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Rxvt-unicode, commonly known as URxvt, is a color VT102 terminal emulator for the X Window System. It was written by Marc Lehmann, who forked it from rxvt in November 2003. Stability, internationalization and support for Unicode is its primary focus, as well as the capability to display different fonts and locales simultaneously.

Another goal of the project is to be resource-friendly like rxvt. Even though it has features such as pseudo-transparency, Perl extensions, and support for Xft fonts, it can still be configured to be lean and efficient, according to the author. Furthermore, it has a daemon mode that reduces memory usage and startup time when using multiple terminals.



After having set the appropriate USE flags for x11-terms/rxvt-unicode, you can emerge URxvt using emerge -av rxvt-unicode:

Compile URxvt from source with 256 colors patch

If you have URxvt installed, remove it first: emerge -C rxvt-unicode.

cd /usr/src/
cvs -z3 -d co rxvt-unicode
./configure --prefix=/usr --with-terminfo=/usr/share/terminfo --enable-font-styles --enable-xim --enable-keepscrolling --enable-selectionscrolling --enable-smart-resize --enable-xpm-background --enable-transparency --enable-utmp --enable-wtmp --enable-lastlog
patch -p1 < doc/urxvt-8.2-256color.patch
make && make install


Real transparency

Only URxvt 7.6 and above support this feature. This is not the same effect as with transset-df; the point is to have a real transparent background, with the frame and text remaining normal. It's pseudo-transparency done right.

Note: You must compile rxvt-unicode with the truetype USE flag enabled for this to work

Start rxvt-unicode like this:

urxvt -depth 32 -fg grey90 -bg rgba:0000/0000/0000/dddd

This is with different font, slightly brighter bg and text, no scrollbar for neat freaks and Terminal naming.

urxvt -name Terminal -fn "xft:Monospace:pixelsize=11" -fade 20 +sb -depth 32 -fg white -bg rgba:2000/2000/2000/dddd

If real transparency will not work for you, make sure you have started a composite window manager (e.g. xcompmgr or Compiz). If this does not change anything, you could try to use EXA instead of XAA for your graphics acceleration. Edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf appropriately:

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Device"
        Option          "AccelMethod" "EXA"
        Option          "EXANoOffscreenPixmaps" "true"

Example of urxvt settings in ~/.Xdefaults

File: ~/.Xdefaults
URxvt*font: -xos4-terminus-medium-r-normal-*-14-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
URxvt*reverseVideo:        false
URxvt*fading:   70
URxvt*fadecolor:  #71C5F4
URxvt*background:   #000000
URxvt*foreground:   #D3D3D3
URxvt*shading:  20
URxvt*loginShell: True
URxvt*inheritPixmap: False
URxvt*scrollBar: False 
URxvt*cutchars: `"()'*<>[]{|}
URxvt*termName: rxvt-unicode
URxvt.mapAlert:   True
URxvt.visualBell: False
! Plugin stuff
URxvt*urlLauncher: opera -newpage
URxvt.perl-ext-common: default,tabbed,matcher,-option-popup,-selection-popup,-readline
!URxvt*perl-ext: mark-urls
URxvt.matcher.button:     1
URxvt.matcher.pattern.1:  \\bwww\\.[\\w-]+\\.[\\w./?&@#-]*[\\w/-]
! Colors
!URxvt*color0:         #676767
!URxvt*color8:         #757575
!URxvt*color1:         #EA6868
!URxvt*color9:         #FF7272
!URxvt*color2:         #ABCB8D
!URxvt*color10:          #AFD78A
!URxvt*color3:         #E8AE5B
!URxvt*color11:          #FFA75D
!URxvt*color4:         #71C5F4
!URxvt*color12:          #67CDE9
!URxvt*color5:         #E2BAF1
!URxvt*color13:          #ECAEE9
!URxvt*color6:         #21F1EA
!URxvt*color14:          #36FFFC
!URxvt*color7:         #F1F1F1
!URxvt*color15:          #FFFFFF

!color stuff
URxvt*tintColor:    #dfdfdf
URxvt.cursorColor:  #89B83F
URxvt.pointerColor: #89B83F

See the rxvt-unicode FAQ for more details:

man 7 urxvt
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Last modified: Thu, 02 Oct 2008 07:53:00 +0000 Hits: 1,852