3 min read

HOWTO: usable xterm configuration

UPDATE: if you’re using xterm in place of gnome-terminal due to speed, you aren’t any longer. The 2.14 version of Gnome sports a much faster gnome-terminal; it beats xterm for display by allot, and log startup is 20x faster than before! Wow, they did some work on tuning there!

Ok, this is a cheap HOWTO seeing as how I just found it, cut/pasted it and restarted X - but hey, it rocks. I’ve always used Gnome-terminal when in Gnome, but I also tend to when I’m in Openbox or Xfce I use it since I can control the fonts to make it usable, unlike xterm. Last night after installing Xfce4 (recommended) on my iBook I hit their FAQ to do some tweaking where I came across this, and now I can use xterm! It’s right in time to since Gnome-terminal loads very slowly when you’re not in Gnome, and that’s especially annoying when you’re playing in a ‘lighter’ window manager/desktop environment. Xterm, on the other hand, just pops up like it was waiting for you. So, to try out this config yourself, hit this page on their documentaion page, or read more on this post for the quick HOWTO and code.

Edit or create an .Xsessions file in your user’s home directory:

<code>vi ~/.Xsessions</code>

Copy code from the URL above, or the code below and paste it in there. Now save:


Have xrdb source the .Xresources file:

<code>xrdb -merge .Xresources</code>

and finally, launch xterm:


That’s it! Now xterm will look like that anytime you launch it, and this even works in Windows when using Cgywin, same steps as above. Sure as heck beats Cgywin’s shell…don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Cgywin, but installing X just to get a useable term is a necessary when you’re forced to use Windows.

Here is the code to copy:

<code>! this are Xresources to make xterm look good
! put into ~/.Xresources
! after changing contents, run xrdb -merge .Xresources
! gentoo has a bug so that it doesnt read it when X starts, so add above
! command to /etc/xfce4/xinitrc (top) and be happy.

!xterm*background:  Black
!xterm*foreground:  Grey
xterm*font:     -Misc-Fixed-Medium-R-Normal--20-200-75-75-C-100-ISO10646-1
!xterm*font:        -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--18-*-*-*-*-*-iso10646-1
!xterm*iconPixmap: ...
xterm*iconPixmap:       /usr/share/pixmaps/gnome-gemvt.xbm
xterm*iconMask:         /usr/share/pixmaps/gnome-gemvt-mask.xbm
!XTerm*iconName: terminal
!Mwm*xterm*iconImage: /home/a/a1111aa/xterm.icon
XTerm*loginShell: true
XTerm*foreground: gray90
XTerm*background: black
XTerm*cursorColor: rgb:00/80/00
XTerm*borderColor: white
XTerm*scrollColor: black
XTerm*visualBell: true
XTerm*saveLines: 1000
!! XTerm.VT100.allowSendEvents: True
XTerm*allowSendEvents: True
XTerm*sessionMgt: false
!XTerm*eightBitInput:  false
!XTerm*metaSendsEscape: true
!XTerm*internalBorder:  10
!XTerm*highlightSelection:  true
!XTerm*VT100*colorBDMode:  on
!XTerm*VT100*colorBD:  blue
!XTerm.VT100.eightBitOutput:  true
!XTerm.VT100.titeInhibit:  false
XTerm*color0: black
XTerm*color1: red3
XTerm*color2: green3
XTerm*color3: yellow3
XTerm*color4: DodgerBlue1
XTerm*color5: magenta3
XTerm*color6: cyan3
XTerm*color7: gray90
XTerm*color8: gray50
XTerm*color9: red
XTerm*color10: green
XTerm*color11: yellow
XTerm*color12: blue
XTerm*color13: magenta
XTerm*color14: cyan
XTerm*color15: white
XTerm*colorUL: yellow
XTerm*colorBD: white
!XTerm*mainMenu*backgroundPixmap:     gradient:vertical?dimension=400&start=gray10&end=gray40
!XTerm*mainMenu*foreground:          white
!XTerm*vtMenu*backgroundPixmap:       gradient:vertical?dimension=550&start=gray10&end=gray40
!XTerm*vtMenu*foreground:             white
!XTerm*fontMenu*backgroundPixmap:     gradient:vertical?dimension=300&start=gray10&end=gray40
!XTerm*fontMenu*foreground:           white
!XTerm*tekMenu*backgroundPixmap:      gradient:vertical?dimension=300&start=gray10&end=gray40
!XTerm*tekMenu*foreground:            white
!XTerm Profiles (idea from dag wieers)
XTerm*rightScrollBar: true</code>