xkill – kill a client by its X resource


xkill [-display displayname] [-id resource] [-button number] [-frame] [-all] [-version]


Xkill is a utility for forcing the X server to close connections to clients. This program is very dangerous,
but is useful for aborting programs that have displayed undesired windows on a user’s screen. If no resource
identifier is given with -id, xkill will display a special cursor as a prompt for the user to select a window
to be killed. If a pointer button is pressed over a non-root window, the server will close its connection to
the client that created the window.


-display displayname
This option specifies the name of the X server to contact.

-id resource
This option specifies the X identifier for the resource whose creator is to be aborted. If no
resource is specified, xkill will display a special cursor with which you should select a window to
be kill.

-button number
This option specifies the number of pointer button that should be used in selecting a window to kill.
If the word “any” is specified, any button on the pointer may be used. By default, the first button
in the pointer map (which is usually the leftmost button) is used.

This option indicates that all clients with top-level windows on the screen should be killed. Xkill
will ask you to select the root window with each of the currently defined buttons to give you several
chances to abort. Use of this option is highly discouraged.

This option indicates that xkill should ignore the standard conventions for finding top-level client
windows (which are typically nested inside a window manager window), and simply believe that you want
to kill direct children of the root.

This option makes xkill print its version and exit without killing anything.


This command does not provide any warranty that the application whose connection to the X server is closed
will abort nicely, or even abort at all. All this command does is to close the connection to the X server.
Many existing applications do indeed abort when their connection to the X server is closed, but some can
choose to continue.


Button Specifies a specific pointer button number or the word “any” to use when selecting windows.


X(7), xwininfo(1), XKillClient(3), XGetPointerMapping(3), KillClient in the X Protocol Specification


  • man 1 xkill, version xkill 1.0.4