From ArchWiki

st is a simple terminal implementation for Xorg by suckless. It is intended to serve as a lightweight replacement for xterm or urxvt. It currently supports 256 colors, true colors, most VT10X escape sequences, UTF-8, X11 copy/paste, anti-aliased fonts, fallback fonts, resizing, shortcuts, and line drawing.


Install the stAUR package or st-gitAUR for the development version.

  • On Wayland, st uses Xwayland; at this current time there is no active Wayland port of st available, the Xwayland memory-footprint is unavoidable.


st is configured through its config.h file which is copied over at compile time. Defaults are stored in config.def.h which is included with the source. Consider maintaining your own config.h and PKGBUILD.


To change the default shell for st, edit this line:

static char *shell = "/bin/sh";

Or start st with the desired shell as last argument:

$ st options fish


To change the terminal type, edit this line:

static char *termname = "st-256color";

st will set the TERM variable with the value of termname.


Edit the following line as you prefer:

static char *font = "Liberation Mono:pixelsize=12:antialias=false:autohint=false";

You can also pass the value of the font in the command line:

$ st -f "Liberation Mono:size=12"
$ st -f 'Liberation Mono-12'

Font names can be found with fc-list.


By default, the mouse pointer is XC_xterm; which often can be hard to find. To change it to your cursor theme's normal one, edit the following:

static unsigned int mouseshape = XC_left_ptr;


Edit the following lines to set foreground, background, and cursor colors:

unsigned int defaultfg = 7;
unsigned int defaultbg = 0;
static unsigned int defaultcs = 256;

The values refer to the *colorname[] array in the configuration file. You can use the default colors or add yours in #rrggbb:

static const char *colorname[] = {
   	/* 8 normal colors */
       /* 8 bright colors */
       [255] = 0,
       /* more colors can be added after 255 to use with DefaultXX */
 * Default colors (colorname index)
 * foreground, background, cursor
unsigned int defaultfg = 257;
unsigned int defaultbg = 258;
static unsigned int defaultcs = 256;

Tools exist to facilitate the creation of color palettes. For example, has a set of pre-made ones and exports directly to st's format (see comment on issue 22).

There is a patch for the Solarized color scheme. See to install it.


There are many patches available from the suckless website. To apply a patch, download the diff and apply it with patch -i patch.diff. This alters the default configuration file config.def.h; if you are maintaining your own config.h, copy your configs from config.h into a copy of config.def.h and rename it config.h, then make clean install.

Desktop entry

To simplify launching st with a decent font (e.g. adobe-source-code-pro-fonts) in a desktop environment, you can also create a desktop entry:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Simple Terminal
Comment=Suckless terminal emulator for X
Exec=st -t "Simple Terminal" -f "Source Code Pro:style=Semibold:size=12"

The menu entry will appear as Simple Terminal in the System Tools application list.



Add the following to ~/.inputrc or /etc/inputrc if Delete is not working properly in some applications:

set enable-keypad on

If the above does not work with some applications such as IPython using bash, instead, turn off enable-keypad and add the following to your ~/.bashrc, as mentioned in the st FAQ:

printf '\033[?1h\033=' >/dev/tty


The background colour of text in vim will not fill in anything that is not a character

Try setting the value of termname in your config.h to st-256color and recompiling. And do not set the TERM var in your shell, at least not to st-256color as this seems to cause the issue.

Another solution, perhaps a better one, is to have the following lines in your .vimrc file:

if &term =~ '256color'
    " disable Background Color Erase (BCE) so that color schemes
    " render properly when inside 256-color tmux and GNU screen.
    " see also
    set t_ut=

256color and truecolor support not working in tmux or otherwise

First, make sure you are not setting and exporting the value of TERM in your ~/.bashrc as mentioned in this thread

Note: Please do not explicitly set TERM. Do it right by setting the default-terminal setting in your tmux.conf

Second, make sure the version of vim you are using is >=7.4.1799, which is when termguicolors was added.

Finally, add the following to ~/.vimrc:

set t_8f=^[[38;2;%lu;%lu;%lum        " set foreground color
set t_8b=^[[48;2;%lu;%lu;%lum        " set background color
colorscheme Tomorrow-Night-Eighties
set t_Co=256                         " Enable 256 colors
set termguicolors                    " Enable GUI colors for the terminal to get truecolor
Note: ^[ is a literal escape (Esc) character that prefixes each of the values for t_8f and t_8b. It is a single character, which can be reproduced in vim. In INSERT mode, press Ctrl+v then Esc. You will still be in INSERT mode; press Esc again to return to NORMAL mode.
Tip: It is recommended to set the values for t_8f and t_8b prior to setting colorscheme, t_Co and termguicolors.

For more information, see the :help in vim for: xterm-true-color, t_8f, t_8b

Arabic shaping support

As explained in Vim#Bidirectional_support, for full Arabic character support, you need a fallback font covering the Unicode entries for Arabic Forms-B. To do that, add font2 patch and edit your config as follows:

static char *font = "Cascadia Code:size=12:pixelsize=13:antialias=true:autohint=true";
static char *font2[] = { "DejaVu Sans Mono:size=12:pixelsize=13:antialias=true:autohint=true" };

Then launch st with st -f 'Vazir Code:pixelsize=15'. This set up covers most Arabic shaping cases: no shaping, italicized no shaping, Forms-B, italicized Forms-B.

See also