Monday, July 09, 2007

Using rxvt in cygwin

I don't like the default cygwin bash window.

To get a nice terminal in cygwin, I have been typing "rxvt" from the cygwin bash shell for years. After several previous abortive attempts, I have finally succeeded in creating a clickable icon that directly launches a nice rxvt (xterm-like) terminal window under Windows.

The solution I found is described at

I made a few modifications, because I like a larger font, and the batch file did not work for me without modification.

My ~/.Xdefaults file looks like this now:

! ~/.Xdefaults - X default resource settings
Rxvt*geometry: 120x40
Rxvt*background: #000020
Rxvt*foreground: #ffffbf
!Rxvt*borderColor: Blue
!Rxvt*scrollColor: Blue
!Rxvt*troughColor: Gray
Rxvt*scrollBar: True
Rxvt*scrollBar_right: True
! Rxvt*font: Lucida Console-12
Rxvt*font: fixedsys
Rxvt*SaveLines: 10000
Rxvt*loginShell: True
! VIM-like colors
Rxvt*color0: #000000
Rxvt*color1: #FFFFFF
Rxvt*color2: #00A800
Rxvt*color3: #FFFF00
Rxvt*color4: #0000A8
Rxvt*color5: #A800A8
Rxvt*color6: #00A8A8
Rxvt*color7: #D8D8D8
Rxvt*color8: #000000
Rxvt*color9: #FFFFFF
Rxvt*color10: #00A800
Rxvt*color11: #FFFF00
Rxvt*color12: #0000A8
Rxvt*color13: #A800A8
Rxvt*color14: #00A8A8
Rxvt*color15: #D8D8D8
! eof

My replacement for the default "cygwin.bat", which I call "cygwin-rxvt.bat" is as follows:

@echo off
chdir C:\cygwin\bin
set EDITOR=vi
set VISUAL=vi
set CYGWIN=codepage:oem tty binmode title
set HOME=\cygwin\home\spud
rxvt -e /bin/tcsh -l

You will notice that I use tcsh rather than bash. Yes, yes, I know that hard-core UNIX geeks disdain tcsh and only use bash. Shut up. I don't care about you.

Finally, I use a simple prompt with tcsh, which has the side effect of setting the title bar for xterm-like terminals (including rxvt). I add the following line to my .tcshrc file:

set prompt="%{\033]0;%~%L\007%}\[%h\]> "


Joel said...

Thanks, your setup worked great. I've been using cygwin user for years and never could get a terminal setup that I liked.

Biospud said...

@Joel: I'm pleased you found this helpful. It appears that link where I originally found the solution is dead. Good thing I repeated most of the details! Your feedback is much appreciated.