Code Self Study Forum

[POLL] What Terminal Do You Use? (Linux)

I’m curious what terminal emulators people like. I use gnome-terminal (with tmux and i3) and it works for me — are there any reasons to investigate switching to a different one?

What is your main terminal emulator?
  • gnome-terminal
  • xfce4-terminal
  • konsole
  • urxvt (rxvt-unicode)
  • xterm
  • terminator
  • guake
  • lxterminal
  • roxterm
  • tilda
  • yakuake
  • termite
  • terminology
  • other (comment below)

0 voters

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I started thinking about it today after skimming this post on xterm:

I don’t have a main terminal as I experiment. I’ve used xterm, xfce4-terminal, urxvt, and a little bit of either termite or terminology. In the past I used lxterminal and gnome-terminal.

You should list Alacritty. It’s hardware accelerated and fast. It’s written in Rust.

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That looks interesting. I don’t think I can edit the poll after people start voting without losing data, but I’m installing it now to see what it’s like.

I’ve installed urxvt a couple of times and tried to configure it, but I got pulled away by other things before I could see if it had any advantages to gnome-terminal.

I didn’t realize I was using an emulator till now. :confused:

It looks good so far. I like the default theme. I’ll try it for a while.

One thing I like about gnome terminal is that it’s easy to switch between multiple themes. I usually have many terminals open at once, so the themes help me see which project or server I’m working on in that terminal.

I think “terminal” originally referred to hardware devices. Software terminals emulate those devices. I don’t think it matters, so I just removed the word “emulator” from the title. :slight_smile:


The only fault I can find with Alacritty is a lack of tabs feature. But I think you use tmux for that.

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I used tabs until I discovered tmux.

I found this, but I’m still figuring out how the configuration works. It put the settings somewhere other than ~/.alacritty.yaml. :thinking:

Edit: it created one in ~/.config/alacritty/alacritty.yml.

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I put this in my i3 config file so I can open alacritty with alt+enter and gnome-terminal with alt+shift+enter.

bindsym $mod+Return exec alacritty
bindsym $mod+Shift+Return exec gnome-terminal

I like the nostalgic look of green on black (my default gnome terminal) so I don’t think I want to give it up completely. :slight_smile:

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I kind of miss the old terminal machines now too. :smiley: I understand about the emulator. I guess there is better machine code than before? Something like that.


I use kitty because of the support for ligatures: kitty - the fast, featureful, GPU based terminal emulator — kitty 0.19.3 documentation


I installed it and bound it to Alt+Ctrl+Shift+Enter to experiment with.

It’s pretty interesting so far. Is there a ligature font you like? I’m trying it with Fira Code.


I like the kittens feature. It looks like you can add new features using Python.

icat doesn’t seem to work in tmux, but it looks like it has its own system for doing the same kind of window splitting.

If anyone else tries it, this themes repo was useful:

Edit: now I see that the ligatures work in other programs like nvim and REPLs too. This looks good.

ligatures in ghci

Yeah, Fira Code supports the most ligatures I want and of the fonts that have them, I think it looks the best.

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I went through some of the kitty docs and it looks like it has some improvements over gnome-terminal:

  • does everything that I use tmux for locally
  • less-awkward keybindings than tmux
  • scrolls correctly with multiple panes (tmux requires pressing extra keys)
  • the ligatures look good
  • extends with Python
  • displays images in the terminal without open a separate imagemagick window

I still need to be able to switch colors easily to tell the terminal windows apart, so I’m probably going to use alacritty for that. To change colors in alacritty, you can type at and then fuzzy search for a theme name. (In gnome-terminal, you have to click on things, and it seems like kitty doesn’t support reloading the config file while it’s running.)

I’m also going to keep gnome-terminal for my music player (mpv), because I still like that green look. :slight_smile:

I might change it around later, but this setup has been working for me tonight.

I switched to kitty for my main terminal.

One of the best features for me is this optional setting:

focus_follows_mouse yes

It focuses on the pane that is under your mouse. My window manager (i3wm) already works like that, so it’s easier to move the mouse than hit shift+ctrl+L.

Another good feature is that I can type

$ thunar

and it opens the program without locking up the terminal. Before kitty I would have to type the ampersand:

$ thunar &

This page is useful (unicode feature in kitty terminal). I was memorizing codes and typing them but you can search by name too.

Wezterm is like Alacritty, another GPU accelerated terminal written in Rust. It’s like a configured Xterm with tmux, ligatures, and other goodies out of the box.

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That looks interesting.