Saturday, January 30, 2010

Looking for a better terminal

It sometimes seems I spend most of my life in xterm, usually logged into a remote server.

And while xterm isn't bad, as terminal emulators go, sometimes I want a bit more jazz and reliability. Recently xterm hasn't been as reliable as it should be, and it also doesn't cut it for some use cases - logged into a Sun (oops, Oracle...) ILOM, for instance. Things like color, background images, transparency, all break up the monotony,

Locally on my work desktop I run gnome-terminal for some stuff - it's heavy resource consumption is offset by the fact that I'm running a lot of windows. But it doesn't work half as well on remote servers or under other graphical environments. And gnome-terminal is a resource hog.

At home I run Xfce, and the Terminal is just as functional as gnome-terminal but with only half the resource requirements. One showstopper (and this is a real killer for a large number of otherwise decent applications) is its requirement for D-Bus, which makes it far too difficult to run standalone in an arbitrary environment.

So I've been looking at some alternatives, and quite like evilvte. It's functionally equivalent to gnome-terminal and the Xfce Terminal, using the same vte widget, but even lighter weight and faster and with much reduced dependencies. (In particular, no D-Bus.) So it could be used as a replacement for xterm.

Building it is somewhat manual. (But no stupid build system to fight with.) And configuration is a case of editing config.h and running make again to rebuild the binary. But I like it.


benr said...

I've been using Eterm for years and still swear by it.

nadkarni said...

Do you want to provide the binary for OpenSolaris at their site ? I wouldn't mind trying it.

gagendel said...

Peter - Give rxvt a try. It's in the contrib repository. It's a lightweight color xterm.

lewiz said...

Terminator is a good option. Available for install on OpenSolaris

alhazred said...

urxvt is a best choice for me