A fast, lightweight and minimalistic Wayland terminal emulator
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Daniel Eklöf bfe3dfaf5c Release 1.5.0 1 year ago
.builds ci: install fonts, needed for fcft tests 1 year ago
completions Add -W,--window-size-chars, and foot.ini:initial-window-size-chars 1 year ago
doc doc: foot.ini: alternate-scroll-mode: fix highlighting of CSI escape 1 year ago
icons Add logo, fixes #27 1 year ago
scripts scripts: benchmarking utility script 1 year ago
themes themes: add a couple of color themes 2 years ago
.gitignore fcft/tllist: remove git submodules 2 years ago
.gitlab-ci.yml ci: fix path to junit report on release builds 1 year ago
.gitmodules fcft/tllist: remove git submodules 2 years ago
CHANGELOG.md changelog: prepare for 1.5.0 1 year ago
INSTALL.md Fix typos 1 year ago
LICENSE license: fix bad copy-paste: first commit was in 2019 1 year ago
PKGBUILD meson/pkgbuild: bump version to 1.5.0 1 year ago
README.md readme: remove stray ’;9~’ sequence 1 year ago
async.c async: add async_write(), a write primitive to write to a NONBLOCK:ing FD 2 years ago
async.h async: add async_write(), a write primitive to write to a NONBLOCK:ing FD 2 years ago
base64.c Convert most dynamic allocations to use functions from xmalloc.h 1 year ago
base64.h base64: implement encode() 2 years ago
client.c Convert most dynamic allocations to use functions from xmalloc.h 1 year ago
commands.c Fix some spelling mistakes 1 year ago
commands.h scrollback: initial support for mouse scrolling 2 years ago
config.c config: add mouse.alternate-scroll-mode option 1 year ago
config.h config: add mouse.alternate-scroll-mode option 1 year ago
csi.c csi: avoid using memcmp() to compare timespec structs 1 year ago
csi.h performance improvements 2 years ago
dcs.c sixel: initial support 2 years ago
dcs.h dcs: initial handling of DCS in general 2 years ago
extract.c extract: only emit newlines if followed by non-empty cells 1 year ago
extract.h extract: extract_one: make arguments const 1 year ago
fdm.c Cast printf formatter %p arguments to void* 1 year ago
fdm.h fdm: add hook priorities 2 years ago
foot-server.desktop Add keywords to desktop files 1 year ago
foot.desktop Add keywords to desktop files 1 year ago
foot.info csi: '\E[0 q' resets the cursor style to the default, not '\E[2 q' 1 year ago
foot.ini config: add mouse.alternate-scroll-mode option 1 year ago
generate-version.sh csi: secondary DA: do not pretend we're xterm 1 year ago
grid.c grid: reflow: make sure cursor is within the visible screen area 1 year ago
grid.h grid: reflow: calculate width of composed characters correctly 1 year ago
input.c input: mouse_scroll(): refactor 1 year ago
input.h config: key/mouse bindings: refactor: less parsing in keyboard_enter() 1 year ago
keymap.h keymap: emit \E[27;2;13~ for all key combinations involving Shift+Return 1 year ago
log.c Replace GCC "unused" and "format" attributes with portable macros 1 year ago
log.h log: include 'fmt' in __VA_ARGS__ 1 year ago
macros.h Replace GCC "unused" and "format" attributes with portable macros 1 year ago
main.c config: add tweak.scaling-filter 1 year ago
meson.build meson/pkgbuild: bump version to 1.5.0 1 year ago
misc.c selection: break out isword() to a new file 2 years ago
misc.h selection: break out isword() to a new file 2 years ago
osc.c osc52: use first source that actually *has* data 1 year ago
osc.h ocs: renamed parameter size -> required_size in osc_ensure_size() 2 years ago
quirks.c util.h: new header file defining commonly used macros 2 years ago
quirks.h quirks: add KDE quirk: surface must be damaged *after* being attached 2 years ago
reaper.c Fix some spelling mistakes 1 year ago
reaper.h reaper: new module, uses a signalfd to wait() on child processes 1 year ago
render.c render: fix rounding errors when setting initial window size and scale != 1 1 year ago
render.h render: implement render_refresh_margins() 1 year ago
search.c don't use empty struct initializers 1 year ago
search.h multi-seat: re-enable scrollback search support 1 year ago
selection.c selection: reset clipboard/primary->text after free:ing it 1 year ago
selection.h selection: add selection_<type>_has_data() 1 year ago
server.c Convert most dynamic allocations to use functions from xmalloc.h 1 year ago
server.h term: don't double fork new terminal windows 1 year ago
shm.c fix some buggy comparisons relating to signed/unsigned types 1 year ago
shm.h config: add tweak.render-timer option 1 year ago
sixel-hls.c sixel: add HLS color format support 2 years ago
sixel-hls.h sixel: add HLS color format support 2 years ago
sixel.c Don't use "case X ... Y:", if possible/where it makes sense 1 year ago
sixel.h Merge branch 'master' into sixel-performance 1 year ago
slave.c log: include 'fmt' in __VA_ARGS__ 1 year ago
slave.h user-notification: 'productify' the user-warning system 1 year ago
spawn.c log: include 'fmt' in __VA_ARGS__ 1 year ago
spawn.h spawn: add optional stdin/stdout/stderr redirection FDs 1 year ago
terminal.c config: add mouse.alternate-scroll-mode option 1 year ago
terminal.h render: implement render_refresh_margins() 1 year ago
tokenize.c tokenize: handle escaped quotes 1 year ago
tokenize.h slave: break out command line tokenizer 2 years ago
user-notification.h Add -W,--window-size-chars, and foot.ini:initial-window-size-chars 1 year ago
util.h util: thrd_err_as_string: fix alignment 2 years ago
vt.c vt: hide pedantic warnings around the VT state machine's switch cases 1 year ago
vt.h Rename: vt_to_slave() -> term_to_slave() 2 years ago
wayland.c wayland: register xdg-output interface on pre-existing output objects 1 year ago
wayland.h input: don’t use stale keycodes for arrow-up/down 1 year ago
xmalloc.c xmalloc: fix edge case handling in xcalloc() function 1 year ago
xmalloc.h xmalloc: add xrealloc() and xstrndup() functions 1 year ago


Logo: a terminal with a foot shaped prompt foot

The fast, lightweight and minimalistic Wayland terminal emulator.


  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


  • Fast (see benchmarks)

  • 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





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
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.
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.
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. 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 (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.


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.

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\\. The \EP!| is the standard tertiary DA response prefix, DCS ! |. The trailing \E\\ is of course the standard string terminator, ST.

In the response above, the interesting part is 464f4f54; this is the string 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.



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


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


Foot is released under the MIT license.