Provides a terminal emulator for the X Window System.

Note: The xterm command is ported from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) X Window System, Version 11, Release 6 with no functional enhancements. The xterm command does not have support for globalization. For the localized and internationalized terminal emulator, the user can use the aixterm or dtterm commands.
xterm [ –Xtoolkitoption… ] [ -Option … ]

The xterm program is a terminal emulator for the X Window System. It provides DEC VT102 and Tektronix 4014 compatible terminals for programs that cannot use the window system directly. If the underlying operating system supports terminal resizing capabilities, the xterm program uses the facilities to notify programs running in the window whenever it is resized.

The VT102 and Tektronix 4014 terminals each have their own window so that you can edit text in one and look at graphics in the other at the same time. To maintain the correct aspect ratio (height/width), Tektronix graphics are restricted to the largest box with a 4014 aspect ratio that will fit in the window. This box is located in the upper left area of the window.

Although both windows might be displayed at the same time, one of them is considered the active window for receiving keyboard input and terminal output. This is the window that contains the text cursor. The active window can be chosen through escape sequences, the VT Options menu in the VT102 window, and the Tek Options menu in the 4014 window.

The former is the simplest way of customization, but you don’t have the chance to make so many changes.

Simple options such as the size of the window, and it’s colours can be achieved such as the following:

xterm -rightbar -bg white -fg black -geometry 80×25
This command opens an xterm with a white background, and a black text (the fg parameter) with a scrollbar upon the righthand side.

More complex settings are possible, and running “man xterm” will give you a good list of command line options to choose from.

When it comes to customizing xterm in a serious way XResources are the way to go, as these will apply to all windows that are opened.

XResources are read from the file ~/.Xresources when you login, but if you wish to force them to be reloaded you run the command:

xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources
Save the following into a file called .Xresources in your home directory, and then run that command:

! Comments begin with a “!” character.

XTerm*background: black
XTerm*foreground: white
XTerm*cursorColor: white
XTerm.vt100.geometry: 79×25
XTerm*scrollBar: true
XTerm*scrollTtyOutput: false
Once you’ve done this you can open an Xterm and see that the changes have taken effect on all new xterms – even though you’ve made no command line changes.