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Do you really need a fancy terminal emulator?

floyd - Sat 11 August 2018 - openbsd, linux, xterm

Over the years I've been using multiple Linux distros, and was always trying new terminal emulators. Each of them comes with a bunch of eye-candy features, and it's too hard to settle on one of them.

Just try running pacman -Ss terminal emulator (if you're on Arch of course. Otherwise use your favourite package manager. ) What one should actually do, is ask oneself, "Do I really need a fancy terminal emulator?"

After switching to OpenBSD, I settled on xterm. Now whenever I'm on Linux, I use xterm as well.

It's light, it's simple, it's in base in OpenBSD. Since quite a while it also supports utf8.

It's easy to configure:

# .Xresources:
XTerm*font:             -xos4-terminus-medium-*-*-*-14-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
XTerm*dynamicColors:    true
XTerm*utf8:             2
XTerm*eightBitInput:    false
XTerm*scrollBar:        false
XTerm*loginShell:       true
XTerm*background:       black
XTerm*foreground:       green

Some additional tips: Define custom actions for specific key combinations, in this example - zoom in/out

xterm*VT100.Translations: #override \
    Ctrl <Key> minus: smaller-vt-font() \n\
    Ctrl <Key> plus: larger-vt-font() \n\
    Ctrl <Key> 0: set-vt-font(d)

Define custom sizes for the VT font:

! VT Font Menu: Unreadable
xterm*faceSize1: 8
! VT font menu: Tiny
xterm*faceSize2: 10
! VT font menu: Medium
xterm*faceSize3: 12
! VT font menu: Large
xterm*faceSize4: 16
! VT font menu: Huge
xterm*faceSize5: 22