Alacritty – A Fastest Terminal Emulator for Linux

Alacritty is a free open-source, fast, cross-platform terminal emulator, that uses GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) for rendering, which implements certain optimizations that are not available in many other terminal emulators in Linux.

Alacritty is focused on two goals simplicity and performance. The performance goal means, it should be speedy than any other terminal emulator available. The simplicity goal means, it doesn’t supports features such as tabs or splits (which can be easily provided by other terminal multiplexer – tmux) in Linux.

Prerequisites

Alacritty requires the most recent stable Rust compiler to install it.

Install Required Dependency Packages

1. First install Rust programming language using an rustup installer script and follow on screen instructions.

# sudo curl https://sh.rustup.rs -sSf | sh

2. Next, you need to install a few additional libraries to build Alacritty on your Linux distributions, as shown.

--------- On Ubuntu/Debian --------- 
# apt-get install cmake libfreetype6-dev libfontconfig1-dev xclip

--------- On CentOS/RHEL ---------
# yum install cmake freetype-devel fontconfig-devel xclip
# yum group install "Development Tools"

--------- On Fedora ---------
# dnf install cmake freetype-devel fontconfig-devel xclip

--------- On Arch Linux ---------
# pacman -S cmake freetype2 fontconfig pkg-config make xclip

--------- On openSUSE ---------
# zypper install cmake freetype-devel fontconfig-devel xclip 

Installing Alacritty Terminal Emulator in Linux

3. Once you have installed all the required packages, next clone the Alacritty source code repository and compile it using following commands.

$ cd Downloads
$ git clone https://github.com/jwilm/alacritty.git
$ cd alacritty
$ cargo build --release

4. Once the compilation process is complete, the binary will be saved in ./target/release/alacritty directory. Copy the binary to a directory in your PATH and on a dekstop, you can add the application to your system menus, as follows.

# cp target/release/alacritty /usr/local/bin
# cp Alacritty.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

5. Next install the manual pages using following command.

# gzip -c alacritty.man | sudo tee /usr/local/share/man/man1/alacritty.1.gz > /dev/null

6. To add shell completion settings to your Linux shell, do the following.

--------- On Bash Shell ---------
# cp alacritty-completions.bash  ~/.alacritty
# echo "source ~/.alacritty" >> ~/.bashrc

--------- On ZSH Shell ---------
# cp alacritty-completions.zsh /usr/share/zsh/functions/Completion/X/_alacritty

--------- On FISH Shell ---------
# cp alacritty-completions.fish /usr/share/fish/vendor_completions.d/alacritty.fish

7. Finally start Alacritty in your system menu and click on it; when run for the first time, a config file will be created under $HOME/.config/alacritty/alacritty.yml, you can configure it from here.

Alacritty Terminal Emulator

Alacritty Terminal Emulator

For more information and configuration options, go to the Alacritty Github repository.

Alacritty is a cross-platform, fast, GPU accelerated terminal emulator focused on speed and performance. Although it is ready for daily usage, many features are yet to be added to it such as scroll back and more. Share your thoughts about it via the feedback form below.

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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5 Responses

  1. Tiberius says:

    How do you objectively measure the speed of a terminal emulator? I’ve never seen a slowness caused by the terminal emulator, so wouldn’t know what I’m missing.

    • Aaron Kili says:

      @Tiberius

      For this particular case, we based on the technology it uses —- GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) for rendering, which implements certain optimizations that are not available in many other terminal emulators in Linux.

  2. QRW says:

    Because there aren’t enough Linux terminal emulators, and all of them are so slow that one can hardly work with them. Really, what is it that motivates some to reinvent the wheel over and over again, other than proving that they can? Why not do something original, for a change?

  3. Tommy says:

    It’s a POS!

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