Zed Lopez

Xterm Made Easy

I’m a fan of the rxvt-unicode terminal emulator, but it has one problem: it sometimes spaces xft fonts badly, with conspicuous gaps between the characters, making for fewer characters per line.

Looking into alternatives, I found that the GTK library includes vte, a terminal emulator widget that a bunch of terminal emulators use. And they all look good, but had a drawback I couldn’t live with: none of the ones I tried recognized my Meta-keys, which I’ve grown used to using for command-line editing in my shell.

vte, along with the Ruby GTK bindings, makes life so easy, I just rolled my own. This is just the Ruby vte demo program that comes with the bindings with a couple of lines added to handle Meta-keys.

require "vte"

window = Gtk::Window.new("Terminal sample")

vte = Vte::Terminal.new
vte.set_font("DejaVu Sans Mono 16", Vte::TerminalAntiAlias::FORCE_ENABLE)

Gtk.key_snooper_install {|t, e| 
  vte.feed_child("\\e")  if e.state.meta_mask? and e.event_type == Gdk::Event::KEY_PRESS

vte.signal_connect("child-exited") do |widget|
vte.signal_connect("window-title-changed") do |widget|
  window.title = vte.window_title