matedialog (1) - Linux Manuals

matedialog: display GTK+ dialogs


matedialog - display GTK+ dialogs


matedialog [options]


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

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


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

Dialog options

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

General options

Set the dialog title
Set the window icon with the path to an image. Alternatively, one of the four stock icons can be used: 'error', 'info', 'question' or 'warning'
Set the dialog width
Set the dialog height
Set the dialog timeout in seconds

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. The default depends on the user locale or be set with the strftime style. For example %A %d/%m/%y

Text entry options

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

Error options

Set the dialog text
Do not enable text wrapping

File selection options

Set the file or directory to be selected by default
Allow selection of multiple filenames in file selection dialog
Activate directory-only selection
Activate save mode
Specify separator character when returning multiple filenames
Confirm file selection if filename already exists
--file-filter=NAME | PATTERN1 PATTERN2
Sets a filename filter

Info options

Set the dialog text
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
Hides the column headers

Notification options

Set the notification text
Listen for commands on stdin. Commands include 'message', 'tooltip', 'icon', and 'visible' separated by a colon. For example, 'message: Hello world', 'visible: false', or 'icon: /path/to/icon'. The icon command also accepts the four stock icon: 'error', 'info', 'question', and 'warning'

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
Hides the cancel button

Question options

Set the dialog text
Do not enable text wrapping
Set the text of the OK button
Set the text of the cancel button

Text options

Open file
Allow changes to text

Warning options

Set the dialog text
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

Color selection options

Set the initial color
Show the palette

Miscellaneous options

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

Also the standard GTK+ options are accepted.


Normally, matedialog 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.

matedialog --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.

matedialog --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.

matedialog --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' | matedialog --list --title "Search Results" --text "Finding all header files.." --column "Files"

Show an icon in the notification area

matedialog --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

matedialog --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' | matedialog --progress --pulsate


MateDialog was written by Glynn Foster <glynn.foster [at]>.

This manual page was written by Ross Burton <ross [at]>.


gdialog(1), dialog(1)