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You should use Alacritty instead of Termite. It has a keyboard-based selection mode inspired by Termite and Alacritty 0.8 adds a generic regex hints mode comparable to Termite's URL hints mode. The user interface is very much in the same spirit as Termite including a very minimal user interface delegating handling tabs and splits to a window manager like i3. Alacritty is dramatically faster than VTE along with being significantly more robust and secure. It's written in a modern, safe programming language (Rust) and uses OpenGL for efficient rendering.

If you've packaged Termite in a repository, we would highly appreciate if you could communicate our recommendation to end users as part of phasing out and retiring the package. Alacritty is the only proper replacement for Termite and it took until the 0.8 release currently available as a release candidate for us to be able to wholeheartedly recommend it.

We strongly recommend against trying to continue the development of Termite with a fork. You should contribute to Alacritty instead. VTE is a terrible base for building a modern, fast and safe terminal emulator. It's slow, brittle and difficult to improve. VTE is treated as simply being the GNOME Terminal widget rather than a library truly intended to be useful to others. They've gone out of the way to keep useful APIs private due to hostility towards implementing any kind of user interface beyond what they provide. In 2012, we submitted a tiny patch exposing the APIs needed for the keyboard text selection, hints mode and other features. Despite support from multiple other projects, the patch was rejected. It's now almost a decade later and no progress has been made. There is no implementation of these kinds of features in VTE and it's unlikely they'll be provided either internally or as flexible APIs. This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their hostility towards other projects using VTE as a library. GTK and most of the GNOME project are much of the same. Avoid them and don't make the mistake of thinking their libraries are meant for others to use.


A keyboard-centric VTE-based terminal, aimed at use within a window manager with tiling and/or tabbing support.

Termite looks for the configuration file in the following order: $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/termite/config, ~/.config/termite/config, $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/termite/config, /etc/xdg/termite/config.

Termite's exit status is 1 on a failure, including a termination of the child process from an uncaught signal. Otherwise the exit status is that of the child process.


The vte-ng project is required until VTE exposes the necessary functions for keyboard text selection and URL hints (if ever). A simple patch has been submitted upstream but they're unwilling to expose functionality that's not required by GNOME Terminal even if there's no extra maintenance (it already exists internally) and no additional backwards compatibility hazards.

If no browser is configured and $BROWSER is unset, xdg-open from xdg-utils is used as a fallback.


git clone --recursive
cd termite && make



ctrl-shift-x activate url hints mode
ctrl-shift-r reload configuration file
ctrl-shift-c copy to CLIPBOARD
ctrl-shift-v paste from CLIPBOARD
ctrl-shift-u unicode input (standard GTK binding)
ctrl-tab start scrollback completion
ctrl-shift-space start selection mode
ctrl-shift-t open terminal in the current directory [1]
ctrl-shift-up scroll up a line
ctrl-shift-down scroll down a line
shift-pageup scroll up a page
shift-pagedown scroll down a page
ctrl-shift-l reset and clear
ctrl-+ increase font size
ctrl-- decrease font size
ctrl-= reset font size to default

The directory can be set by a process running in the terminal. For example, with zsh:

if [[ $TERM == xterm-termite ]]; then
  . /etc/profile.d/

For example, with bash:

if [[ $TERM == xterm-termite ]]; then
  . /etc/profile.d/


q or escape or ctrl-[ enter insert mode
x activate url hints mode
v visual mode
V visual line mode
ctrl-v visual block mode
hjkl or arrow keys move cursor left/down/up/right
w or shift-right forward word
e forward to end of word
b or shift-left backward word
W or ctrl-right forward WORD (non-whitespace)
E forward to end of WORD (non-whitespace)
B or ctrl-left backward WORD (non-whitespace)
H jump to the top of the screen
M jump to the middle of the screen
L jump to the bottom of the screen
0 or home move cursor to the first column in the row
^ beginning-of-line (first non-blank character)
$ or end end-of-line
g jump to start of first row
G jump to start of last row
ctrl-u move cursor a half screen up
ctrl-d move cursor a half screen down
ctrl-b move cursor a full screen up (back)
ctrl-f move cursor a full screen down (forward)
y copy to CLIPBOARD
/ forward search
? reverse search
u forward url search
U reverse url search
o open the current selection as a url
Return open the current selection as a url and enter insert mode
n next search match
N previous search match

During scrollback search, the current selection is changed to the search match and copied to the PRIMARY clipboard buffer.

With the text input widget focused, up/down (or tab/shift-tab) cycle through completions, escape closes the widget and enter accepts the input.

In hints mode, the input will be accepted as soon as termite considers it a unique match.


Internal padding can be added by using CSS to style Termite. Adding the following snippet to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/gtk-3.0/gtk.css (or ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css) will add uniform 2px padding around the edges:

.termite {
    padding: 2px;

This can also be used to add varying amounts of padding to each side via standard usage of the CSS padding property.


When working on a remote system with termite's terminfo missing, an error might occur:

Error opening terminal: xterm-termite

To solve this issue, install the termite terminfo on your remote system.

On Arch Linux:

pacman -S termite-terminfo

On other systems:

tic -x termite.terminfo


Termite is obsoleted by Alacritty. Termite was a keyboard-centric VTE-based terminal, aimed at use within a window manager with tiling and/or tabbing support.





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