XTerm Sensible Colours and other such

XTerm is a wonderful terminal. It is, in my experience, the only terminal that combines a proper VT220 engine with a UI that's actually nice.

It's such a shame it comes with such horrible default settings. Tiny text, small scrollback, and black-on-white? Clearly, more sensible defaults need to be applied.


First off; let's deal with that scrollback. 1000 lines should do it; and while we're at it, let's get a nice scrollbar.

*VT100*saveLines:       1000
*VT100*scrollBar:       true


Now to fix the colours to a more sensible set. I think the red/blue/etc... are actually good, but the default needs to be white-on-black. I actually use very-nearly-white, so that bold white is just a little brighter, and stands out more.

*VT100*background:      black
*VT100*foreground:      gray90

Control + UTF-8

For more details about this one, see XTerm and 8-bit characters.

*VT100*eightBitControl: false
*VT100*eightBitInput:   false
*VT100*eightBitOutput:  true
*VT100*utf8:            1

Font settings

It's a shame that XTerm now does XFT font rendering, so you can get wonderful smooth anti-aliased fonts, yet are stuck by the defaults of using the -misc-fixed font. These defaults select a nice anti-aliased font.

*VT100*faceName:        DejaVu Sans Mono
*VT100*faceSize:        12

Finally, allow XTerm to use underlining, since it might as well.

*VT100*underLine:       true