Introduction to rxvt-unicode

rxvt-unicode is a clone of the terminal emulator rxvt, an X Window System terminal emulator which includes support for XFT and Unicode.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.6 systemd platform.

Package Information

rxvt-unicode Dependencies


X Window System


gdk-pixbuf-2.30.8 (for background images) and startup-notification-0.12

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/rxvt-unicode

Installation of rxvt-unicode

Install rxvt-unicode by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-everything &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--enable-everything: Add support for all non-multichoice options. Details about the different options can be found in the file README.configure.

--disable-xft: Remove support for Xft fonts.

--disable-perl: Disable the embedded Perl interpreter.

--disable-afterimage: Remove support for libAfterImage.

Configuring rxvt-unicode

The rxvt-unicode terminal emulator uses the resource class URxvt and the resource name urxvt. You can add X resource definitions to a user's ~/.Xresources file or to the system-wide /etc/X11/app-defaults/URxvt file. The following example will load the matcher Perl extension (assuming Perl support wasn't disabled), which enables a middle button click to open an underlined URL in the specified browser, sets a background and foreground color and loads an Xft font:

cat >> /etc/X11/app-defaults/URxvt << "EOF"
URxvt*perl-ext: matcher
URxvt*urlLauncher: firefox
URxvt.background: black
URxvt.foreground: yellow
URxvt*font: xft:Monospace:pixelsize=12

The rxvt-unicode application can also run in a daemon mode, which makes it possible to open multiple terminal windows within the same process. The urxvtc client then connects to the urxvtd daemon and requests a new terminal window. Use this option with caution. If the daemon crashes, all the running processes in the terminal windows are terminated.

You can start the urxvtd daemon in the system or personal startup X session script (e.g., ~/.xinitrc) by adding the following lines near the top of the script:

# Start the urxvtd daemon
urxvtd -q -f -o &

For more information, examine the urxvt, urxvtd, urxvtc, and urxvtperl man pages.


Installed Programs: urxvt, urxvtd, and urxvtc
Installed Libraries: Many Perl extensions located under /usr/lib/urxvt/perl
Installed Directory: /usr/lib/urxvt

Short Descriptions


is a terminal emulator for the X Window System.


is the urxvt terminal daemon.


controls the urxvtd daemon.

Last updated on 2014-08-25 09:58:52 -0700