kitty is a scriptable OpenGL based terminal emulator with TrueColor, ligatures support, protocol extensions for keyboard input and image rendering. It also offers tiling capabilities, like GNU Screen or tmux.
Install the package or AUR for the development version.
New tabs and windows can be created and resized through various
Ctrl+Shift shortcuts. Layouts are switchable through
Ctrl+Shift+l and can be saved/restored.
A full keyboard mode provides distinction between ambiguous keys like
Tab. Moreover, new text effects like curly-underline are also available for applications that support it.
kitty has a framework for creating subprograms called kittens. The commands for all kittens are prefixed with
kitty +kitten, so it is convenient to use them as shell aliases.
$ kitty +kitten icat image.jpg
It can also display animated gifs in the terminal. Instead of an image file, you can pass a directory or an image url. This also works over ssh to display images from a remote server. Several applications such as ranger and use this protocol for displaying images in the terminal. For more information, see the official documentation
This kitten requires either git or to be installed. Optionally, install for syntax highlighting. To show a diff of two files:
$ kitty +kitten diff file1 file2
It displays diffs for images as well as text files. This kitten can also be used over ssh. You can pass directories instead of files for a recursive diff. For more information, see the official documentation.
This kitten is used to read and write to the system clipboard and can be used to work with a clipboard even over ssh. To copy stdin to the system clipboard:
$ echo "Hello" | kitty +kitten clipboard
To output the current clipboard contents to stdout:
$ kitty +kitten clipboard --get-clipboard
This command will show a permission popup by default. To disable this, edit the
clipboard_control option in the configuration file:
clipboard_control write-clipboard read-clipboard
For more information, see the official documentation.
kitty stores its configuration in
~/.config/kitty/kitty.conf and the default configuration can be found at
/usr/share/doc/kitty/kitty.conf. Fonts, colors, cursors and scrollback behaviors can be adjusted. You can see all available options in the official documentation or .
zoin normal mode.
- The default configuration file at
/usr/share/doc/kitty/kitty.confis self-documenting with comments explaining each option.
- The official documentation is available locally at
Tips and Tricks
Enable IME support
Kitty support for IBus IME framework is disabled by default. To enable it, set the environment variable
GLFW_IM_MODULE=ibus. This will also work with Fcitx5 due to the compatible IBus interface that it offers.
Single instance mode
This works similar to a daemon mode. When kitty is launched with the
-1 option, only one instance of kitty will run. Launching kitty subsequently with the same option will create a new window of the existing kitty instance. This will lower memory usage because of a shared GPU cache and also reduces startup time. You can have multiple groups of kitty instances with
--instance group name option. See for more information.
Terminal issues with SSH
When kitty is used to ssh into a remote that does not have its terminfo, various issues can occur. The solution is normally to copy over the terminfo. Kitty has an ssh kitten to automate exactly this.
$ kitty +kitten ssh user@host
You may want to set it as an alias for
ssh. One way to do that is to detect if the user is using Kitty, and if so, alias the ssh command. To do that, you would append the following line to your
[ "$TERM" = "xterm-kitty" ] && alias ssh="kitty +kitten ssh"
If for whatever reason you are unable to install the terminfo on the remote, you can try setting
TERM to something that is more likely to be present. Note that this might disable some of the terminal's features. See OpenSSH#Connecting to a remote without the appropriate terminfo entry.
Disappearing background color in vim
When using a color scheme with a background color in vim, the background may disappear or flicker while scrolling. To fix this, make sure the environment variable
TERM is still set to
xterm-kitty, then add this line to your