|Daniel Eklöf 0538b96dbb||1 day ago|
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foot is a fast Wayland terminal emulator.
Lightweight, both on-disk and in-memory
User configurable font fallback
On-the-fly font resize
On-the-fly DPI font size adjustment
Color emoji support
Server/daemon mode (one master process, many windows)
This is a non-exhaustive list of things some people might consider being important features (i.e. “must-haves”), that are unlikely to ever be supported by foot.
This is a list of known, but probably not all, issues:
Unicode combining characters
Examples: á (
LATIN SMALL LETTER A +
COMBINING ACUTE ACCENT)
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.
These are the default shortcuts. See
man 5 foot and the example
footrc to see how these can be changed.
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. Note that this is nothing like tabs. When first started in server mode, no windows are available.
You open new windows by running
footclient. This is a small process
that instructs the foot server to open a new terminal window. The
client process remains running until the terminal window is
closed. The exit value of the client process is that of the shell that
was running in the terminal window.
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 (
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.
By default, foot prefixes Meta characters with ESC. This corresponds
metaSendsEscape option set to
This can be disabled programatically with
\E[?1036l (and enabled
When disabled, foot will instead set the 8:th bit of meta character
and then UTF-8 encode it. This corresponds to XTerm's
option set to
This can also be disabled programatically with
rmm (reset meta
\E[?1034l), and enabled again with
smm (set meta mode,
Foot transmits DEL (
^?) on backspace. This corresponds to
backarrowKey option set to
false, and to DECBKM being
To instead transmit BS (
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.
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
Note: if you configure pixelsize, rather than size, then DPI changes will not change the font size. Pixels are always pixels.
In addition to the dev variant of the packages above, you need:
foot makes use of a couple of libraries I have developed: tllist and fcft. As such, they will most likely not have been installed already. You can either install them as system libraries, or you can build them as subprojects in foot.
When building foot, they will first be searched for as system libraries. If found, foot will link dynamically against them.
If not found, they will be searched for as subprojects. In this
case you need to create the
subprojects directory and clone
https://codeberg.org/dnkl/tllist.git (see Other below).
Install from AUR:
Unlike the AUR packages, the bundled PKGBUILD requires tllist and fcft to be installed as system libraries. If you do not want this, please edit the PKGBUILD file, or install manually (see Other below).
Note that it will do a profiling-guided build, and that this requires a running wayland session since it needs to run an intermediate build of foot.
Foot uses meson. If you are unfamiliar with it, the official tutorial might be a good starting point.
I also recommend taking a look at the bundled Arch PKGBUILD file, to see how it builds foot. Especially so if you intend to install a release build of foot, in which case you might be interested in the compiler flags used there.
mkdir -p subprojects pushd subprojects git clone https://codeberg.org/dnkl/tllist.git git clone https://codeberg.org/dnkl/fcft.git popd
To build, first, create a build directory, and switch to it:
mkdir -p bld/release && cd bld/release
Second, configure2 the build (if you intend to install it globally, you
might also want
meson --buildtype=release ../..
Three, build it:
You can now run it directly from the build directory:
But note that it will default to
TERM=foot, and that this terminfo
has not been installed yet. However, most things should work with the
./foot --term xterm-256color
But, I recommend you install the
files. You can either copy them manually (typically to
/usr/share/terminfo/f - but this is dependens on the distro), or
just install everything: