Install Urxvt on FreeBSD

🕐 3 minutes

📅 2022-01-29

rxvt-unicode is a modified clone of the well-known terminal emulator rxvt for storing text in Unicode (either UCS-2 or UCS-4) and for using the correct country setting for input and output. It also supports blending multiple fonts at once, including XFT fonts.

Furthermore, we installed the following extension:

We can install the packages as follows:

$: doas pkg install rxvt-unicode urxvt-font-size

We enter the following in our autostart script (e.g., for Openbox: ~/.config/openbox/autostart):

urxvtd -q -f -o

The advantages of an urxvt daemon include a faster creation time for terminal windows and much-saved memory usage.

The disadvantage is a possible impairment of stability – if the main program crashes, all processes in the terminal windows aborted. For example, since there is no way to react properly to abnormal connection interruptions, the urxvtd instance, including all open windows, is terminated by “xkill”, and resetting / restarting the server.

We can now start the terminal with the command urxvtc.


With the following .Xdefaults, we can install a lovely dark theme for our new terminal.

We’ll install the hack font first.

$: doas pkg install hack-font

nano .Xdefaults =>

! Xft settings
Xft.dpi:                    96
Xft.antialias:              true
Xft.rgba:                   rgb
Xft.hinting:                true
Xft.hintstyle:              hintslight

! URxvt settings
URxvt.depth:                256
URxvt.geometry:             90x30
URxvt.transparent:          false
URxvt.loginShell:           true
URxvt.visualBell:           false
URxvt.termName:             rxvt-unicode-256color

! Fonts
URxvt*font:                 xft:Hack:pixelsize=14
URxvt*boldFont:             xft:Hack:pixelsize=14
URxvt.letterSpace:          -1

! Scrollbar
URxvt.scrollStyle:          rxvt
URxvt.scrollBar:            false

! Perl extensions
URxvt.perl-ext-common:      default,url-select,tabbed,font-size
URxvt.keysym.M-u:           perl:url-select:select_next
URxvt.url-select.launcher:  firefox -new-tab
URxvt.url-select.underline: true

URxvt.keysym.M-c:           perl:clipboard:copy
URxvt.keysym.M-v:           perl:clipboard:paste

URxvt.tabbed.tabbar-fg: 2
URxvt.tabbed.tabbar-bg: 0
URxvt.tabbed.tab-fg: 3
URxvt.tabbed.tab-bg: 0

! special
*.foreground:   #d2d4de
*.background:   #161821
*.cursorColor:  #d2d4de

! black
*.color0:       #161821
*.color8:       #6b7089

! red
*.color1:       #e27878
*.color9:       #e98989

! green
*.color2:       #b4be82
*.color10:      #c0ca8e

! yellow
*.color3:       #e2a478
*.color11:      #e9b189

! blue
*.color4:       #84a0c6
*.color12:      #91acd1

! magenta
*.color5:       #a093c7
*.color13:      #ada0d3

! cyan
*.color6:       #89b8c2
*.color14:      #95c4ce

! white
*.color7:       #c6c8d1
*.color15:      #d2d4de



Shift + DownNew tab
Shift + LeftGo to the left tab
Shift + RightGo to the correct tab
Ctrl + LeftMove tab to the left
Ctrl + rightMove tab right
Ctrl + dClose tab

font size

Ctrl + +Drag the font size
Ctrl + -Reduce the font size
Ctrl + 0Reset the font size