Difference between revisions of "Rxvt-unicode"

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===Set icon===
===Set icon===
By default URxvt does not feature a taskbar icon. However, this can be easily changed by adding the following line to ~/.Xdefaults and pointing to the desired icon:
By default URxvt does not feature a taskbar icon. However, this can be easily changed by adding the following line to {{Filename|~/.Xresources}} and pointing to the desired icon:
  URxvt*iconFile:                                 /usr/share/icons/Clarity/scalable/apps/terminal.svg
  URxvt*iconFile:   /usr/share/icons/Clarity/scalable/apps/terminal.svg
==Perl extensions==
==Perl extensions==

Revision as of 19:27, 5 October 2011

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rxvt-unicode is a highly customizable terminal emulator forked from rxvt. Commonly known as Template:Codeline, rxvt-unicode can be daemonized to run clients within a single process in order to minimize the use of system resources. Developed by Marc Lehmann, some of the more outstanding features of rxvt-unicode include international language support through Unicode, the ability to display multiple font types and support for Perl extensions.


Template:Package Official is available in [extra] and includes 256 color support:

# pacman -S rxvt-unicode

Template:Package AUR is available in the AUR and includes a fix for the font width bug and adds support for ignoring window size hints (lock the window size to n_columns * column_width, etc.) without dead space.


See the rxvt-unicode reference page for the complete list of available setting and values.

Creating ~/.Xresources

The look, feel and function of rxvt-unicode is controlled by command-line arguments and/or X resources. X resources can be set using Template:Filename and xrdb, see the wiki page for details.

Note: Command-line arguments override and take precedence over the resource settings established in this file.

True transparency

To use true transparency you need to be using a window manager that supports compositing or a separate compositor.

From the command-line:

$ urxvt -depth 32 -bg rgba:3f00/3f00/3f00/dddd

Using the configuration file:



The look of the scrollbar can be chosen through this entry in Template:Filename:

! scrollbar style - rxvt (default), plain (most compact), next, or xterm

The scrollbar can also be completely deactivated like so:

URxvt.scrollBar: off

Font Declaration Methods

URxvt.font:  9x15

is the same as:

URxvt.font:  -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--15-140-75-75-c-90-iso8859-1


URxvt.font:  9x15bold

is the same as:

URxvt.font:  -misc-fixed-bold-r-normal--15-140-75-75-c-90-iso8859-1

The complete list of short names for X core fonts can be found in Template:Filename (there's also some fonts.alias files in some of the other subdirectories of Template:Filename, but as they are packaged separately from the actual fonts, they may list fonts you do not actually have installed). It is worth noting that these short aliases select for ISO-8859-1 versions of the fonts rather than ISO-10646-1 (Unicode) versions, and 75 DPI rather than 100 DPI versions, so you're probably better off avoiding them and choosing fonts by their full long names instead.

Note: The above paragraph is only for bitmap fonts. Xft fonts can be specified using the following format:
URxvt.font: xft:monaco:size=10


URxvt.font: xft:monaco:bold:size=10

Set icon

By default URxvt does not feature a taskbar icon. However, this can be easily changed by adding the following line to Template:Filename and pointing to the desired icon:

URxvt*iconFile:    /usr/share/icons/Clarity/scalable/apps/terminal.svg

Perl extensions

Clickable URLs

You can make URLs in the terminal clickable using the matcher extension. For example, to open links in Firefox add the following to Template:Filename:

URxvt.perl-ext-common:  default,matcher
URxvt.urlLauncher:      /usr/bin/firefox
URxvt.matcher.button:   1 

Yankable URLs (No Mouse)

In addition, you can select and open URLs in your web browser without using the mouse.

Install the Template:Package Official package from the [community] repo and adjust your Template:Filename as necessary. An example is shown below:

URxvt.perl-ext:      default,url-select
URxvt.keysym.M-u:    perl:url-select:select_next
URxvt.urlLauncher:   firefox
URxvt.underlineURLs: true
Note: This extension replaces the Clickable URLs extension mentioned above, so Template:Codeline can be removed from the Template:Codeline list.

Key commands:

Template:Keypress + Template:Keypress Enter selection mode. The last URL on your screen will be selected. You can repeat Template:Codeline to select the next upward URL.

Template:Keypress Select next upward URL

Template:Keypress Select next downward URL

Template:Keypress Open selected URL in browser and quit selection mode

Template:Keypress Open selected URL in browser without quitting selection mode

Template:Keypress Copy (yank) selected URL and quit selection mode

Template:Keypress Cancel URL selection mode


To add tabs to urxvt, add the following to your Template:Filename:

URxvt.perl-ext-common:  default,tabbed

To control tabs use:

Template:Keypress + Template:Keypress new tab

Template:Keypress + Template:Keypress go to left tab

Template:Keypress + Template:Keypress go to right tab

Template:Keypress + Template:Keypress move tab to the left

Template:Keypress + Template:Keypress move tab to the right

Template:Keypress + Template:Keypress: close tab

You can change tabs' colors with the following:

URxvt.tabbed.tabbar-fg: 2
URxvt.tabbed.tabbar-bg: 0
URxvt.tabbed.tab-fg:    3
URxvt.tabbed.tab-bg:    0

For named tabs, see Template:Package AUR, (Shift+Up: names a tab).


Colors must be specified using color indexes: 0 to 15 correspond with the colors from the rxvt manual "Colors and Graphics" Section.


If graphics support was enabled at compile-time, rxvt can be queried with ANSI escape sequences and can address individual pixels instead of text
characters. Note the graphics support is still considered beta code.

In addition to the default foreground and background colours, rxvt can display up to 16 colours (8 ANSI colours plus high-intensity bold/blink
versions of the same). Here is a list of the colours with their rgb.txt names.

color0 	(black) 	= Black
color1 	(red) 	        = Red3
color2 	(green) 	= Green3
color3 	(yellow) 	= Yellow3
color4 	(blue) 	        = Blue3
color5 	(magenta) 	= Magenta3
color6 	(cyan) 	        = Cyan3
color7 	(white) 	= AntiqueWhite
color8 	(bright black) 	= Grey25
color9 	(bright red) 	= Red
color10 (bright green) 	= Green
color11 (bright yellow) = Yellow
color12 (bright blue) 	= Blue
color13 (bright magenta)= Magenta
color14 (bright cyan) 	= Cyan
color15 (bright white) 	= White
foreground 		= Black
background 		= White

It is also possible to specify the colour values of foreground, background, cursorColor, cursorColor2, colorBD, colorUL as a number 0-15, as a
convenient shorthand to reference the colour name of color0-color15.

Note that -rv ("reverseVideo: True") simulates reverse video by always swapping the foreground/background colours. This is in contrast to xterm(1)
where the colours are only swapped if they have not otherwise been specified. For example,

rxvt -fg Black -bg White -rv
    would yield White on Black, while on xterm(1) it would yield Black on White. 

Improving Performance

  • Avoid the use of Xft fonts. If Xft fonts must be used, append Template:Codeline to the setting value.[1]

Cut and Paste

Note: With the use of a VDT multiplexer, urxvt (or any VDT emulator) Template:Codeline integration will not be effective, since it will not be possible to select all of the desired text in a straightforward fashion or at all, in some cases (e.g., when the active multiplexed terminal is changed to another one and then back to the original one, and one selects text beyond what is visible, which causes text from the other terminal to be displayed). Obviously this is due to the fact that the VDT emulator lacks the ability to distinguish between multiplexed terminals. Therefore, it would be effectively redundant for one who always uses a VDT multiplexer capable of maintaining a scrollback buffer and integrating with Template:Codeline (e.g., tmux with customized key bindings) to integrate Template:Codeline with urxvt.

For users unfamiliar with Xorg data transfer methods, the exchange of information to and from rxvt-unicode can become a burden. Suffice to say that rxvt-unicode uses cut buffers which are typically loaded into the current Template:Codeline selection by default.[4] Users are urged to review Wikipedia:X Window selection for additional information.

Clipboard Management

  • Parcellite is a GTK+ clipboard manager which can also run in the background as a daemon.
  • Glipper is a GNOME panel applet with older versions available for use in environments other than GNOME.
  • Clipman (xfce-clipman-plugin) is a GUI clipboard manager plugin for the Xfce panel (xfpanel).
  • xclip is a lightweight, command-line based interface to the clipboard.

Automatic Script Management

Skottish[5] created a perl script to automatically copy any selection in urxvt to the X clipboard. Save the following as Template:Filename:

#! /usr/bin/perl

sub on_sel_grab {
    my $query=quotemeta $_[0]->selection;
    $query=~ s/\n/\\n/g;
    $query=~ s/\r/\\r/g;
    system( "echo -en " . $query . " | xsel -i -b -p" );

Xyne has also created his own variation of Skottish's script (which is also available in the AUR) that allows the user to paste the selection with ctrl+v instead of only with middle mouse click:

#! /usr/bin/perl

sub on_sel_grab
  my $query = $_[0]->selection;
  open (my $pipe,'|-','xsel -ib') or die;
  print $pipe $query;
  close $pipe;
  open (my $pipe,'|-','xsel -ip') or die;
  print $pipe $query;
  close $pipe;

It also requires Template:Codeline and needs to be enabled in the Template:Codeline or Template:Codeline field in Template:Filename. For example:

URxvt.perl-ext-common: default,clipboard

Improved Kuake-like Behavior in Openbox

This was originally posted on the forum by Xyne[6] and it relies on Template:Codeline which is available in the community repo.


Save this scriptlet from the Template:Codeline man page somewhere on your system as Template:Filename (e.g., in Template:Filename):

urxvtc "$@"
if [ $? -eq 2 ]; then
   urxvtd -q -o -f
   urxvtc "$@"

and save this one as Template:Filename:


wid=$(xdotool search --classname urxvtq)
if [ -z "$wid" ]; then
  /path/to/urxvtc -name urxvtq -geometry 80x28
  wid=$(xdotool search --classname urxvtq | head -1)
  xdotool windowfocus $wid
  xdotool key Control_L+l
  if [ -z "$(xdotool search --onlyvisible --classname urxvtq 2>/dev/null)" ]; then
    xdotool windowmap $wid
    xdotool windowfocus $wid
    xdotool windowunmap $wid

A previous version of xdotool introduced a bug which disabled recognition of visible windows and thus led some users to use the following scriptlet in place of the previous one. This is no longer necessary as xdotool>=1.20100416.2809, but it has been left here for future reference.


wid=$(xprop -name urxvtq | grep 'WM_COMMAND' | awk -F ',' '{print $3}' | awk -F '"' '{print $2}')
if [ -z "$wid" ]; then
  /path/to/urxvtc -name urxvtq -geometry 200x28
  wid=$(xprop -name urxvtq | grep 'WM_COMMAND' | awk -F ',' '{print $3}' | awk -F '"' '{print $2}')
  xdotool windowfocus $wid
  xdotool key Control_L+l
  if [ -z "$(xprop -id $wid | grep 'window state: Normal' 2>/dev/null)" ]; then
    xdotool windowmap $wid
    xdotool windowfocus $wid
    xdotool windowunmap $wid

Make sure that you change Template:Filename to the actual path to the Template:Filename scriptlet that you saved above. We'll be using Template:Filename to launch both regular instances of Template:Codeline and the kuake-like instance.

urxvtq with tabbing

If you want to have tabs in your kuake-like Template:Filename (here called Template:Filename) just replace the third line in your Template:Filename:

wid=$(xdotool search --name urxvtq)


wid=$(xdotool search --name urxvtq | grep -m 1 "" )

To activate the tab support, you can either replace the fifth line of your Template:Filename:

/path/to/urxvtc -name urxvtq -geometry 80x28


/path/to/urxvtc -name urxvtq -pe tabbed -geometry 80x28

or replace this line of your Template:Filename:

URxvt.perl-ext-common: default,matcher


URxvt.perl-ext-common: default,matcher,tabbed

Tab control

<SHIFT>-Left: Switch to the tab left of current one

<SHIFT>-Right: Switch to the tab right of current one

<SHIFT>-Down: Create a new tab

You can also use your mouse to switch the tabs by clicking the wished one and create a new tab by clicking on [NEW].\\

To close a tab just enter 'exit' like you'll close a terminal.

Openbox configuration

Now add the following lines to the Template:Codeline section of Template:Filename:

<application name="urxvtq">
   <position force="yes">

and add these lines to the Template:Codeline section:

<keybind key="W-t">
  <action name="Execute">
<keybind key="W-grave">
  <action name="Execute">

Here too you need to change the Template:Filename lines to point to the scripts that you saved above. Save the file and then reconfigure Openbox. You should now be able to launch regular instances of urxvt with the Windows/Super key + "t", and toggle the kuake-like console with Windows/Super+grave (`).

Further configuration

The advantage of this configuration over the urxvt kuake perl script is that Openbox provides more keybinding options such as modifier keys. The kuake script hijacks an entire physical key regardless of any modifier combination. Review the Openbox bindings documentation for the full range or possibilities.

The Openbox per-app settings can be used to further configure the behavior of the kuake-like console (e.g. screen position, layer, etc). You may need to change the "geometry" parameter in the Template:Filename scriptlet to adjust the height of the console.

Related scripts


Transparency not working after upgrade to V9.09

The rxvt-unicode devs removed compatibility code for a lot of non standard wallpaper setters with this update. Using a non compatible wallpaper setter will break transparency support. Recommended wallpaper setters:

  • feh
  • hsetroot
  • esetroot

To make true transparency work, make sure to comment urxvt*tintColor and urxvt*inheritPixmap.

Remote Hosts

If you are logging into a remote host, you may encounter problems when running text-mode programs under rxvt-unicode. This can be fixed by copying Template:Filename from your local machine to your host at Template:Filename.

Using rxvt-unicode as gmrun terminal

Unlike some other terminals, urxvt expects the arguments to -e to be given separately, rather than grouped together with quotes. This causes trouble with gmrun, which assumes the opposite behavior. This can be worked around by putting an "eval" in front of gmrun's "Terminal" variable in Template:Filename:

Terminal = eval urxvt
TermExec = ${Terminal} -e

(gmrun uses Template:Filename to execute commands, so the "eval is understood here.) The "eval" has the side-effect of "breaking up" the argument to -e in the same way $@ does in bash, making the command intelligible to urxvt.

My numerical keypad acts weird and generates differing output? (e.g. in vim)

Some Debian GNU/Linux users seem to have this problem, although no specific details were reported so far. It is possible that this is caused by the wrong TERM setting, although the details of whether and how this can happen are unknown, as TERM=rxvt should offer a compatible keymap. See the answer to the previous question, and please report if that helped.

However, using xmodmap program you can re-map your numpad keys back.

1. Check the keycode that your numerical keypad (numpad) generates using xev program.

  • Start xev program
  • Press your numpad keys and looks for ... keycode xxx ... in xev output. For example, numpad 1 in my keyboard is also "End" key, that have a 'keycode 87'.

2. Create or modify your xmodmap file, usually Template:Filename, with the content representing your keycode.

Example of xmodmap file with numpad keycode,
keycode 63 = KP_Multiply
keycode 79 = Home KP_7
keycode 80 = Up KP_8
keycode 81 = Prior KP_9
keycode 82 = KP_Subtract
keycode 83 = Left KP_4
keycode 84 = KP_5
keycode 85 = Right KP_6
keycode 86 = KP_Add
keycode 87 = End KP_1
keycode 88 = Down KP_2
keycode 89 = Next KP_3
keycode 90 = Insert KP_0
keycode 91 = Delete KP_Decimal
keycode 112 = Prior
keycode 117 = Next

3. Load your xmodmap file at X session start-up.

For example, in Template:Filename file add,
xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap

External resources