Sunday, January 31, 2010

A better terminal, part 2

Thanks for the comments on my search for a better terminal.

First. Eterm. So if I build it with gcc, it SEGVs on me, and it won't compile with Studio 12. I used to use it, but don't seem to have a working version available right now.

As for providing a binary for evilvte, I'm not sure how useful that is. The only way to configure it is to build from source. And I'm pretty sure my configuration choices are likely to be different from anyone else's.

On to terminator. (Which one? This one, or that one?) The first one fails to build for me - not only does it require a non-standard make, it requires a particular version of that non-standard make, and one my regular Solaris 10 box doesn't have. The second one just gives a python traceback.

Then there's the whole rxvt family. I actually use rxvt quite a bit, when I want to run something (like top) in a throwaway terminal window, due to how lightweight it is. But it has to be said that it's nowhere near as lightweight as it was, and urxvt is much heavier than xterm. There are little irritants too, such urxvt needs its own terminfo entry adding, which is just another barrier. Or not being able to override rxvt's uses of a stipple pattern in the xterm-style scrollbar (I always make it solid).

I've tried quite a few others, most of which plain don't build.


Jon Dowland said...

When you compare urxvt to xterm, are you talking about an xterm with Unicode support?

gagendel said...


Your comments convinced me to try evilvte, so I built it successfully (after figuring out the appropriate LDLIBS= magic). But many keys didn't work for me. Delete-previous didn't work, so I had to use ctrl-H. I couldn't figure out how to open a new tab (ctrl-T, Alt-T, Meta-T didn't work).

I guess you have more patience with compile-in options than I do.


Peter Tribble said...


I don't use the unicode support, so it's moot. What I do like about urxvt is the tinting of the background image and the fading of the text when you lose focus.


I don't use tabs in terminals - unlike browsers - as I simply can't get on with them. I guess I don't use much in the way of key sequences either (although I expect ctrl-T to give me the load/uptime) as I haven't yet hit any issues.


.:: AuroraUX ::. said...


I been thinking about writing a fresh new one for AuroraUX that is properly designed first. Interested? (email me)


Chris Jones said...

As the author of the Terminator I'd be very curious to know what your traceback was. It's pretty important to me that we fail gracefully, and it sounds like we have failed to do that!

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter!

I used to build ETerm using /usr/sfw/bin/gcc and these configure options:
--enable-trans \
--enable-static=no \

More hints here: