.
--gauge text height width percent
A gauge box displays a meter along the bottom of the box. The
meter indicates the percentage. New percentages are read from
standard input, one integer per line. The meter is updated to
reflect each new percentage. If stdin is XXX, then subsequent
lines up to another XXX are used for a new prompt. The gauge
exits when EOF is reached on stdin.
1. Create a sample configuration file by typing:
"dialog --create-rc <file>"
2. At start, dialog determines the settings to use as follows:
a) if environment variable DIALOGRC is set, it's value determines
the name of the configuration file.
b) if the file in (a) can't be found, use the file $HOME/.dialogrc
as the configuration file.
c) if the file in (b) can't be found, use compiled in defaults.
3. Edit the sample configuration file and copy it to some place that
dialog can find, as stated in step 2 above.
DIALOGRC Define this variable if you want to specify the name of
the configuration file to use.
$HOME/.dialogrc default configuration file
Exit status is 0 if dialog is exited by pressing the Yes or OK button,
and 1 if the No or Cancel button is pressed. Otherwise, if errors occur
inside dialog or dialog is exited by pressing the ESC key, the exit
status is -1.
Text files containing tab characters may cause problems with text box.
Tab characters in text files must first be expanded to spaces before
being displayed by text box.
Screen update is too slow.
Savio Lam (firstname.lastname@example.org) - version 0.3
Stuart Herbert (S.Herbert@sheffield.ac.uk) - patch for version 0.4
dialog(1), whiptail (1)
gnome-utils 1.4.0 Apr 21 2001 gdialog(1)
Man(1) output converted with