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vimb - manual page


vimb [OPTIONS] [URI|file|-]


vimb is a webkit based web browser that behaves like the vimperator plugin for the firefox and usage paradigms from the great editor vim. The goal of vimb is to build a completely keyboard-driven, efficient and pleasurable browsing experience.


If no URI or file is given vimb will open the configured home-page. If URI is -, vimb reads the html to display from stdin.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

−C, −−cmd CMD
Run CMD as ex command line right before the first page is loaded. If the flag is used more than one time, the ordering is preserved when CMD are executed. You could also pass several ex commands in one CMD, if there are separated by |.
vimb --cmd "set cookie-accept=origin|set header=Referer,DNT=1"
−c, −−config CONFIG-FILE
Use custom configuration given as CONFIG-FILE. This will also be applied on new spawned instances.
−p, −−profile PROFILE-NAME
Create or open specified configuration profile. Configuration data for the profile is stored in a directory named PROFILE-NAME under default directory for configuration data.
−e, −−embed WINID
WINID of an XEmbed-aware application, that vimb will use as its parent.
−d, −−dump
Dump the current used socket path to stdout in case vimb is started with −s option.
sh -c "./vimb -s -d > ~/vimb.socket" &
echo ":o<CR>" | socat - unix-connect:$(< ~/vimb.socket)
−h, −−help
Show help options.
−k, −−kiosk
Run vimb in kiosk mode with nearly no keybindings, not inputbox and no context menu.
−s, −−socket
If given vimb will create a control socket in the user runtime directory.
−v, −−version
Print build and version information.


Vimb is modal an has following main modes:

Normal Mode
The default mode. Pressing Escape always enter normal mode.
Input Mode
Used for editing text elements in a webpage.
Command Mode
Execute ex-commands from the builtin inputbox (commandline).
Pass-Through Mode
In Pass-Through mode only the <Esc> and <C-[> keybindings are interpreted by vimb, all other keystrokes are given to the webview to handle them. This allows to use websites that uses keybindings itself, that might be swallowed by vimb else.


Some of the Normal Model Commands can have a numeric count to multiply the effect of the command. If a command supports the count this is shown as [N].


Start Command Mode and print : to the input box.
Set cursor to the first editable element in the page and switch to Input Mode.
Switch vimb into Pass-Through Mode.
Toggle show html source of current page.
Open the Web Inspector for current page.
Pass the next key press directly to gtk.
Quit the browser if there are no running downloads.
Start Command Mode and print :open to input box.
Start Command Mode and print :open URI to input box.
Start Command Mode and print :tabopen to input box.
Start Command Mode and print :tabopen URI to input box.
Open the configured home-page.
Open the configured home-page into new window.
Open the last closed page.
Open the last closed page into a new window.
Open the oldest entry from read it later queue in current browser window, if vimb has been compiled with QUEUE feature.
Open the URI out of the register x or if not given from clipboard.
Open the URI out of the register x or if not given from clipboard into new window.
Go back N steps in the browser history.
Go forward N steps in the browser history.
Go to the Nth descendent directory of the current opened URI.
Go to the domain of the current opened page.
Increments the last number in URL by 1, or by N if given.
Decrements the last number in URL by 1, or by N if given. Negative numbers are not supported as trailing numbers in URLs are often preceded by hyphens.
Reload the website.
Reload the website without using caches.
Stop loading the current page.


Scroll N pages down.
Scroll N pages up.
Scroll N half pages down.
Scroll N half pages up.
Scroll to the top of the current page. Or if N is given to N% of the page.
Scroll to the bottom of the current page. Or if N is given to N% of the page.
0, ^
Scroll to the absolute left of the document. Unlike in Vim, 0 and ^ work exactly the same way.
Scroll to the absolute right of the document.
Scroll N steps to the left of page.
Scroll N steps to the right of page.
Scroll page N steps down.
Scroll page N steps up.
Follow the last Nth link matching ‘nextpattern’.
Follow the last Nth link matching ‘previouspattern’.
Set a page mark {a-z} at current possition on page. Such set marks are only available on the current page, if the page is left, all marks will be removed.
Jump to the mark {a-z} on current page.
Jumps to the position before the latest jump, or where the last “m’” command was given.


The hinting is the way to do what you would do with the mouse in common mouse- driven browsers. Open URI, yank URI, save page and so on. If the hinting is started, the relevant elements on the page will be marked by labels generated from configured ‘hintkeys’. Hints can be selected by using <Tab>, <C-I> or <C-Tab>, <C-O>, by typing the chars of the label, or filtering the elements by some text that is part of the hinted element (like URI, link text, button label) and any combination of this methods. If <enter> is pressed, the current active hint will be fired. If only one possible hint remains, this will be fired automatically.

Syntax: ;{mode}{hint}

Start hint mode. Different elements depending on mode are highlighted and ‘numbered’. Elements can be selected either by typing their label, or by typing part of their text (hint) to narrow down the result. When an element has been selected, it is automatically clicked or used (depending on mode) and hint mode ends.

The filtering of hints by text splits the query at ‘ ‘ and use the single parts as separate queries to filter the hints. This is useful for hints that have a lot of filterable chars in common and it needs many chars to make a distinct selection. For example ;over tw will easily select the second hint out of {'very long link text one', 'very long link text two'}. Following keys have special meanings in Hints mode:

Selects the first highlighted element, or the current focused.
Moves the focus to the next hint element.
Moves the focus to the previous hint element.
<Esc>, CTRL−C, CTRL−[
Exits Hints mode without selecting an element

Hint modes:

Is an alias for the ;o hint mode.
Is an alias for the ;t hint mode.
Open hint’s location in the current window.
Open hint’s location in a new window.
Saves the hint’s destination under the configured ‘download-path’.
Generate an :open prompt with hint’s URI.
Generate an :tabopen prompt with hint’s URI.
Open the configured editor (‘editor-command’) with the hinted form element’s content. If the file in editor is saved and the editor is closed, the file content will be put back in the form field.
Open hinted image into current window.
Open hinted image into new window.
Push the hint’s URI to the end of the read it later queue like the :qpush command. This is only available if vimb was compiled with QUEUE feature.
Push the hint’s URI to the beginning of the read it later queue like the :qunshift command. This is only available if vimb was compiled with QUEUE feature.
Hints like ;o, but instead of opening the hinted URI, the ‘x-hint-command’ is run in vimb.
Yank hint’s destination location into primary and secondary clipboard and into the register x.
Yank hint’s text description or form text into primary and secondary clipboard and into the register x.

Syntax: g;{mode}{hint}

Start an extended hints mode and stay there until <Esc> is pressed. Like the normal hinting except that after a hint is selected, hints remain visible so that another one can be selected with the same action as the first. Note that the extended hint mode can only be combined with the following hint modes I p P s t y Y.


Start searching for QUERY in the current page. / start search forward, ? in backward direction.
*, #
Start searching for the current selected text, or if no text is selected for the content of the primary or secondary clipboard. * start the search in forward direction and # in backward direction.

Note that this commands will yank the text selection into the clipboard and may remove other content from there!

Search for Nth next search result depending on current search direction.
Search for Nth previous search result depending on current search direction.
Perform a click on element containing the current highlighted search result.


Zoom-In the text of the page by N steps.
Zoom-Out the text of the page by N steps.
Full-Content Zoom-In the page by N steps.
Full-Content Zoom-Out the page by N steps.
Reset Zoom.


Yank the URI or current page into register x and clipboard.
Yank the current selection into register x and clipboard.


Commands that are listed below are ex-commands like in vim, that are typed into the inputbox (the command line of vimb). The commands may vary in their syntax or in the parts they allow, but in general they follow a simple syntax.

Syntax: :[:| ][N]cmd[name][!][ lhs][ rhs]

Where lhs (left hand side) must not contain any unescaped space. The syntax of the rhs (right hand side) if this is available depends on the command. At the moment the count parts [N] of commands is parsed, but actual there does not exists any command that uses the count. Commands that are typed interactive (from inputbox or from socket) are normally recorded into command history and register. To avoid this, the commands can be prefixed by one or more additional : or whitespace.

Multiple commands, separated by a | can be given in a single command line and will be executed consecutively. The pipe can be included as an argument to a command by escaping it with a backslash. Following commands process the entire command-line string literally. These commands will include any | as part of their argument string and so cannot be followed by another command.

Command Line Editing

<Esc>, CTRL−[, CTRL-C
Ignore all typed content and switch back to normal mode.
Submit the entered ex command or search query to run it.
Deletes the char before the cursor.
Deletes the last word before the cursor.
Remove everything between cursor and prompt.
Moves the cursor direct behind the prompt :.
Moves the cursor after the char in inputbox.
Pass the next key press directly to gtk.
CTRL−R {a-z”%:/;}
Insert the content of given register at cursor position. See also section REGISTERS.

Command Line History

Start completion of the content in inputbox in forward direction.
Start completion of the content in inputbox in backward direction.
Step backward in the command history.
Step forward in the command history.


:o[pen] [URI]
Open the give URI into current window. If URI is empty the configured ‘home-page’ is opened.
:t[abopen] [URI]
Open the give URI into a new window. If URI is empty the configured ‘home-page’ is opened.

Key Mapping

Key mappings allow to alter actions of key presses. Each key mapping is associated with a mode and only has effect when the mode is active. Following commands allow the user to substitute one sequence of key presses by another.

Syntax: :{m}map {lhs} {rhs}

Note that the {lhs} ends with the first found space. If you want to use space also in the {lhs} you have to escape this with a single \ like shown in the examples. The {rhs} starts with the first none space char. If you want a {rhs} that starts with a space, you have to use <Space>.

Standard key mapping commands are provided for these modes m:

Most keys in key sequences are represented simply by the character that you see on the screen when you type them. However, as a number of these characters have special meanings, and a number of keys have no visual representation, a special notation is required.

As special key names have the format <...>. Following special keys can be used <Left>, <Up>, <Right>, <Down> for the cursor keys, <Tab>, <Esc>, <CR>, <Space>, <F1>-<F12> and <C-A>-<C-Z>.

:nm[ap] {lhs} {rhs}
:im[ap] {lhs} {rhs}
:cm[ap] {lhs} {rhs}
Map the key sequence lhs to rhs for the modes where the map command applies. The result, including rhs, is then further scanned for mappings. This allows for nested and recursive use of mappings.
  • :cmap <C-G>h /home/user/downloads/ Adds a keybind to insert a file path into the input box. This could be useful for the :save command that could be used as :save ^Gh.
  • :nmap <F1> :set scripts=on<CR>:open !glib<Tab><CR> This will enable scripts and lookup the first bookmarked URI with the tag ‘glib’ and open it immediately if F1 key is pressed.
  • :nmap \ \ 50G;o Example which mappes two spaces to go to 50% of the page, start hinting mode.
:nn[oremap] {lhs} {rhs}
:ino[remap] {lhs} {rhs}
:cno[remap] {lhs} {rhs}
Map the key sequence lhs to rhs for the mode where the map command applies. Disallow mapping of rhs, to avoid nested and recursive mappings. Often used to redefine a command.
:nu[nmap] {lhs}
:iu[nmap] {lhs}
:cu[nmap] {lhs}
Remove the mapping of lhs for the applicable mode.


Handlers allow specifying external scripts to handle alternative URI methods.

:handler-add handler=cmd
Adds a handler to direct handler links to the external cmd. The cmd can contain one placeholder %s that will be filled by the full URI given when the command is called.
  • :handler-add magnet=xdg-open %s to open magnet links with xdg-open.
  • :handler-add magnet=transmission-gtk %s to open magnet links directly with Transmission.
  • :handler-add %s to direct irc://<host>:<port>/<channel> links to a wrapper for your irc client.
:handler-remove handler
Remove the handler for the given URI handler.


Shortcuts allows to open URL build up from a named template with additional parameters. If a shortcut named ‘dd’ is defined, you can use it with :open dd list of parameters to open the generated URL.

Shortcuts are a good to use with search engines where the URL is nearly the same but a single parameter is user defined.

:shortcut-add shortcut=URI
Adds a shortcut with the shortcut and URI template. The URI can contain multiple placeholders $0-$9 that will be filled by the parameters given when the shortcut is called. The parameters given when the shortcut is called will be split into as many parameters like the highest used placeholder.
  • :shortcut-add dl=$0 to setup a search engine. Can be called by :open dl my search phrase.
  • :shortcut-add gh=$0/$1 to build url from given parameters. Can be called :open gh fanglingsu vimb.
:shortcut-remove shortcut
Remove the search engine to the given shortcut.
:shortcut-default shortcut
Set the shortcut for given shortcut as the default. It doesn’t matter if the shortcut is already in use or not to be able to set it.


:se[t] var=value
Set configuration values named by var. To set boolean variable you should use ‘on’, ‘off’ or ‘true’ and ‘false’. Colors are given as hexadecimal value like ‘#f57700’.
:se[t] var+=value
Add the value to a number option, or apend the value to a string option. When the option is a comma separated list, a comma is added, unless the value was empty.
:set[t] var^=value
Multiply the value to a number option, or prepend the value to a string option. When the option is a comma separated list, a comma is added, unless the value was empty.
:se[t] var-=value
Subtract the value from a number option, or remove the value from a string option, if it is there. When the option is a comma separated list, a comma is deleted, unless the option becomes empty.
:se[t] var?
Show the current set value of variable var.
:se[t] var!
Toggle the value of boolean variable var and display the new set value.


The queue allows to mark URLs for later reading (something like a read it later list). This list is shared between the single instances of vimb. Only available if vimb has been compiled with QUEUE feature.

:qpu[sh] [URI]
Push URI or if not given current URI to the end of the queue.
:qu[nshift] [URI]
Push URI or if not given current URI to the beginning of the queue.
Open the oldest queue entry in current browser window and remove it from the queue.
Removes all entries from queue.

Automatic commands

An autocommand is a command that is executed automatically in response to some event, such as a URI being opened. Autocommands are very powerful. Use them with care and they will help you avoid typing many commands.

Note: The :autocmd command cannot be followed by another command, since any | is considered part of the command.

Autocommands are built with following properties.

When the [group] argument is not given, Vimb uses the current group as defined with :augroup, otherwise, vimb uses the group defined with [group]. Groups are useful to remove multiple grouped autocommands.
You can specify a comma separated list of event names. No white space can be used in this list.
  • LoadProvisional Fired if a new page is going to opened. No data has been received yet, the load may still fail for transport issues. Out of this reason this event has no associated URL to match.
  • LoadCommited Fired if first data chunk has arrived, meaning that the necessary transport requirements are established, and the load is being performed. This is the right event to toggle content related setting like ‘scripts’, ‘plugins’ and such things.
  • LoadFirstLayout fired if the first layout with actual visible content is shown.
  • LoadFinished Fires when everything that was required to display on the page has been loaded.
  • LoadFailed Fired when some error occurred during the page load that prevented it from being completed.
  • DownloadStart Fired right before a download is started. This is fired for vimb downloads as well as external downloads if ‘down‐load-use-external’ is enabled.
  • DownloadFinished Fired if a vimb managed download is finished. For external download this event is not available.
  • DownloadFailed Fired if a vimb managed download failed. For external download this event is not available.
Comma separated list of patterns, matches in order to check if a autocommand applies to the URI associated to an event. To use ‘,’ within the single patterns this must be escaped as ‘\,’.
  • \* Matches any sequence of characters. This includes also / in contrast to shell patterns.
  • ? Matches any single character except of /.
  • {one,two} Matches ‘one’ or ‘two’. Any {, , and } within this pattern must be escaped by a ‘\’. * and ? have no special meaning within the curly braces.
  • \ Use backslash to escape the special meaning of ‘?*{},’ in the pattern or pattern list.
Any ex command vimb understands. The leading : is not required. Multiple commands can be separated by |.
:au[tocmd] [group] {event} {pat} {cmd}
Add cmd to the list of commands that vimb will execute automatically on event for a URI matching pat autocmd-patterns. Vimb always adds the cmd after existing autocommands, so that the autocommands are executed in the order in which they were given.
:au[tocmd]! [group] {event} {pat} {cmd}
Remove all autocommands associated with event and which pattern match pat, and add the command cmd. Note that the pattern is not matches literally to find autocommands to remove, like vim does. Vimb matches the autocommand pattern with pat.
:au[tocmd]! [group] {event} {pat}
Remove all autocommands associated with event and which pattern matches pat.
:au[tocmd]! [group] * {pat}
Remove all autocommands with patterns matching pat for all events.
:au[tocmd]! [group] {event}
Remove all autocommands for event.
:au[tocmd]! [group]
Remove all autocommands.
:aug[roup] {name}
Define the autocmd group name for the following :autocmd commands. The name “end” selects the default group.
:aug[roup]! {name}
Delete the autocmd group name.


:aug mygroup
:  au LoadCommited * set scripts=off|set cookie-accept=never
:  au LoadCommited http{s,}://*.* set scripts=on
:  au LoadFinished* set useragent=foo
:aug end


:sh[ellcmd] cmd
Runs given shell cmd synchronous and print the output into inputbox. The CMD can contain multiple % chars that are expanded to the current opened uri. Also the ~/ to home directory expansion is available.
Runs given shell cmd syncronous and print the output into inputbox. Follwing pattern in cmd are expanded, ~username, ~/, $VAR and ${VAR}. A ‘\’ before these patterns disables the expansion.
Following environment variables are set for called shell commands.
  • VIMB_URI This variable is set by vimb everytime a new page is opened to the URI of the page.
  • VIMB_TITLE Contains the title of the current opened page.
  • VIMB_PID Contains the pid of the running vimb instance.
  • VIMB_SOCKET Holds the full path to the control socket, if vimb is compiled with SOCKET feature and started with --socket option.
  • VIMB_XID Holds the X-Window id of the vim window or of the embedding window if vimb is started with -e option.
Example: :sh ls -la $HOME
:sh[ellcmd]! cmd
Like :shellcmd but runs given shell cmd asyncron.
Example: :sh! /bin/sh -c 'echo "`date` $VIMB_URI" >> myhistory.txt'
:s[ave] [path]
Download current opened page into configured download directory. If path is given, download under this file name or path. Possible value for PATH are ‘page.html’, ‘subdir/img1.png’, ‘~/download.html’ or absolute paths ‘/tmp/file.html’.
:so[ource] [file]
Read ex commands from file.
Close the browser. This will be refused if there are running downloads.
Close the browser independent from an running download.
Display the contents of all registers.
  • "a"z 26 named registers. Vimb fills these registers only when you say so.
  • "" Last yanked content.
  • "% Curent opened URI.
  • ": Last executed ex command.
  • "/ Last search phrase.
  • "; Last hinted URL. This can be used in x-hint-command to get the URL of the hint.
:e[val] javascript
Runs the given javascript in the current page and display the evaluated value.
This comman cannot be followed by antoher command, since any | is considered part of the command.
Example: :eval document.cookie
:e[val]! javascript
Like :e[val], but there is nothing print to the input box.
:no[rmal] [cmds]
Execute normal mode commands cmds. This makes it possible to execute normal mode commands typed on the input box.
cmds cannot start with a space. Put a count of 1 (one) before it, “1 “ is one space. This comman cannot be followed by antoher command, since any | is considered part of the command.
Example: :set scripts!|no! R
:no[rmal]! [cmds]
Like :no[rmal], but no mapping is applied to cmds.
Print current document. Open a GUI dialog where you can select the printer, number of copies, orientation, etc.


<Esc>, CTRL−[
Switch back to normal mode.
Executes the next command as normal mode command and return to input mode.
Open configured editor with content of current form field.
Pass the next key press directly to gtk.
Enter the pass-through mode.


The completions are triggered by pressing <Tab> or <S-Tab> in the activated inputbox. Depending of the current inserted content different completions are started. The completion takes additional typed chars to filter the completion list that is shown.

The completion for commands are started when at least : is shown in the inputbox. If there are given some sore chars the completion will lookup those commands that starts with the given chars.
The setting name completion is started if at least :set is shown in inputbox and does also match settings that begins with already typed setting prefix.
The history of URIs is shown for the :open and :tabopen commands. This completion looks up for every given word in the history URI and titles. Only those history items are shown, where the title or URI contains all tags.

:open foo bar<Tab> will complete only URIs that contain the words foo and bar.

The bookmark completion is similar to the history completion, but does match only the tags of the bookmarks. The bookmark completion ist started by :open ! or :tabopen ! and does a prefix search for all given words in the bookmark tags.

:open !foo ba will match all bookmark that have the tags “foo” or “foot” and tags starting with “ba” like “ball”.

boomark tags
The boomark tag completion allows to insert already used bookmarks for the :bma commands.
The search completion allow to get a filtered list of already done searches. This completion starts by / or ? in inputbox and performs a prefix comparison for further typed chars.


All settings listed below can be set with the :set command.


accelerated-compositing (bool)
Enable or disable support for accelerated compositing on pages. Accelerated compositing uses the GPU to render animations on pages smoothly and also allows proper rendering of 3D CSS transforms.
auto-load-images (bool)
Load images automatically.
auto-resize-window (bool)
Indicates if vimb will honor size and position changes of the window by various DOM methods.
auto-shrink-images (bool)
Automatically shrink standalone images to fit.
caret (bool)
Whether to enable accessibility enhanced keyboard navigation.
closed-max-items (int)
Maximum number of stored last closed browser windows. If closed-max-items is set to 0, closed browser windows will not be stored.
cursivfont (string)
The font family used as the default for content using cursive font.
defaultencoding (string)
The default text charset used when interpreting content with an unspecified charset.
defaultfont (string)
The font family to use as the default for content that does not specify a font.
dns-prefetching (bool)
Indicates if vimb prefetches domain names.
dom-paste (bool)
Whether to enable DOM paste. If set to TRUE, document.execCommand(“Paste”) will correctly execute and paste content of the clipboard.
file-access-from-file-uris (bool)
Boolean property to control file access for file:// URIs. If this option is enabled every file:// will have its own security unique domain.
fontsize (int)
The default font size used to display text.
frame-flattening (bool)
Whether to enable the Frame Flattening. With this setting each subframe is expanded to its contents, which will flatten all the frames to become one scrollable page.
html5-database (bool)
Whether to enable HTML5 client-side SQL database support. Client-side SQL database allows web pages to store structured data and be able to use SQL to manipulate that data asynchronously.
html5-local-storage (bool)
Whether to enable HTML5 localStorage support. localStorage provides simple synchronous storage access.
hyperlink-auditing (bool)
Enable or disable support for .
images (bool)
Determines whether images should be automatically loaded or not.
insecure-content-show (bool)
Whether pages loaded via HTTPS should load subresources such as images and frames from non-HTTPS URIs. Only for webkit>=2.0.
insecure-content-run (bool)
Whether pages loaded via HTTPS should run subresources such as CSS, scripts, and plugins from non-HTTPS URIs. Only for webkit>=2.0.
java-applet (bool)
Enable or disable support for the Java <applet> tag. Keep in mind that Java content can be still shown in the page through <object> or <embed>, which are the preferred tags for this task.
javascript-can-access-clipboard (bool)
Whether JavaScript can access Clipboard.
javascript-can-open-windows-automatically (bool)
Whether JavaScript can open popup windows automatically without user intervention.
media-playback-allows-inline (bool)
Whether media playback is full-screen only or inline playback is allowed. Setting it to false allows specifying that media playback should be always fullscreen.
media-playback-requires-user-gesture (bool)
Whether a user gesture (such as clicking the play button) would be required to start media playback or load media. Setting it on requires a gesture by the user to start playback, or to load the media.
media-stream (bool)
Enable or disable support for MediaSource on pages. MediaSource is an experimental proposal which extends HTMLMediaElement to allow JavaScript to generate media streams for playback.
mediasource (bool)
Enable or disable support for MediaSource on pages. MediaSource is an experimental proposal which extends HTMLMediaElement to allow JavaScript to generate media streams for playback.
minimumfontsize (int)
The minimum font size used to display text.
monofont (string)
The font family used as the default for content using monospace font.
monofontsize (int)
Default font size for the monospace font.
offlinecache (bool)
Whether to enable HTML5 offline web application cache support. Offline web application cache allows web applications to run even when the user is not connected to the network.
pagecache (bool)
Enable or disable the page cache. Disabling the page cache is generally only useful for special circumstances like low-memory scenarios or special purpose applications like static HTML viewers.
print-backgrounds (bool)
Whether background images should be printed.
private-browsing (bool)
Whether to enable private browsing mode. This suppresses printing of messages into JavaScript Console. At the time this is the only way to force webkit to not allow a page to store data in the windows sessionStorage.
plugins (bool)
Determines whether or not plugins on the page are enabled.
print-backgrounds (bool)
Whether background images should be drawn during printing.
resizable-text-areas (bool)
Whether text areas are resizable.
respect-image-orientation (bool)
Whether vimb should respect image orientation.
sansfont (string)
The font family used as the default for content using sans-serif font.
scripts (bool)
Determines whether or not JavaScript executes within a page.
seriffont (string)
The font family used as the default for content using serif font.
site-specific-quirks (bool)
Enables the site-specific compatibility workarounds.
smooth-scrolling (bool)
Enable or disable support for smooth scrolling.
spacial-navigation (bool)
Whether to enable the Spatial Navigation. This feature consists in the ability to navigate between focusable elements in a Web page, such as hyperlinks and form controls, by using Left, Right, Up and Down arrow keys. For example, if an user presses the Right key, heuristics determine whether there is an element he might be trying to reach towards the right, and if there are multiple elements, which element he probably wants.
spell-checking (bool)
Whether to enable spell checking while typing.
spell-checking-languages (string)
The languages to be used for spell checking, separated by commas.

The locale string typically is in the form lang_COUNTRY, where lang is an ISO-639 language code, and COUNTRY is an ISO-3166 country code. For instance, sv_FI for Swedish as written in Finland or pt_BR for Portuguese as written in Brazil.

If no value is specified the default value for gtk is used.

tab-key-cycles-through-elements (bool)
Whether the tab key cycles through elements on the page.

If true, pressing the tab key will focus the next element in the web view. Else the wen view will interpret tab key presses as normal key presses. If the selected element is editable, the tab key will cause the insertion of a tab character.

universal-access-from-file-uris (bool)
Whether to allow files loaded through file:// URIs universal access to all pages.
useragent (string)
The user-agent string used by WebKit.
webaudio (bool)
Enable or disable support for WebAudio on pages. WebAudio is an experimental proposal for allowing web pages to generate Audio WAVE data from JavaScript.
webgl (bool)
Enable or disable support for WebGL on pages.
webinspector (bool)
Determines whether or not developer tools, such as the Web Inspector, are enabled.
xssauditor (bool)
Whether to enable the XSS auditor. This feature filters some kinds of reflective XSS attacks on vulnerable web sites.


auto-response-header (list)
Prepend HTTP-Header to responses received from server, based on pattern matching. The purpose of this setting is to enforce some security setting in the client. For example, you could set Content-Security-Policy (see ‘’) for implement a whitelist policy, or set Strict- Transport-Security for server that don’t provide this header whereas they propose https website.

Note that this setting will not remplace existing headers, but add a new one. If multiple patterns match a request uri, the last matched rule will be applied. You could also specified differents headers for same pattern.

The format is a list of ‘pattern header-list’. If ‘header-list’ has not than one element, enclosing with QUOTE is mandatory: ‘“pattern header-list”’. The header-list format is the same as ‘header’ setting.


:set auto-response-header=* Content-security-policy=default-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' 'unsafe-eval'; script-src 'none'
:set auto-response-header+=* Content-security-policy=default-src 'self' https://*
:set auto-response-header+=* Strict-Transport-Security=max-age=31536000
:set auto-response-header+="https://** Content-security-policy,X-Test=ok"
ca-bundle (string)
The path to the crt file for the certificate validation. The given path is expanded with standard file expansion.
completion-bg-active (color)
Background color for selected completion item.
completion-bg-normal (color)
Background color for none selected completion items.
completion-fg-active (color)
Foreground color for the selected completion item.
completion-fg-normal (color)
Foreground color for the none selected completion items.
completion-font (string)
Font used for the completion items.
cookie-accept (string)
Cookie accept policy {‘always’, ‘never’, ‘origin’ (accept all non-third-party cookies)}.
cookie-timeout (int)
Cookie timeout in seconds.
cookie-expire-time (int)
Enforce expire-time on cookies. The default value ‘-1’ keep expire-time as defined by server side. The value ‘0’ convert all cookies as session-only cookies (‘cookie-timeout’ setting is used as for any other session-cookie). Any other value enforce the expire-time (the expire-time value will be the lower between server-side request and time defined with ‘cookie-expire-time’).
default-zoom (int)
Initial Full-Content Zoom in percent. Default is 100.
download-command (string)
A command with placeholder %s that will be invoked to download a uri.

Following additional environment variable are available:

  • $VIMB_URI The URI of the current opened page, normally the page where the download was started from, also known as referer.
  • $VIMB_FILE The target file that is calculated by vimb according to the ‘download-path’. Note that this file might already exists, so it’s strongly recommended to check the path in this variable before usage.
  • $VIMB_COOKIES Path to the cookie file vimb uses. This is only available if vimb is compiled with COOKIE feature.
  • $VIMB_USER_AGENT Holds the user agent string that vimb uses.
  • $VIMB_MIME_TYPE The mime-type of the download. This variable is only available when der server sent the mime-type header with the response and only if the download was not start by the :save command or the ;s hinting.
  • $VIMB_USE_PROXY Indicates if the proxy is enabled in vimb. If enable this variable is ‘1’, otherwise ‘0’. Note that this variable gives no hint if the proxy settings apply to the URL to be downloaded, only if proxy is enabled in general.


:set download-command=/bin/sh -c "wget -c %s -O $VIMB_FILE --load-cookies $VIMB_COOKIES"
download-path (string)
Path to the default download directory. If the directory is not set download will be written into current directory. Following pattern will be expanded if the download is started ~/, ~user, $VAR and ${VAR}.
download-use-external (bool)
Indicates if the external download tool set as ‘download-command’ should be used to handle downloads. If this is disabled vimb will handle the download.
editor-command (string)
Command with placeholder ‘%s’ called if form filed is opened with editor to spawn the editor like ‘x-terminal-emulator -e vi %s’. To use gvim as editor, it’s necessary to call it with ‘-f’ to run it in foreground.
fullscreen (bool)
Show the current window full-screen.
header (list)
Comma separated list of headers that replaces default header sent by webkit or new headers. The format for the header list elements is name[=[value]].

Note that these headers will replace already existing headers. If there is no = after the header name, then the complete header will be removed from the request, if the = is present means that the header value is set to empty value.

To use = within a header value the value must be quoted like shown in Example for the Cookie header.

  • :set header=DNT=1,User-Agent,Cookie='name=value' Send the ‘Do Not Track’ header with each request and remove the User-Agent Header completely from request.
hint-follow-last (bool)
If on, vimb automatically follows the last remaining hint on the page. If off hints are fired only if enter is pressed.
hint-timeout (int)
Timeout before automatically following a non-unique numerical hint. To disable auto fire of hints, set this value to 0.
hintkeys (string)
The keys used to label and select hints. With its default value, each hint has a unique number which can be typed to select it, while all other characters are used to filter hints based on their text. With a value such as asdfg;lkjh, each hint is ‘numbered’ based on the characters of the home row. Note that the hint matching by label built of hintkeys is case sensitive. In this vimb differs from some other browsers that show hint labels in upper case, but match them lowercase. To have upper case hint labels, it’s possible to add following css to the ‘style.css’ file in vimb’s configuration directory.

._hintLabel {text-transform: uppercase !important;}

history-max-items (int)
Maximum number of unique items stored in search-, command or URI history. If history-max-items is set to 0, the history file will not be changed.
home-page (string)
Homepage that vimb opens if started without a URI.
hsts (bool)
Enable or disables the HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) feature.
input-autohide (bool)
If enabled the inputbox will be hidden whenever it contains no text.
input-bg-error (color)
Background color for the inputbox if error is shown.
input-bg-normal (color)
Background color of the inputbox.
input-fg-error (color)
Foreground color of inputbox if error is shown.
input-fg-normal (color)
Foreground color of inputbox.
input-font-error (string)
Font user in inputbox if error is shown.
input-font-normal (string)
Font used for inputbox.
nextpattern (list)
Patterns to use when guessing the next page in a document. Each pattern is successively tested against each link in the page beginning from the last link. Default /\bnext\b/i,/^(>|>>|»)$/,/^(>|>>|»)/,/(>|>>|»)$/,/\bmore\b/i. Note that you have to escape the | as \| else the | will terminate the :set command and start a new command.
maximum-cache-size (int)
Size in kB used to cache various page data. This caching is independent from ‘pagecache’ or ‘offlinecache’. To disable caching, the size could be set to ‘0’.
previouspattern (list)
Patterns to use when guessing the previous page in a document. Each pattern is successively tested against each link in the page beginning from the last link. Default /\bprev\b|previous\b/i,/^(<|<<|«)$/,/^(<|<<|«)/,/(<|<<|«)$/
proxy (bool)
Indicates if the environment variable ‘http_proxy’ is evaluated.
scrollstep (int)
Number of pixel vimb scrolls if j or k is used.
statusbar (bool)
Indicates if the statusbar should be shown.
status-color-bg (color)
Background color of the statusbar.
status-color-fg (color)
Foreground color of the statusbar.
status-font (string)
Font used in statusbar.
status-ssl-color-bg (color)
Background color of statusbar if current page uses trusted https certificate.
status-ssl-color-fg (color)
Foreground color for statusbar for https pages.
status-ssl-font (string)
Statusbar font for https pages.
status-sslinvalid-color-bg (color)
Background color of the statusbar if the certificate if the https page isn’t trusted.
status-sslinvalid-color-fg (color)
Foreground of statusbar for untrusted https pages.
status-sslinvalid-font (string)
Statusbar font for untrusted https pages.
strict-focus (bool)
Vimb checks if an editable element is focused and switch to input mode. If strict-focus is enabled, this isn’t done for focused element on page load (without user interaction), instead the focus is removed from the focused element. Focus changed that appear after the page was completely loaded are not affected by this setting.
strict-ssl (bool)
If ‘on’, vimb will not load a untrusted https site.
stylesheet (bool)
If ‘on’ the user defined styles-sheet is used.
timeoutlen (int)
The time in milliseconds that is waited for a key code or mapped key sequence to complete.
x-hint-command (string)
Command used if hint mode ;x is fired. The command can be any vimb command string. Note that the command is run through the mapping mechanism of vimb so it might change the behaviour by adding or changing mappings.
  • :set x-hint-command=50G Not really useful. If the hint is fired, scroll to the middle of the page.
  • :set x-hint-command=:sh! curl -e <C-R>% <C-R>; This fills the inputbox with the prefilled download command and replaces <C-R>% with the current URI and <C-R>; with the URI of the hinted element.


Default directory for configuration data.
  • config Configuration file to set webkit setting, some GUI styles and keybindings.
  • cookies Cookie store file.
  • closed Holds the URI of the last closed browser window.
  • history This file holds the history of unique opened URIs.
  • command This file holds the history of commands and search queries performed via input box.
  • search This file holds the history of search queries.
  • bookmark Holds the bookmarks saved with command ‘bma’. The records are stored there as
    URI<tab>title<tab>space separated tags or as
    URI<tab><tab>tags if there is no title.
  • queue Holds the read it later queue filled by ‘qpush’ if vimb has been compiled with QUEUE feature.
  • hsts Holds the known hsts hosts if vimb is compiled with HTTP strict transport security feature.
  • scripts.js This file can be used to run user scripts, that are injected into every paged that is opened.
  • style.css File for userdefined css styles. These file is used if the config variable ‘stylesheet’ is enabled.
Directory for configuration data if executed with -p PROFILE-NAME parameter. It has same structure as default directory for configuration data.
Default directory for cache data.
Directory for cache data if executed with -p PROFILE-NAME parameter.
Directory where the control sockets are placed.
Directory where the control sockets are placed if executed with -p PROFILE-NAME parameter.


If this variable is set to an none empty value, and the configuration option ‘proxy’ is enabled, this will be used as http proxy. If the proxy URL has no scheme set, http is assumed.
A comma separated list of domains and/or ips which should not be proxied. Note that an IPv6 address must appear in brackets if used with a port “[::1]:443”.

Example: localhost,,::1,fc00::/7,