A number of excellent Xterm alternatives are
- XFCE terminal,
- gnome-terminal, and
Xterm is a terminal which runs in X. In Linux when you open xterm, you get a small window with a small - hard to read - font by default. Compared to the ordinary xterm, the gnome-terminal and Konsole come loaded with lots of features and are good to view.
So why would anybody use an xterm over the other two? The answer lies in its low memory foot print. While Konsole takes a whooping 8MB and gnome-terminal over 3MB of memory, you can run xterm under 1MB which makes it super fast even when your computer has only 64MB of RAM.
Configuring Xterm FontsHere I will explain a number of ways in which you can configure xterm to make it look good and easier to read with larger fonts.
If you look in the man page of xterm, you will find that you can configure the following aspects of xterm, namely :
- Text colour
- Font family
- Font size
- The xterm window position w.r.t the desktop
Method 1: Choose the fonts and dimensions using Xfontsel
The first thing you to do is decide on your choice of font and its size for your xterm. This can be achieved by running the command
This will open an X window where you can decide on the font type and size. Once you have decided, note down the values as shown in the xfontsel dialog box. It will look something like this ...
...if you have selected a fixed, medium 18pt regular font with iso8859 support.
These values will be used while starting xterm.
To specify the size and position of the xterm window, you can use the
Next test your settings. Execute xterm with the following settings:
$ xterm -font -*-fixed-medium-r-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-* -geometry 70x24
You will find that it opens with better font clarity. But it is very tedious to run the above command each time you want to open xterm.
To make your task easier, you can create an alias for it and add it to your
I have entered it in the
.bashrcfile in my home directory.
#File: ~.bashrc alias xterm='xterm -font -*-fixed-medium-r-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-* -geometry 70x24'
From now on, if you open Xterm, it will be opened with your desired settings.
Method 2: Pass the parameters to your X server
You can pass the Xterm parameters to your X server so that it will know how to display your xterm when you execute it.
Here is how you do it.
Create a '
.Xresources' file in your home directory and enter the values that you want to set.
.Xresourcesfile is as follows:
# File : .Xresources xterm*font: -*-fixed-medium-r-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-* xterm*font1: -*-*-*-*-*-*-2-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xterm*font2: -misc-fixed-*-r-normal-*-8-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-* xterm*font3: -b&h-lucidatypewriter-bold-*-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xterm*font4: -*-screen-bold-r-normal-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-* xterm*font5: -*-lucidatypewriter-medium-*-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xterm*font6: -*-lucidatypewriter-medium-*-*-*-20-*-*-*-*-*-*-* xterm*font7: -dec-terminal-bold-r-normal-*-14-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-* XTerm*background: white XTerm*foreground: black XTerm*pointerColor: red XTerm*pointerColorBackground: black XTerm*cursorColor: navy XTerm*internalBorder: 3 XTerm*loginShell: true XTerm*scrollBar: false XTerm*scrollKey: true XTerm*saveLines: 1000 XTerm*multiClickTime: 250
As you can see in my
.Xresourcesfile above, I have set my xterm to start with a fixed font, white background and black foreground and with no scrollbar.
I have also set other settings like the number of lines to save in history and so on.
Method 3: Merge the Xterm settings with X server on the fly
Alternately, you can also do the following to get the same effects.
Create a file say
.x_settings- the file can have any name - and copy the contents of
.Xresourcesto it. Now each time you start an X session, type the following command in the console :
$ xrdb -merge .x_settings
Method 4: Change Xterm parameters using Shortcut keys
Right mouse button- Pressing this simultaneously while you have focus in xterm window will open a pop-up menu which allows you to set the font size to your taste.
Middle mouse button- Pressing simultaneously will open a different pop-up menu which allows you to set/unset a lot of other features of your xterm window like enabling/disabling the scroll bars and so on.
As you can see, there are a number of ways of configuring Xterm in Linux.
Two other x terminals which are light weight and having even more features like support for transparency that come to mind are
But the advantage of xterm is that you can be sure of having it in all Linux distributions by default.