Installing URxvt on Debian
I’ve been a long time URxvt user, though I have slacked in my latest install of Debian and inadvertently have been using
gnome-terminal for a lot longer than expected. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that terminal emulator but I value having lean and quick programs over more bulky alternatives. Gnome-terminal has recently been crashing for me when running with
nvidia-xrun (a topic for another day) and so I decided to make the switch back to
I am using a
Lenovo y50-70 laptop with
Debian 10 (bullseye) installed.
Installing URxvt on Debian is as easy as it gets:
apt update apt install urxvt
Once that is done, you should be able to run
urxvt from your current terminal emulator or dyanmic menu.
If you want to quickly change over to using URxvt as your default terminal emulator just run:
update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator
This will prompt you with a choice of terminals, one of which should be URxvt…
This is where the bread and butter of URxvt comes to shine, customizability. In it’s default setting URxvt looks… okay.
All of the below edits will be taking place in
The minimal set up you really need for URxvt to become a bit more coherent with your current system is:
URxvt.scrollstyle: plain URxvt.thickness: 8 URxvt.externalBorder: 12 URxvt.cursorblink: true
These settings, in my opinion, make URxvt usable in most cases. But my font looks ugly! The default font URxvt uses (7x14) can be either wonderful or an eyesore depending on the kind of person you are. The command
fc-match "font name" can be used to check if the font you want to use will be found by
xft. Once you have a font you like and the corresponding xft string you should simply prepend this to your config:
URxvt.font: xft:Noto Sans:size=12
Noto Sans and
size=12 to whatever you found suits you best!
Copy and paste!
A lot of people go out of their way to install extensions that faciliate the copying of the clipboard selection to URxvt, I will reccomend a different route. The X system uses multiple clipboards, one of them is the “Primary Selection” which is usually automatically filled as soon as you select any text (yes!) and can be pasted using the
middle mouse button or
If this doesn’t strike your fancy there are countless guides on setting up
ctrl+shift symbol menu:
URxvt.iso14755: false URxvt.iso14755_52: false
Adding URL handling:
URxvt.urlLauncher: firefox URxvt.underlineURLs: true URxvt.urlButton: 1