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Old 07-24-2005, 12:29 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: Fedora 18, Ubuntu 11.10, Ubuntu Server 11.10, DamnSmallLinux 3.4.4, FreeDOS 1.1, OpenBSD 5.0
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How to change default Xterm behaviour/appearance?

Hi, I'm using Fedora Core 4.
I want to change the default appearance of Xterm, but i don't know how.
I've looked through the man pages ('man xterm') i learned i can change it at every start with option parameters, but this is pretty annoying, i want the Xterm window to be white on black, and slightlx larger font as default.
I've been searching for some xterm.conf files, but i couldn't find anything.
people in IRC channeld told me to read the man page closeley, but maybe i'm just too dumb, i don't know, anyways, i could find an answer to my question
Please, does anybody know, how to change the defaults for xterm?
Old 07-24-2005, 01:36 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: BrewCity, USA (Milwaukee, WI)
Distribution: Xubuntu 9.10, Gentoo 2.6.27 (AMD64), Darwin 9.0.0 (arm)
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you do this with command line parameters:

xterm -fg white -bg black

this doesn't mean you have to type this every time you can add it to the command that runs when you click the icon or you can make a little script. just figure out the command line options that make it look like you want and put that command in a text file somewhere in your path and chmod it.

echo "xterm -fg white -bg black" > /usr/local/bin/myterm

(or use your faveorite text editor name and location are not important as long as it's in your path {env will list the environment variables including your path})

chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/myterm
(this will make it executeable)

(now whatever name you use will run whatever commands you stuck in the text file so you get your xterm with your setings)

you should easily be able to tie this (or any other command) to an icon or menu entry.

Last edited by johnson_steve; 07-24-2005 at 01:39 PM.
Old 07-24-2005, 02:54 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Europe
Distribution: Debian, Slackware
Posts: 505

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Xterm settings are done as X resources, you can add something like:

xterm*faceName: fixed
xterm*faceSize: 14
xterm*reverseVideo: true
xterm*cursorBlink: true
xterm*visualBell: false
xterm*hold: false
*VT100.Translations: #override \
<Key>BackSpace: string(0x7F)\n\
<Key>Delete: string("\033[3~")\n\
<Key>Home: string("\033[1~")\n\
<Key>End: string("\033[4~")
*ttyModes: erase ^?

to your ~/.Xresources or ~/.Xdefaults. This is my config, so modify it as you like. It uses antialiased fonts, turns reverse video on (i.e. white text on black background, this is really how it should be done to get the colors working like in console screens instead of setting foreground and background), sets cursor blinking and makes backspace and delete keys behave etc.

Make sure your system includes your .Xdefaults or .Xresources (there should be something like xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources somewere in your /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc or ~/.xinitrc).

All the available resources can be found from xterm's manpage. It's really surprisingly configurable.

Last edited by alienDog; 07-24-2005 at 02:59 PM.
Old 07-24-2005, 09:30 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: Fedora 18, Ubuntu 11.10, Ubuntu Server 11.10, DamnSmallLinux 3.4.4, FreeDOS 1.1, OpenBSD 5.0
Posts: 194

Original Poster
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Tank you alienDog! that was what i was looking for!
Works great!
Old 07-24-2005, 11:00 PM   #5
D4ve G
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Canada
Distribution: XP / Ubuntu
Posts: 55

Rep: Reputation: 15
Yes this was helpful for a gentooer using fluxbox.

I've searched long and far for this.


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