Alacritty

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Alacritty is a terminal emulator focused on simplicity and performance. The performance goal means it should[1] be faster than any other terminal emulators available. The simplicity goal means it does not have features such as tabs or splits (which can be provided by some window managers, or terminal multiplexers)[2].

Alacritty is written in Rust and GPU-accelerated using OpenGL.

USE flags

USE flags for x11-terms/alacritty GPU-accelerated terminal emulator

X Add support for X11
debug Enable extra debug codepaths, like asserts and extra output. If you want to get meaningful backtraces see https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Project:Quality_Assurance/Backtraces
wayland Enable dev-libs/wayland backend

Installation

Emerge

Install x11-terms/alacritty package:

root #emerge --ask x11-terms/alacritty

Configuration

Files

alacritty does not automatically create or install a configuration file, but it will search for one in the following locations:

  • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/alacritty/alacritty.yml
  • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/alacritty.yml
  • $HOME/.config/alacritty/alacritty.yml
  • $HOME/.alacritty.yml

Configuration files with currently supported values are provided with each upstream release. On Gentoo, depending on the version installed, the file can be found in the following location. Be sure to adjust the PV ( package version) value to align with whatever version is currently installed on the system.

Note
Since only one copy of alacritty can be installed at a time, use a wildcard to reference the documentation directory for it: /usr/share/doc/alacritty-*/

The default configuration can be created in a users' home directory with the following commands:

user $mkdir --parents ~/alacritty
user $bzcat /usr/share/doc/alacritty-${PV}/alacritty.yml.bz2 > ~/alacritty/alacritty.yml
Warning
The configuration file is YAML-formatted. Preserving the indentation is critical (YAML is indentation sensitive!).

By default alacritty will reload the configuration automatically when changes have been written into the file. This behavior can be disabled with the following invocation:

user $alacritty --no-live-config-reload

This can also be disabled via the configuration file:

FILE ~/.config/alacritty/alacritty.ymldisable live reload
# Live config reload (changes require restart)
live_config_reload: false

The configuration file should be downloaded and edited from the repository's release page. Explanations are provided in the configuration file.

Important
Make sure, that the adapted configuration file is compatible with the current installation of Alacritty. It might be, that version differences cause compatibility issues.

Font configuration

One can run the following command and copy the desired font name:

user $fc-list -f '%{family}\n' | awk '!x[$0]++'

Changing the default font by editing the config file.

FILE ~/.config/alacritty/alacritty.ymlfont configure
# Font configuration (changes require restart)
font:
  # The normal (roman) font face to use.
  normal:
    family: Hack
    # Style can be specified to pick a specific face.
    style: Regular

  # The bold font face
  bold:
    family: Hack
    # Style can be specified to pick a specific face.
    # style: Bold

  # The italic font face
  italic:
    family: Hack
    # Style can be specified to pick a specific face.
    # style: Italic
  size: 11.0

This will change the font to one provided by media-fonts/hack, given that the package is installed.

Note
This method uses defaults for all other settings.

Colors configuration

The easiest way is to code Alacritty theme directory and include the relevant theme :

user $mkdir -p ~/.config/alacritty/themes
user $git clone --branch yaml https://github.com/alacritty/alacritty-theme ~/.config/alacritty/themes
Note
The latest version uses the toml file format, so we need to use the yaml branch.

For example, with Gruvbox Light:

FILE ~/.config/alacritty/alacritty.ymlcolor schemes
import:
    ~/.config/alacritty/themes/gruvbox_light.yaml

More schemes can be found from this page: alacritty Wiki of Color schemes.

Transparent background

FILE ~/.config/alacritty/alacritty.ymlSet background opacity to 0.8
window:
   opacity: 0.8

Configuration with tabbed

Since Alacritty does not support tabs intentionally[3], one can use x11-misc/tabbed:

user $tabbed -r 2 alacritty --embed ""

See the man page for more information;

user $man 1 tabbed

Troubleshooting

Using fcitx

This needs app-i18n/fcitx and x11-wm/i3 installed. The initialization file should look like this:

FILE ~/.xprofile or ~/.xinitrc
export GTK_IM_MODULE=fcitx
export QT_IM_MODULE=fcitx
export XMODIFIERS="@im=fcitx"
eval "$(dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-session)"

exec i3

The most important thing is to start i3 last.

Colorful LS

Note
The output of ls (should) be colorful by default, so this is optional.

To modify ls to have colorful output, add the following in /etc/DIR_COLORS

FILE /etc/DIR_COLORS
TERM alacritty

See related GitHub issue.

Window title

The default title is: Alacritty. This can be changed via the shell.

Bash

In Bash, one can set the window title by manipulating the environment variable PROMPT_COMMAND.

The following will set the window title to: username@hostname:cwd.

FILE ~/.bashrcwindow title bar
# set PROMPT_COMMAND
PROMPT_COMMAND=${PROMPT_COMMAND:+$PROMPT_COMMAND; }'printf "\033]0;%s@%s:%s\007" "${LOGNAME}" "${HOSTNAME%%.*}" "${PWD/#$HOME/\~}"'

Zsh

In Zsh, one can set the window title by using the functions precmd() and preexec():

The following will set the window title to: username@hostname: zsh[shell_level] cwd_or_current_command

For example, when user larry is in the /etc/conf.d directory, this will be the title bar:

larry@gentoo.local: zsh[4] /etc/conf.d

While executing tail -f /var/log/*:

larry@gentoo.local: zsh[4] tail -f /var/log/*

FILE ~/.zshrcwindow title bar
if [[ "${TERM}" != "" && "${TERM}" == "alacritty" ]]
then
    precmd()
    {
        # output on which level (%L) this shell is running on.
        # append the current directory (%~), substitute home directories with a tilde.
        # "\a" bell (man 1 echo)
        # "print" must be used here; echo cannot handle prompt expansions (%L)
        print -Pn "\e]0;$(id --user --name)@$(hostname): zsh[%L] %~\a"
    }

    preexec()
    {
        # output current executed command with parameters
        echo -en "\e]0;$(id --user --name)@$(hostname): ${1}\a"
    }
fi

See also

  • Terminal emulator — emulates a video terminal within another display architecture (e.g. in X).

External resources

References