From ArchWiki
Revision as of 13:30, 3 March 2013 by Thisoldman (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

xterm is the standard terminal emulator for the X Window System. It is highly configurable and has many useful and some unusual features.

The ultimate authorities for using and customizing xterm are the man pages for xterm, uxterm, koi8rxterm, and resize; the XTerm FAQ and the XTerm ChangeLog.


Xterm is used with different hardware on a variety of operating systems, not just with a PC keyboard on a GNU/Linux system. There are several options to set in your X resources files that make this terminal emulator much easier to use with Linux.

  • Allow xterm to report the TERM variable correctly. Do not set the TERM variable from your ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile or similar file. The terminal itself should report the correct TERM to the system so that the proper terminfo file will be used. Two usable terminfo files are xterm, and xterm-256color.
– Without setting TERM explicitly, xterm should report $TERM as xterm. You can check this with either of these commands:
$ echo $TERM
$ tset -q
– When TERM is not set explicitly, color schemes for some programs, such as vim, may not appear until a key is pressed or some other input occurs. This can be remedied by setting the resource termName, either from the command line with xterm -tn xterm-256color, or by setting the resource value:
xterm*termName: xterm-256color
  • Use UTF-8. First make certain your locale settings are correct for UTF-8, then add this to your resource file so that xterm interprets all incoming data as UTF-8 encoded:
XTerm*locale: true
XTerm*vt100.metaSendsEscape: true