As a sysadmin or should I say a devops to be a la mode, I spend a lot of time in terminals. I don't use Gnome terminal or any other fancy ones. I used to play a lot with xterm but I switched to rxvt-unicode because it's light and customizable … a LOT.
Some things that I like about it :
- Embedded Perl for endless customization
- Daemon mode: one daemon can open multiple windows on multiple displays, which improves memory usage and startup time considerably
- It crashes less than other forks or rxvt or any other terminals
- UTF-8 well supported
- A lot of fonts supported
- A well documented man page
- Tabs even if I don't use them it's nice to know that's available
The ArchLinux page is a good place to start customizing because by default the term is quite ugly.
Everything can be done in .Xresources or .Xdefaults file. I use the second one.
Here is my config :
! borderless and no scrollbar URxvt*scrollBar_right: false URxvt*scrollBar: false URxvt*borderLess: false ! history URxvt*saveLines: 50000 ! the transparency stuff URxvt*tintColor: white URxvt*shading: 30 URxvt*fading: 70 URxvt.transparent: true ! fonts URxvt*font: xft:Terminus:regular:size=10:antialias=true:hinting=true URxvt*boldFont: xft:Terminus:regular:size=10:antialias=true:hinting=true URxvt*foreground: AntiqueWhite URxvt*background: black ! I don't use tabs URxvt*tabbed.autohide: true ! cursor things URxvt*cursorUnderline: true URxvt*cursorBlink: true *.cursorColor: #D70040 ! URLs URxvt.colorUL: #4682B4 URxvt.perl-ext-common: default,clipboard,url-select,keyboard-select,bell-command,matcher URxvt.keysym.C-u: perl:url-select:select_next URxvt.url-select.launcher: firefox URxvt.urlLauncher: firefox URxvt.url-select.underline: false URxvt.keysym.C-Up: perl:keyboard-select:activate URxvt.keysym.M-s: perl:keyboard-select:search
and here is how it looks like
With my window manager, it fits just well. I enjoy the fact that that it's clean without any borders and since I use a tiling wm, I don't have to be concerned about resizing my windows. That's handy when you have all kinds of keybindings and a deep love about shortcuts and aliases.
The URLs part of my .Xdefaults allows me to open links directly from my terminal in firefox. Since I use mutt for my mail, I like to be able to open links directly from my terminal. In that specific configuration, I use the Ctr-u keybinding to activate the selection in the terminal and then I use the j and k keys to navigate between the links like you would use in vim. If you are interested check the ArchLinux page that I mentionned above to configure it the way you like.
I use also the fading option to make only the term I use bright the other ones are faded in the background. That way I'm sure I type in the right window. I remember a colleague rebooting the wrong server because he thought he was doing things in the right terminal. This little trick can help 😉
I customized the color and aspect of my cursor to have a rich carmine blinking one.
I really encourage people to try it.
CLI awesome-wm rxvt rxvt-unicode shell