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12 KiB

Logo: a terminal with a foot shaped prompt foot

The fast, lightweight and minimalistic Wayland terminal emulator.

Index

  1. Features
  2. Installing
  3. Configuration
  4. Troubleshooting
  5. Why the name ‘foot’?
  6. Fonts
  7. Shortcuts
    1. Keyboard
      1. Normal mode
      2. Scrollback search
    2. Mouse
  8. Server (daemon) mode
  9. Alt/meta
  10. Backspace
  11. DPI and font size
  12. Supported OSCs
  13. Programmatically checking if running in foot
  14. Credits
  15. Bugs
  16. Mastodon
  17. License

Features

  • Fast (see benchmarks, and performance)

  • Lightweight, in dependencies, on-disk and in-memory

  • Wayland native

  • DE agnostic

  • User configurable font fallback

  • On-the-fly font resize

  • On-the-fly DPI font size adjustment

  • Scrollback search

  • Color emoji support

  • Server/daemon mode

  • Multi-seat

  • Synchronized Updates support

  • Sixel image support

    wow

Installing

See INSTALL.md.

Configuration

foot can be configured by creating a file $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/foot/foot.ini (defaulting to ~/.config/foot/foot.ini). A template for that can usually be found in /usr/share/foot/foot.ini or here.

Further information can be found in foot’s man page foot.ini(5).

Troubleshooting

See the wiki

Why the name ‘foot’?

I’m bad at names. Most of my projects usually start out as foo something (for example, yambar was f00bar for a while).

So why foot?

foo terminalfootermfoot

Pretty bad, I know.

As a side note, if you pronounce the foo part of foot the same way you pronounce foobar, then foot sounds a lot like the Swedish word fot, which incidentally means (you guessed it) foot.

Fonts

foot supports all fonts that can be loaded by freetype, including bitmap fonts and color emoji fonts.

Foot uses fontconfig to locate and configure the font(s) to use. Since fontconfig’s fallback mechanism is imperfect, especially for monospace fonts (it doesn’t prefer monospace fonts even though the requested font is one), foot allows you, the user, to configure the fallback fonts to use.

This also means you can configure each fallback font individually; you want that fallback font to use this size, and you want that other fallback font to be italic? No problem!

If a glyph cannot be found in any of the user configured fallback fonts, then fontconfig’s list is used.

Shortcuts

These are the default shortcuts. See man foot.ini and the example foot.ini to see how these can be changed.

Keyboard

Normal mode

shift+page up/page down
Scroll up/down in history
ctrl+shift+c
Copy selected text to the clipboard
ctrl+shift+v
Paste from clipboard
shift+insert
Paste from the primary selection
ctrl+shift+r
Start a scrollback search
ctrl++, ctrl+=
Increase font size by 0,5pt
ctrl+-
Decrease font size by 0,5pt
ctrl+0
Reset font size
ctrl+shift+n
Spawn a new terminal. If the shell has been configured to emit the OSC 7 escape sequence, the new terminal will start in the current working directory.
ctrl+r
Search backward for next match
ctrl+s
Search forward for next match
ctrl+w
Extend current selection (and thus the search criteria) to the end of the word, or the next word if currently at a word separating character.
ctrl+shift+w
Same as ctrl+w, except that the only word separating characters are whitespace characters.
escape, ctrl+g
Cancel the search
return
Finish the search and copy the current match to the primary selection

Mouse

left - single-click
Drag to select; when released, the selected text is copied to the primary selection. This feature is disabled when client has enabled mouse tracking.
Holding shift enables selection in mouse tracking enabled clients.
Holding ctrl will create a block selection.
left - double-click
Selects the word (separated by spaces, period, comma, parenthesis etc) under the pointer. Hold ctrl to select everything under the pointer up to, and until, the next space characters.
left - triple-click
Selects the entire row
middle
Paste from primary selection
right
Extend current selection. Clicking immediately extends the selection, while hold-and-drag allows you to interactively resize the selection.
wheel
Scroll up/down in history

Server (daemon) mode

When run normally, foot is a single-window application; if you want another window, start another foot process.

However, foot can also be run in a server mode. In this mode, one process hosts multiple windows. All Wayland communication, VT parsing and rendering is done in the server process.

New windows are opened by running footclient, which remains running until the terminal window is closed, at which point it exits with the exit value of the client process (typically the shell).

The point of this mode is a) reduced memory footprint - all terminal windows will share fonts and glyph cache, and b) reduced startup time - loading fonts and populating the glyph cache takes time, but in server mode it only happens once.

The downside is a performance penalty; all windows’ input and output are multiplexed in the same thread (but each window will have its own set of rendering threads). This means that if one window is very busy with, for example, producing output, then other windows will suffer.

And of course, should the server process crash, all windows will be gone.

Typical usage would be to start the server process (foot --server) when starting your Wayland compositor (i.e. logging in to your desktop), and then run footclient instead of foot whenever you want to launch a new terminal.

Alt/meta

By default, foot prefixes Meta characters with ESC. This corresponds to XTerm’s metaSendsEscape option set to true.

This can be disabled programmatically with \E[?1036l (and enabled again with \E[?1036h).

When disabled, foot will instead set the 8:th bit of meta character and then UTF-8 encode it. This corresponds to XTerm’s eightBitMeta option set to true.

This can also be disabled programmatically with rmm (reset meta mode, \E[?1034l), and enabled again with smm (set meta mode, \E[?1034h).

Backspace

Foot transmits DEL (^?) on backspace. This corresponds to XTerm’s backarrowKey option set to false, and to DECBKM being reset.

To instead transmit BS (^H), press ctrl+backspace.

Note that foot does not implement DECBKM, and that the behavior described above cannot be changed.

Finally, pressing alt will prefix the transmitted byte with ESC.

DPI and font size

Font sizes are apparently a complex thing. Many applications use a fixed DPI of 96. They may also multiply it with the monitor’s scale factor.

This results in fonts with different physical sizes (i.e. if measured by a ruler) when rendered on screens with different DPI values. Even if the configured font size is the same.

This is not how it is meant to be. Fonts are measured in point sizes for a reason; a given point size should have the same height on all mediums, be it printers or monitors, regardless of their DPI.

Foot will always use the monitor’s physical DPI value. Scale factors are irrelevant (well, they affect e.g. padding, but not the font size). This means the glyphs rendered by foot should always have the same physical height, regardless of monitor.

Foot will re-size the fonts on-the-fly when the window is moved between screens with different DPIs values. If the window covers multiple screens, with different DPIs, the highest DPI will be used.

Tip: QT applications can be configured to work this way too, by exporting the environment variable QT_WAYLAND_FORCE_DPI=physical.

Note: if you configure pixelsize, rather than size, then DPI changes will not change the font size. Pixels are always pixels.

Supported OSCs

OSC, Operating System Command, are escape sequences that interacts with the terminal emulator itself. Foot implements the following OSCs:

  • OSC 0 - change window icon + title (but only title is actually supported)
  • OSC 2 - change window title
  • OSC 4 - change color palette
  • OSC 7 - report CWD
  • OSC 10 - change (default) foreground color
  • OSC 11 - change (default) background color
  • OSC 12 - change cursor color
  • OSC 52 - copy/paste clipboard data
  • OSC 104 - reset color palette
  • OSC 110 - reset default foreground color
  • OSC 111 - reset default background color
  • OSC 112 - reset cursor color
  • OSC 555 - flash screen (foot specific)

Programmatically checking if running in foot

Foot does not set any environment variables that can be used to identify foot (reading TERM is not reliable since the user may have chosen to use a different terminfo).

You can instead use the escape sequences to read the Secondary and Tertiary Device Attributes (secondary/tertiary DA, for short).

The tertiary DA response is always \EP!|464f4f54\E\\, where 464f4f54 if FOOT in hex.

The secondary DA response is \E[>1;XXYYZZ;0c, where XXYYZZ is foot’s major, minor and patch version numbers, in decimal, using two digits for each number. For example, foot-1.4.2 would respond with \E[>1;010402;0c.

Note: not all terminal emulators implement tertiary DA. Most implement secondary DA, but not all. All should however implement Primary DA.

Thus, a safe way to query the terminal is to request the tertiary, secondary and primary DA all at once, in that order. All terminals should ignore escape sequences they do not recognize. You will have to parse the response (which in foot will consist of all three DA responses, all at once) to determine which requests the terminal emulator actually responded to.

Credits

  • Ordoviz, for designing and contributing foot’s logo.

BUGS

Please report bugs to https://codeberg.org/dnkl/foot/issues

The report should contain the following:

  • Which Wayland compositor (and version) you are running
  • Foot version (foot --version)
  • Log output from foot (start foot from another terminal)
  • If reporting a crash, please try to provide a bt full backtrace with symbols (i.e. use a debug build)
  • Steps to reproduce. The more details the better

Mastodon

Every now and then I post foot related updates on @dnkl@linuxrocks.online

License

Foot is released under the MIT license.