How to use alternative settings for URxvt
Published: Friday, June 5, 2020
Ever since I retired my HTPC I have been using my desktop computer as my HTPC with my TV connected to it. My HTPC consisted (and still) does of some terminal emulator running software like Newsboat and Ranger, but because I want to be able to read the text on the TV from the distance of my sofa I have up until now been lazy and used a secondary terminal emulator with alteranative settings that better suited with large text and another colourscheme.
I didn’t really like the approach of having two terminal emulators, so I decided to do some research to see if I could solve it by only using my main terminal emulator URxvt. Spoiler: I could.
It turns out that you can add alternative settings for URxvt and then optionally enable them with an argument. I found out about this in an old thread over at the Arch Linux forums.
How it works
You can add a custom setting with the name
URxvt-tv and when you run URxvt wit the flag
-name URxvt-tv it will use these settings.
I added the following settings to my file
! TV settings URxvt-tv.font: xft:Monospace:pixelsize=40 URxvt-tv.boldFont:xft:Monospace:pixelsize=40 ! Tango colours URxvt-tv.background: #000000 URxvt-tv.foreground: #FFFFFF ! Black dark/light URxvt-tv.color0: #2e3436 URxvt-tv.color8: #6e706b ! Red dark/light URxvt-tv.color1: #cc0000 URxvt-tv.color9: #ef2929 ! Green dark/light URxvt-tv.color2: #4e9a06 URxvt-tv.color10: #8ae234 ! Yellow dark/light URxvt-tv.color3: #edd400 URxvt-tv.color11: #fce94f ! Blue dark/light URxvt-tv.color4: #3465a4 URxvt-tv.color12: #729fcf ! Magenta dark/light URxvt-tv.color5: #92659a URxvt-tv.color13: #c19fbe ! Cyan dark/light URxvt-tv.color6: #07c7ca URxvt-tv.color14: #63e9e9 ! White dark/light URxvt-tv.color7: #d3d7cf URxvt-tv.color15: #eeeeec
When I run the command
urxvt -name URxvt-tv it will launch URxvt with my alternative settigns.
This is not related to the title of this post but I thought I would include it anyway. I wanted to be able to instantly spawn the “TV terminal” on my TV from any monitor and workspace and have it automatically disable the decoration. I solved this by adding this keybinding to i3:
bindsym Mod4+Return workspace 10; exec --no-startup-id "tvterm"
I also added these two rules to i3::
for_window [title="tvterm"] border none
workspace 10 output HDMI-0
tvterm includes this snippet:
#!/bin/bash urxvt -name URxvt-tv -hold -e sh -c 'printf "\33]2;%s\007" "tvterm"; zsh'
I don’t know why, but I didn’t get it to work when I added that command direcly to the configuration file for i3. And the printf part is to trigger the rules for i3.
If you want to leave feedback you can do so by either sending me a message via e-mail or by commenting on my post for this article on the fediverse.