Frequently Asked Questions


How do I set luakit as my default browser?

On systems that use xdg-settings, you can run the following command to set luakit as your default browser:

xdg-settings set default-web-browser luakit.desktop


How do I change the default download location?

In your rc.lua after require "downloads" add (or modify) the following:

downloads.default_dir = os.getenv("HOME") .. "/downloads"

How do I make all downloads save to my default download location without asking?

In your rc.lua after require "downloads" add (or modify) the following:

downloads.add_signal("download-location", function (uri, file)
    if not file or file == "" then
        file = (string.match(uri, "/([^/]+)$")
            or string.match(uri, "^%w+://(.+)")
            or string.gsub(uri, "/", "_")
            or "untitled")
    return downloads.default_dir .. "/" .. file


What's the syntax for defining a keybinding?

The syntax for specifying a keybinding is fairly straightforward:

  • Regular keys are represented by themselves.
  • Modifiers are represented as <ModifierName-key>, e.g., <Control-c>.
  • Modifier names are case-insensitive, e.g., <CONTROL-c> and <Control-c> are the same.

The available modifiers are:

  • Control. It is also possible to spell it as Ctrl, or C, so <C-c> is a valid binding.
  • Mod1, the Alt or Meta key.
  • Mod4, the Windows key.

It is also possible to use the keys for system commands (Insert, Home, Pause, etc.) in keybindings. Just indicate the key name between angle brackets. For example, the syntax for the Insert key is <Insert>.

If you don't know the name for a given key, you can use the xev utility to find it out and use the syntax described above to define the keybinding.

The mouse buttons can be used in bindings, too. If you want to define a binding for a particular mouse button, indicate it as a "named key", just like with system keys; the buttons are named using the following convention: Mouse{n}, with n being the button number. For example, to bind the buttons 8 and 9 to the previous/next tab commands, use the following code:

modes.remap_binds("normal", {
    {"<Mouse8>", "gt", true},
    {"<Mouse9>", "gT", true},

Modifier keys can also be used in bindings using mouse buttons, so things like, e.g., <C-mod1-Mouse1> will work.

Once again, if you don't know the number of a particular mouse button, the xev utility will help you find it.


How do I stop some links opening in new windows?

Add your own "new-window-decision" webview signal handler which always opens links in new tabs.

In your rc.lua after require "webview" add (or modify) the following:

webview.add_signal("init", function (view)
    view:add_signal("new-window-decision", function (v, uri, reason)
        local w = window.ancestor(v)
        return true

How do I copy text with Control-C?

Add this snippet of code to your rc.lua. Note that Ctrl-C is already bound to "Stop loading the current tab"; adding this snippet will automatically remove that binding.

modes.add_binds("normal", {
    { "<Control-c>", "Copy selected text.", function ()
        luakit.selection.clipboard = luakit.selection.primary

How do I open certain schemes in other applications?

To open particular schemes in other applications, use the navigation-request webview signal. The generic boilerplate for attaching to this signal is shown here:

webview.add_signal("init", function (view)
    view:add_signal("navigation-request", function (v, uri)
        --- Check URI and open program here

Replace the inner comment with code that checks the URI and, if it matches the right scheme, opens your external program. If it matches, it is important to return false from the signal handler: this prevents luakit from navigating to the link while your program opens.

Here are some examples:

Opening mailto: links using GMail

if string.match(string.lower(uri), "^mailto:") then
    local mailto = ""
    local w = window.ancestor(v)
    w:new_tab(string.format(mailto, uri))
    return false

Opening mailto: links using Mutt in urxvt

if string.match(string.lower(uri), "^mailto:") then
    luakit.spawn(string.format("%s %q", "urxvt -title mutt -e mutt", uri))
    return false

Opening magnet: links with Deluge

if string.match(string.lower(uri), "^magnet:") then
    luakit.spawn(string.format("%s %q", "deluge-gtk", uri))
    return false

Opening magnet: links with rTorrent

if string.match(string.lower(uri), "^magnet:") then
    luakit.spawn(string.format("%s %q", "mktor", uri))
    return false


A number of page styling tweaks can be made by adding additional page initialization functions. These are placed in the rc.lua file. They must be after require "webview", but before the block where the window or tab creation call is made. This happens near the end of the file, right after the comment End user script loading. This means that you cannot just add these functions to the end of the file, if you do so they will not be executed.

I'm using a dark theme; how do I stop the white flash during the loading of a page?

This is not currently possible, as with WebKit 2 there is no way to give a webview widget a transparent background.

How do I change the default zoom level?

Set the webview.zoom_level, in one of three ways.

Probably the easiest way is with the :set command:

set webview.zoom_level 150
seton webview.zoom_level 200

This sets the zoom level to 150% by default, and 200% on You can also change the zoom level at the luakit://settings/ page. Finally, if you prefer to specify the zoom level in your configuration file, you may also do so:

local settings = require "settings"
settings.webview.zoom_level = 150
settings.on[""].webview.zoom_level = 200

How do I set a custom about:blank page?

The easiest way to do this is to customize the newtab_chrome module's options.

You can also do this by watching the "navigation-request" webview signal for navigation to specific addresses (in this case "about:blank"):

webview.add_signal("init", function (view)
    view:add_signal("navigation-request", function (_, uri)
        if uri == "about:blank" then
            local html = "<html><body bgcolor='#000000'></body></html>"
            view:load_string(html, "about:blank")
            return true