XTerm is a really simple terminal emulator which has the major advantage of being included in every Linux distribution with a X server. You have it unless you did a bare-bones net-install.
Xterm is the default terminal emulator in BlackArch Linux.
Keyboard shorts you want to know
These are not specific to xterm but useful.
ctrl + cwill stop/cancel any command running in the terminal
ctrl + dwill close a terminal window. Quicker than typing
ctrl + lclears the screen (same as typing
Few people are aware that xterm does have menus. You can see the menus by holding
ctrl and pressing the left, right or middle mouse buttons to get menus "Main Options", "VT Fonts" and "VT Options".
Setting the font and colors
You can start xterm with the option
fn to change the font.
bg will change the foreground and background colors. Running command
xlsfonts in a temrinal will list fonts available to you.
An example of starting a xterm window with terminus and green text on black would be:
xterm -fn "-xos4-terminus-medium-r-normal--32-320-72-72-c-160-iso8859-1" -bg black -fg green
The defaults that are used by xterm are defined in the file
You can override these defaults by placing your own preferences in
Note: Do not use
$HOME/.Xdefaults. This file was used historically; it is no longer the way to do it.
An example configuration for green text on a black background and a huge typewriter font would be:
$HOME/.Xresources is read once upon starting X so you will have to re-load the file to apply your changes.
You can but should not re-load your Xresources and replace all existing settings with the contents of this file when you have edited it with the simple command:
The right approach is to "merge" your new settings currently in use with new settings you have added or changed by using the
xrdb -merge $HOME/.Xresources
-merge may be important depending on desktop environment because desktops like Xfce will set X resource values for things like DPI.
Minor side-note: Most distributions will load $HOME/.Xresources upon login. You can place this in $HOME/.xinitrc if you are using a distribution where that does not happen for some reason:
[[ -f ~/.Xresources ]] && xrdb -merge -I$HOME ~/.Xresources
A last thought on xterm and other terminals
xterm is actually a really powerful and highly configurable terminal. It may not appear that way because it's not immediately apparent that it has menus of configuration options. Thus; most people will simply move on to some other terminal with menus such as konsole. That's fine. Just know that xterm does have a lot of options and it is worth knowing some of them in case you need to do something at a client location where there's nothing but xterm.