This week's tool: RXVT

RXvt is an X-Windows alternative to XTerm. However, that's not where or why I use it. RXvt is my prefereed shell window on Windows systems. I get it from the Cygwin Unix compatability distribution. (It's not part of the default install set.)

(Incidentally, I've come to the point where I always do a full installation of Cygwin. To quote Rick B: "Hey man, disk space is free".)

Useful features:

  • mouse only highlight-is-copy a la X-Windows
  • Shift-click to paste
  • completely resizable in both width and height
  • Reads your ~/.Xdefaults for customizations (the appropriate section from mine is included at the bottom)
  • can copy/paste long lines


  • It's a Cygwin tool, so acts kinda cygwin like. However, you can use Windows command shell inside it and still see the features I listed above
  • Depends on the cygwin installation, which is large and awkward.
  • has some refresh oddities dealing with editing lines which wrap that I haven't figured out yet.

Here's the relevant lines from my ~/.Xdefaultsfile. (I like green on black, somewhat small font.)

      * How about rxvt?
     /* rxvt*font:      -misc-fixed-medium-r-*-*-*-*-75-75-*-*-*-* */
     rxvt*jumpScroll:   true
     rxvt*saveLines:    1024
     rxvt*scrollBar:    on
     rxvt*scrollKey:    true
     rxvt*background:   black
     rxvt*cursorColor:  red
     rxvt*borderColor:  gold
     rxvt*foreground:   dark sea green
     rxvt*pointerColor: white
     rxvt*backspacekey:     ^?

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