A fast, lightweight and minimalistic Wayland terminal emulator
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Daniel Eklöf a9026f16a7 Release 1.10.3 6 months ago
.builds ci: one more text-shaping -> grapheme-shaping+run-shaping 6 months ago
completions log: add LOG_CLASS_NONE and use as initializer for log_level 11 months ago
doc config: add tweak.grapheme-width-method=max 6 months ago
icons Add logo, fixes #27 2 years ago
pgo pgo: add stub for xcursor_for_csd_border() 6 months ago
scripts scripts: generate-alt-random: add emoji sequences 11 months ago
subprojects meson: use wrap files for fcft/tllist subprojects 1 year ago
themes Comment out `selection-*` for consistency 6 months ago
.editorconfig editorconfig: adjust max-line-length, down from 80 to 70 10 months ago
.gitignore Revert "gitignore: compile_commands.json + .ccls-cache" 12 months ago
.gitlab-ci.yml ci: fcft:text-shaping -> fcft:grapheme-shaping + fcft:run-shaping 6 months ago
.gitmodules fcft/tllist: remove git submodules 2 years ago
.woodpecker.yml ci: fcft:text-shaping -> fcft:grapheme-shaping + fcft:run-shaping 6 months ago
CHANGELOG.md changelog: prepare for 1.10.3 6 months ago
INSTALL.md install: add UTF-8 locate to runtime deps 6 months ago
LICENSE license: fix bad copy-paste: first commit was in 2019 2 years ago
README.md readme: add GitHub Sponsors link 7 months ago
async.c async: add async_write(), a write primitive to write to a NONBLOCK:ing FD 3 years ago
async.h async: add async_write(), a write primitive to write to a NONBLOCK:ing FD 3 years ago
base64.c debug: rename assert() to xassert(), to avoid clashing with <assert.h> 1 year ago
base64.h base64: implement encode() 3 years ago
box-drawing.c term: only scale using DPI if *all* monitors have a scaling factor or one 8 months ago
box-drawing.h box-drawing: make ‘term’ parameter const 1 year ago
client-protocol.h foot/client: implement xdga client activation 7 months ago
client.c foot/client: implement xdga client activation 7 months ago
commands.c input: clean up mouse scroll handling 7 months ago
commands.h scrollback: initial support for mouse scrolling 3 years ago
composed.c composed: insert: require key to be unique 11 months ago
composed.h composed: insert: require key to be unique 11 months ago
config.c config: add tweak.grapheme-width-method=max 6 months ago
config.h config: add tweak.grapheme-width-method=max 6 months ago
csi.c term: rename: KITTY_KBD_MASK -> KITTY_KBD_SUPPORTED 6 months ago
csi.h performance improvements 3 years ago
dcs.c dcs: only log debug warnings in bsu() and esu() for unhandled params 1 year ago
dcs.h dcs: initial handling of DCS in general 2 years ago
debug.c debug: make use of log_msg() in fatal_error() and bug() functions 1 year ago
debug.h debug: make use of log_msg() in fatal_error() and bug() functions 1 year ago
extract.c composed: store compose chains in a binary search tree 11 months ago
extract.h extract: move ‘strip_trailing_empty’ parameter from extra_finish() to extract_begin() 1 year ago
fdm.c fdm: always check for signals after epoll_pwait(), not only on EINTR 1 year ago
fdm.h fdm: add support for managing signals 1 year ago
foot-features.h foot/client: version info: add +/- assertions 7 months ago
foot-server.desktop footclient.desktop: new XDG desktop file, for footclient 6 months ago
foot.desktop Add keywords to desktop files 2 years ago
foot.info meson: terminfo install location now defaults to $datadir/terminfo 9 months ago
foot.ini config: add [colors].dim0-7 7 months ago
footclient.desktop footclient.desktop: new XDG desktop file, for footclient 6 months ago
generate-version.sh generate-version: handle git repo not having any tags 8 months ago
grid.c grid: reload pointers into the uri range vector after inserting 6 months ago
grid.h osc8: uri ranges: use a dynamically re-sizable array instead of a tllist 6 months ago
hsl.c hsl: add our own implementations of rgb-to-hsl and hsl-to-rgb 2 years ago
hsl.h hsl: add our own implementations of rgb-to-hsl and hsl-to-rgb 2 years ago
ime.c term: rename CELL_MULT_COL_SPACER -> CELL_SPACER, and change its definition 1 year ago
ime.h ime: don’t pass ‘term’ to ime_update_cursor_rect() 1 year ago
input.c kitty: simplify: always calculate alternate/base keys 6 months ago
input.h pgo: add stub for xcursor_for_csd_border() 6 months ago
keymap.h input: add support for modifyOtherKeys=2 7 months ago
log.c log: simplify Boolean logic for setting "colorize" var in log_init() 8 months ago
log.h config: add LOG_CONTEXTUAL_{ERR,WARN,ERRNO} 7 months ago
macros.h osc: use STRLEN() macro to make parse_rgb() more self-documenting 7 months ago
main.c main: improve handling of setlocale(3) return value 7 months ago
meson.build meson: bump version to 1.10.3 6 months ago
meson_options.txt meson: add -Dthemes=false|true 6 months ago
misc.c config: add ‘[default].word-delimiters’ 2 years ago
misc.h config: add ‘[default].word-delimiters’ 2 years ago
notify.c notify: add the notify-focus-inhibit config option 8 months ago
notify.h notify: break out desktop notifications from osc.c 1 year ago
osc.c osc-4: don’t update the color of cells with RGB fg/bg colors 6 months ago
osc.h ocs: renamed parameter size -> required_size in osc_ensure_size() 3 years ago
quirks.c wayland: apply CSD/SSD changes in the surface configure event 11 months ago
quirks.h quirk: remove plasma/kwin quirk 1 year ago
reaper.c reaper: monitor SIGCHLD using the FDM instead of via a signalfd 1 year ago
reaper.h reaper: monitor SIGCHLD using the FDM instead of via a signalfd 1 year ago
render.c Merge branch 'window-menu' 6 months ago
render.h input: Add support for xdg_toplevl.show_window_menu() 6 months ago
search.c search: redraw search box after selection has been cancelled 10 months ago
search.h search: reset match state when selection is cancelled 10 months ago
selection.c selection: convert \r -> \n when reading clipboard data 7 months ago
selection.h selection: expose find_word_boundary_{left,right}() 1 year ago
server.c foot/client: implement xdga client activation 7 months ago
server.h term: don't double fork new terminal windows 2 years ago
shm.c fix crashes when resizing after CSD enabled at runtime with csd.size = 0 8 months ago
shm.h shm: refactor: move away from a single, global, buffer list 10 months ago
sixel.c term: track cell color source 6 months ago
sixel.h sixel: implement P2=1 - transparent pixels 1 year ago
slave.c slave: log _which_ CWD we failed to change to 9 months ago
slave.h user-notification: 'productify' the user-warning system 2 years ago
spawn.c spawn: don’t error out if we fail to chdir() 9 months ago
spawn.h notify: break out command template expansion to spawn_expand_template() 1 year ago
stride.h box-drawing: add infrastructure for rendering box drawing characters ourselves 1 year ago
terminal.c term: ensure cell dimensions are non-zero 6 months ago
terminal.h kitty: initial support for “report alternate key” 6 months ago
tokenize.c tokenize: strdup() each individual argv 11 months ago
tokenize.h tokenize: strdup() each individual argv 11 months ago
uri.c uri: hostname_is_localhost(): don’t crash if hostname == NULL 11 months ago
uri.h uri: add uri_parse() - new function extracts components from an URI 2 years ago
url-mode.c osc8: uri ranges: use a dynamically re-sizable array instead of a tllist 6 months ago
url-mode.h input: rewrite of how we match foot’s own key bindings 1 year ago
user-notification.c user-notification: config: various small cleanups 6 months ago
user-notification.h user-notification: config: various small cleanups 6 months ago
util.h vt: cache grapheme cluster width in composed struct 11 months ago
vt.c config: add tweak.grapheme-width-method=max 6 months ago
vt.h vt: limit maximum value of params in vt_param_get() 1 year ago
wayland.c wayland: guard XDG startup notification with HAVE_XDG_ACTIVATION 7 months ago
wayland.h input: rename ‘meta’ to ‘super’ 6 months ago
xmalloc.c xmalloc: export xvasprintf() 1 year ago
xmalloc.h xmalloc: export xvasprintf() 1 year ago
xsnprintf.c debug: rename assert() to xassert(), to avoid clashing with <assert.h> 1 year ago
xsnprintf.h Add xsnprintf() and remove some unnecessary strlen(3) calls 1 year ago


Logo: a terminal with a foot shaped prompt foot

The fast, lightweight and minimalistic Wayland terminal emulator.

CI status Pipeline status builds.sr.ht status

Packaging status


  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. URLs
  10. Alt/meta
  11. Backspace
  12. Keypad
  13. DPI and font size
  14. Supported OSCs
  15. Programmatically checking if running in foot
  16. Credits
  17. Bugs
  18. Contact
    1. IRC
    2. Mastodon
  19. Sponsoring/donations
  20. License


  • Fast (see benchmarks, and performance)

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

  • Wayland native

  • DE agnostic

  • Server/daemon mode

  • User configurable font fallback

  • On-the-fly font resize

  • On-the-fly DPI font size adjustment

  • Scrollback search

  • Keyboard driven URL detection

  • Color emoji support

  • IME (via text-input-v3)

  • Multi-seat

  • True Color (24bpp)

  • Synchronized Updates support

  • Sixel image support





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).


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.


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 foot.ini and the example foot.ini to see how these can be changed.


Normal mode

shift+page up/page down
Scroll up/down in history
Copy selected text to the clipboard
Paste from clipboard
Paste from the primary selection
Start a scrollback search
ctrl++, ctrl+=
Increase font size by 0,5pt
Decrease font size by 0,5pt
Reset font size
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.
Enter URL mode, where all currently visible URLs are tagged with a jump label with a key sequence that will open the URL.
Search backward for next match
Search forward for next match
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.
Same as ctrl+w, except that the only word separating characters are whitespace characters.
Paste from clipboard into the search buffer.
Paste from primary selection into the search buffer.
escape, ctrl+g
Cancel the search
Finish the search and copy the current match to the primary selection


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
Paste from primary selection
Extend current selection. Clicking immediately extends the selection, while hold-and-drag allows you to interactively resize the selection.
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.


Foot supports URL detection. But, unlike many other terminal emulators, where URLs are highlighted when they are hovered and opened by clicking on them, foot uses a keyboard driven approach.

Pressing ctrl+shift+u enters “URL mode”, where all currently visible URLs are underlined, and is associated with a “jump-label”. The jump-label indicates the key sequence (e.g. ”AF”) to use to activate the URL.

The key binding can, of course, be customized, like all other key bindings in foot. See show-urls-launch and show-urls-copy in the foot.ini man page.

show-urls-launch by default opens the URL with xdg-open. This can be changed with the url-launch option.

show-urls-copy is an alternative to show-urls-launch, that changes what activating an URL does; instead of opening it, it copies it to the clipboard. It is unbound by default.

Jump label colors, the URL underline color, and the letters used in the jump label key sequences can be configured.


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).


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.


By default, Num Lock overrides the run-time configuration keypad mode; when active, the keypad is always considered to be in numerical mode. This corresponds to XTerm's numLock option set to true.

In this mode, the keypad keys always sends either numbers (Num Lock is active) or cursor movement keys (Up, Down, Left, Right, Page Up, Page Down etc).

This can be disabled programmatically with \E[?1035l (and enabled again with \E[?1035h).

When disabled, the keypad sends custom escape sequences instead of numbers, when in application mode.

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’s default behavior is to use the monitor’s DPI to size fonts when output scaling has been disabled on all monitors. If at least one monitor has output scaling enabled, fonts will instead by sized using the scaling factor.

This can be changed to either always use the monitor’s DPI (regardless of scaling factor), or to never use it, with the dpi-aware option in foot.ini. See the man page, foot.ini(5) for more information.

When fonts are sized using the monitor’s DPI, glyphs should always have the same physical height, regardless of monitor.

Furthermore, 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.

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 8 - hyperlink
  • OSC 9 - desktop notification
  • OSC 10 - change (default) foreground color
  • OSC 11 - change (default) background color
  • OSC 12 - change cursor color
  • OSC 17 - change highlight (selection) background color
  • OSC 19 - change highlight (selection) foreground 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 117 - reset highlight background color
  • OSC 119 - reset highlight foreground color
  • OSC 555 - flash screen (foot specific)
  • OSC 777 - desktop notification (only the ;notify sub-command of OSC 777 is supported.)

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 is 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.

Starting with version 1.7.0, foot also implements XTVERSION, to which it will reply with \EP>|foot(version)\E\\. Version is e.g. “1.8.2” for a regular release, or “1.8.2-36-g7db8e06f” for a git build.



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

Before you open a new issue, please search existing bug reports, both open and closed ones. Chances are someone else has already reported the same issue.

The report should contain the following:

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



Ask questions, hang out, sing praise or just say hi in the #foot channel on irc.libera.chat. Logs are available at https://libera.irclog.whitequark.org/foot.


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



Foot is released under the MIT license.