2020-2021 (c) Vladi Belperchinov-Shabanski "Cade"


NightWatch (NW) is directory browser for video media files. It has full keyboard access and can use single separated keypad (also wireless keypads) for navigation.

NW has all functions available in the main menu. However with single keypad the regular main menu is not accessible. Because of this there is the "keypad menu" accessible with INSERT key.

NW has Auto-Play function, which goes to the next video file and play it for the next 3 video files in the list with pause of 4 seconds between. Pressing any key during the pause will cancel Auto-Play. Also it will be cancelled if end-of video files list reached.

NW shows Last-Played marker (red arrow) for the last video file played in a directory if more than one video file found. When entering new directory, the last played video file will be selected as current position in the list.

When changing directory to the parent directory, the current position will be set to the name of the last directory.

Keypad menu "Reload current directory" will re-read current directory without any caching.

NW will reload current directory if there are changes. Current position will be preserved.

If there is running video player, it will be stopped before new one is started. This prevents multiple players running when your cat steps on the keyboard :) If there is already running player, pressing ESC key in the NW main window will stop the player.

Video files with the following extensions are accepted: AVI, MKV, MPG, MPEG, MP4, TS.

NightWatch is written entirely in C++ with Qt Toolkit.



Each video file and directory with video files can have an image to represent them, i.e. "posters". Images are searched for with these rules:

For a video file, NW looks for the same name image, for example:

If no image with the same name found, poster will be assumed to be the first found image in current directory, unless there are other video files with matching poster images. Why is this? If there is several videos in a directory and there is a image, which does not match any video, it probably is a image representing all videos in the directory. However if there is at least one image matching a video file, the rule for first image in the directory does not apply anymore.

For directory, first found image inside directory will be assumed to be poster.

Poster (image) files with the following extensions are accepted: JPG, JPEG, PNG.


To compile NW you need Qt toolkit.

For Devuan/Debian you need the following packages:

qt5-default (meta package)
Those will pull further dependencies.

After installing needed packages, do the following:

And you should get "nightwatch" binary.


NightWatch is just navigatior. It does not have video player inside. You have to use separate one. I recommend to use MPlayer but you may use whatever player you like.

To start video playing, NightWatch will try to execute:


You need either to create shell script with this name, which will execute the wanted video player or to sym-link the player with this name.


ln -s /usr/bin/mplayer  /usr/local/bin/nightwatch-video-player

Shell script content should be something like:

mplayer "$*"
# end of file
If you have a problem with the setup, contact me (see contact details below).


NightWatch assumes keypads similar to these:

Keys usage:

"0" (Insert)      -- main menu (accessible with the keypad)

"2" (Down Arrow)  -- navigate to one item down (directory/folder or video)
"8" (Up Arrow)    -- navigate to one item up   (directory/folder or video)
"4" (Left Arrow)  -- navigate to one level up (to parent directory/folder)  
"6" (Right Arrow) -- enter directory folder or play vide file
"7" (Home)        -- navigate to the beginning of the dir/video list   
"1" (End)         -- navigate to the end of the dir/video list
"9" (Page Up)     -- navigate with one page up
"3" (Page Down)   -- navigate with one page down
"." (Del)         -- change current dir/folder to one of the last used
                     (i.e. last directories, in which video was played)

"/"               -- switch directory/video list sorting between 
                     NAME (alphabetical) and MODIFY TIME (newest first)
Directory/folder sorting can be specified either globally or per-directory. This can be selected as an option in the main menu (also keypad main menu with "Insert"/"0" Key).


Configuration file is created with default values but can be edited manually if needed:

There are few state files, which are not supposed to be edited:

# last locations with played videos
# last played videos for each visited location


NightWatch Video Navigator 
(c) Vladi Belperchinov-Shabanski <[email protected]> <[email protected]>
Github repo/site for NightWatch:
"Journey" artwork (splash screen and web)
(c) Martina Stipan <[email protected]>
Coolvetica Font 
(c) Typodermic Fonts
Tango Icons 
(c) Tango Project
NightWatch created with Qt Toolkit (c) The Qt Company


NightWatch is licensed under GPLv2, for full text see file "COPYING".


Questions and ideas, please, send to:

Vladi Belperchinov-Shabanski "Cade"
<[email protected]> <[email protected]> <[email protected]>
github repo: [email protected]:cade-vs/nightwatch.git


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