A fast, lightweight and minimalistic Wayland terminal emulator
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Daniel Eklöf 4c168b84cf Release 1.6.3 9 months ago
.builds ci: freebsd: don’t need -Wno-missing-braces anymore 9 months ago
completions completions/zsh: unbreak with BSD find(1) 9 months ago
doc meson: optionalize terminfo dependency 9 months ago
icons Add logo, fixes #27 1 year ago
pgo shm: unbreak build without memfd_create 9 months ago
scripts generate-alt-random: ioctl(TIOCGWINSZ) may fail in run inside a container 10 months ago
themes Add a gruvebox-light theme 10 months ago
.gitignore fcft/tllist: remove git submodules 2 years ago
.gitlab-ci.yml ci: run codespell on README/INSTALL/CHANGELOG 9 months ago
.gitmodules fcft/tllist: remove git submodules 2 years ago
CHANGELOG.md changelog: prepare for 1.6.3 9 months ago
INSTALL.md install: remove -march=native 10 months ago
LICENSE license: fix bad copy-paste: first commit was in 2019 1 year ago
PKGBUILD meson/pkgbuild: bump version to 1.6.3 9 months ago
README.md readme: add IME to the feature list 9 months 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 base64: only allow padding bytes at the end of a string when decoding 11 months ago
base64.h base64: implement encode() 2 years ago
client-protocol.h client: add "--window-size-pixels" and "--window-size-chars" options 11 months ago
client.c client: explicitly use a 64-bit type for ‘total_len’ 9 months ago
commands.c Fix some spelling mistakes 1 year ago
commands.h scrollback: initial support for mouse scrolling 2 years ago
config.c meson: optionalize terminfo dependency 9 months ago
config.h fonts: size fonts using the scaling factor when output scaling is enabled 10 months ago
csi.c Add xsnprintf() and remove some unnecessary strlen(3) calls 9 months ago
csi.h performance improvements 2 years ago
dcs.c vt: don’t ignore extra private/intermediate characters 10 months 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 fdm: do *not* keep polling on EINTR 11 months ago
fdm.h fdm: add hook priorities 2 years ago
foot-features.h features: include compile-time enable/disable state of features when printing version 11 months ago
foot-server.desktop Add keywords to desktop files 1 year ago
foot.desktop Add keywords to desktop files 1 year ago
foot.info terminfo: add status line capabilities: hs, dsl, fsl and tsl 10 months ago
foot.ini meson: optionalize terminfo dependency 9 months ago
generate-version.sh csi: secondary DA: do not pretend we're xterm 1 year ago
grid.c grid: resize_without_reflow: don’t call min() on every loop iteration 11 months ago
grid.h resize: don’t reflow text on alt screen 11 months ago
hsl.c hsl: add our own implementations of rgb-to-hsl and hsl-to-rgb 11 months ago
hsl.h hsl: add our own implementations of rgb-to-hsl and hsl-to-rgb 11 months ago
ime.c Send text_input_rectangle requests for text-input 9 months ago
ime.h Send text_input_rectangle requests for text-input 9 months ago
input.c input: don’t enable keyboard repeat timer when repeat rate is zero 9 months ago
input.h config: key/mouse bindings: refactor: less parsing in keyboard_enter() 1 year ago
keymap.h keymap: add ‘CSI 27;<mod>;27~’ escapes for Esc with modifiers 11 months 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 main: correct header for mode macros 9 months ago
meson.build meson/pkgbuild: bump version to 1.6.3 9 months ago
meson_options.txt meson: optionalize terminfo dependency 9 months ago
misc.c config: add ‘[default].word-delimiters’ 1 year ago
misc.h config: add ‘[default].word-delimiters’ 1 year ago
notify.c notify: don’t emit notification when we’re focused 11 months ago
notify.h notify: break out desktop notifications from osc.c 11 months ago
osc.c Add xsnprintf() and remove some unnecessary strlen(3) calls 9 months 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 reaper: remove child from list *before* calling the user provided callback 9 months ago
reaper.h reaper: add reaper_del() - pid is no longer watched/monitored after this 9 months ago
render.c Send text_input_rectangle requests for text-input 9 months ago
render.h render: remove render_refresh_margins() 1 year ago
search.c search: match composed characters when extending the search string to the next word boundary 9 months ago
search.h search: new function: search_add_chars() 11 months ago
selection.c selection: don’t replace \r\n and \n with \r in bracketed paste mode 9 months ago
selection.h selection: add support for different mime-types 1 year ago
server.c client/server: switch to POSIX header for sockaddr_un 9 months ago
server.h term: don't double fork new terminal windows 1 year ago
shm.c shm: don’t check for __i386__ and __x86_64__ - there are other architectures out there 9 months ago
shm.h config: add tweak.render-timer option 1 year ago
sixel.c Add xsnprintf() and remove some unnecessary strlen(3) calls 9 months ago
sixel.h sixel: change default max size to 10000x10000 11 months ago
slave.c slave: skip e310487dae99 if not supported 9 months ago
slave.h user-notification: 'productify' the user-warning system 1 year ago
spawn.c reaper: add optional callback 9 months ago
spawn.h spawn: add optional stdin/stdout/stderr redirection FDs 1 year ago
terminal.c Send text_input_rectangle requests for text-input 9 months ago
terminal.h Send text_input_rectangle requests for text-input 9 months ago
tokenize.c tokenize: handle escaped quotes 1 year ago
tokenize.h slave: break out command line tokenizer 2 years ago
uri.c uri: switch to conservative maximum hostname length 9 months ago
uri.h uri: add uri_parse() - new function extracts components from an URI 1 year 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 1 year ago
vt.c vt: codespell: ony -> only 10 months ago
vt.h Rename: vt_to_slave() -> term_to_slave() 2 years ago
wayland.c wayland: take rotation into account when calculating the logical PPI 9 months ago
wayland.h Send text_input_rectangle requests for text-input 9 months ago
xmalloc.c xmalloc: add xwcsdup() 1 year ago
xmalloc.h xmalloc: add xwcsdup() 1 year ago
xsnprintf.c Add xsnprintf() and remove some unnecessary strlen(3) calls 9 months ago
xsnprintf.h Add xsnprintf() and remove some unnecessary strlen(3) calls 9 months ago


Logo: a terminal with a foot shaped prompt foot

The fast, lightweight and minimalistic Wayland terminal emulator.

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


  • 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

  • IME (via text-input-v3)

  • 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
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.
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.


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 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.

Starting with foot-1.6, the default behavior is to use the monitor’s DPI to size fonts when output scaling has been disabled. On monitors where output scaling has been enabled, fonts will instead be sized using the scaling factor. This can be changed with the dpi-aware option in foot.ini. See the man page, foot.ini(5) for more information.

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.



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



Ask questions, hang out, sing praise or just say hi on #foot-terminal on chat.freenode.net, where I’m dnkl. This is a public, logged channel.


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


Foot is released under the MIT license.