Custom terminal based on VTE
C M4 Shell Makefile
Failed to load latest commit information.
m4 build: replace AX_LDFLAGS_OPTION by AX_CHECK_LINK_FLAG Feb 14, 2017
src term: use 1.0 as opacity Dec 28, 2016
.gitignore Initial import. Sep 25, 2014 build: use version sort for changelog Jan 25, 2015 README: add a word about VTE version needed Aug 9, 2015 build: update Jan 3, 2016


Custom terminal based on VTE. There are many terminals available. Many of them are based on VTE, a library implementing a terminal emulator widget for GTK+. Some are highly configurable, some are small but none of them match exactly my expectations.

Here is a short survey:

vbeterm is really tailored to my need. You are unlikely to find it useful. sterm is a derivative with a bit more flexibility. Another close alternative with a ability to configure before compiling is evilvte.

If you plan to write your own, have a look at the exsting one. It is likely that evilvte will support what you want. If it is too "bloated" for your taste, you can start from the minimal demo from the same author. If this demo is too simplistic, you can also have a look at VTE's own demo, written in Vala.

Also, a bold notice about VTE: this is a library whose sole purpose is to support Gnome Terminal. If a feature is needed for Gnome Terminal, it will be added. If a feature is not needed anymore, it will be deprecated and removed quickly. For example, Gnome Terminal removed the ability to set an image background. Shortly after, the corresponding function in VTE was also removed.


  • No tab support
  • Use of VTE 2.90 (GTK3)
  • Single instance managing several terminals.
  • dabbrev-expand (mapped on Alt-/)


Execute the following commands:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

You need VTE 0.40.x which is not yet widely available. You can look at commit d98dad for a version working with a more ancient version. On Debian, the appropriate package is libvte-dev.