A sample xterm, running the Bash shell, showing a listing of /etc.
|Original author(s)||Mark Vandevoorde|
|Operating system||X Window System|
|License||MIT/X Consortium License|
In computing, xterm is the standard terminal emulator for the X Window System. A user can have many different invocations of xterm running at once on the same display, each of which provides independent input/output for the process running in it (normally the process is a Unix shell).
xterm originated prior to the X Window System. It was originally written as a stand-alone terminal emulator for the VAXStation 100 (VS100) by Mark Vandevoorde, a student of Jim Gettys, in the summer of 1984, when work on X started. It rapidly became clear that it would be more useful as part of X than as a standalone program, so it was retargeted to X. As Gettys tells the story, "part of why xterm's internals are so horrifying is that it was originally intended that a single process be able to drive multiple VS100 displays."
After many years as part of the X reference implementation, around 1996 the main line of development then shifted to XFree86 (which itself forked from X11R6.3), and it is now actively maintained by Thomas Dickey.
As with most X applications, xterm can be customized via global X resources file (e.g. /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults/XTerm), per-user resource files (e.g. ~/XTerm; ~/.Xresources) or command-line arguments. Most of the command-line options correspond to resource settings, as noted in the manual page.
While the name of the program is xterm, the X resource class is XTerm. The uxterm script overrides this, using the UXTerm resource class.
xterm normally does not have a menu bar. To access xterm's three menus, users hold the control key and press the left, middle, or right mouse button. Support for a "toolbar" can be compiled-in, which invokes the same menus.
xterm added a few protocols that have been adapted by other terminal emulators, such as xterm mouse tracking and the xterm 256 colors protocol.
- Comparison of terminal emulators
- Vttest, vt100/vt220/xterm test utility
- luit, a character set converter invoked automatically by xterm when necessary
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