#wayland-compositor #pipe-wire #wayland #idle #utility #inhibit

app wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit

Inhibit wayland idle when computer is playing sound

12 releases (4 breaking)

0.5.1 Mar 30, 2024
0.5.0 Mar 24, 2024
0.4.5 Feb 13, 2024
0.4.3 Jan 18, 2024
0.1.0 Dec 31, 2023

#23 in Multimedia

Download history 11/week @ 2023-12-27 7/week @ 2024-01-03 14/week @ 2024-01-10 17/week @ 2024-01-17 15/week @ 2024-02-07 17/week @ 2024-02-14 2/week @ 2024-02-21 24/week @ 2024-02-28 1/week @ 2024-03-06 8/week @ 2024-03-13 155/week @ 2024-03-20 139/week @ 2024-03-27 19/week @ 2024-04-03

322 downloads per month


1.5K SLoC

Wayland PipeWire Idle Inhibit


Suspends automatic idling when media is being played through Pipewire.

For detecting media being played, it depends on PipeWire.

For inhibiting idle, it depends, either on:

Main features

  • Inhibit idle when any app plays audio through PipeWire
  • Customisable minimum media duration to inhibit idle (Useful for keeping notifications from inhibiting idle)
  • Customisable list of client filters (Useful for ignoring certain programs, such as background music)
  • Support for idle inhibiting through Wayland compositors and dbus services

Feedback and contributions are welcome!

Tested on

  • Sway: works fine with the default wayland idle inhibitor
  • Plasma: while in theory it implements the idle-inhibit-unstable-v1 protocol it seems to be broken. Works fine using the dbus idle inhibitor.

Should work fine with any compositor that implements idle-inhibit-unstable-v1 or any compositor/DE that offers the org.freedesktop.ScreenSaver service.



Usage: wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit [OPTIONS]

  -d, --media-minimum-duration <SECONDS>
          Minimum media duration to inhibit idle [default: 5]
  -v, --verbosity <VERBOSITY>
          Log verbosity [default: WARN] [possible values: OFF, ERROR, WARN, INFO, DEBUG, TRACE]
  -q, --quiet
          Disables logging completely
  -i, --idle-inhibitor <IDLE INHIBITOR BACKEND>
          Sets what idle inhibitor backend to use [default: wayland] [possible values: d-bus, dry-run, wayland]
  -b, --d-bus
          Enable DBus (org.freedesktop.ScreenSaver) idle inhibitor
  -w, --wayland
          Enable Wayland idle inhibitor
  -n, --dry-run
          Only logs (at INFO level) about idle inhibitor state changes
  -c, --config <PATH>
          Path to config file
  -h, --help
          Print help
  -V, --version
          Print version



git clone https://github.com/rafaelrc7/wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit
cd wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit
cargo build


git clone https://github.com/rafaelrc7/wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit
cd wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit
nix build
nix build github:rafaelrc7/wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit



cargo install wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit

See Running for instructions on how to run the program.


This package is available in the Arch User Repository: wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit

Install it using your AUR helper of choice.

The package includes the binary and the default systemd service unit file, that may be enabled and ran with:

systemctl --user enable wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit.service --now

See Running for further instructions on how to run the program.


This package is available in the nixpkgs repo as wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit.

Add the following snippet to your flake inputs:

wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit = {
  url = "github:rafaelrc7/wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit";
  inputs.nixpkgs.follows = "nixpkgs";

From this point you have many options:

Add the following to your home-manager imports:


And then you may use the option to set it up, for example:

services.wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit = {
  enable = true;
  systemdTarget = "sway-session.target";
  settings = {
    verbosity = "INFO";
    media_minimum_duration = 10;
    idle_inhibitor = "wayland";
    sink_whitelist = [
      { name = "Starship/Matisse HD Audio Controller Analog Stereo"; }
    node_blacklist = [
      { name = "spotify"; }
      { app_name = "Music Player Daemon"; }

This method will install the program and setup a user systemd service.

Using the overlay


By adding the overlay, you may then install the wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit package.

See Running for instructions on how to run the program.

Using the package


See Running for instructions on how to run the program.



Then you may run it in your Sway config, or equivalent for your Wayland compositor:

exec wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit


Another option is to setup a systemd user service. See wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit.service for a model. You may customise it by, for example, adding CLI args to ExecStart or changing the WantedBy target to, for instance, sway-session.target.

  • Copy the example service file to ~/.config/systemd/user/ and edit it to your liking
  • Run systemctl --user daemon-reload
  • Run systemctl --user enable wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit.service --now


Most settings may be defined either via CLI arguments (run the program with the --help for more information) or config file. CLI arguments have priority over the config file. The default config file path is ~/.config/wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit/config.toml, but other path may be set using --config <PATH>.

~/.config/wayland-pipewire-idle-inhibit/config.toml with the default options

verbosity = "WARN"
media_minimum_duration = 5
idle_inhibitor = "wayland"
sink_whitelist = [ ]
node_blacklist = [ ]

Sink Whitelist

You may set a list of Sink filters to be considered by the program. If the Sink matches any of the filters, it will be used.

Supported fields

  • name: Regex


name = "Sink 1 name"

name = "Another Sink"

Node (Client) Blacklist

You may set a list of Node filters to be ignored and not inhibit idle even when playing media. If the node matches any of the filters, it will be ignored.

Supported fields

  • name: Regex. This name is the same used by Helvum for the node.
  • app_name: Regex
  • media_class: Regex
  • media_role: Regex
  • media_software: Regex


name = "[Ff]irefox"


  • Misterio77 For help with the creation of the home-manager module.

This project was inspired by

Licence and Credits

This project is licensed under the terms of the GPL3 licence. See LICENCE for more information.

Parts of the code of the PipeWire connection were greatly inspired by Helvum, which is also licensed under the terms of the GPL3 licence.


~500K SLoC