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rxvt – A better console for Cygwin | Nomad Journey
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Nov 2 / Nizam Sayeed

rxvt – A better console for Cygwin

I have been using xterm on Cygwin/X for a long time now. I love the fact that you can have a native X Windows server running on Windows with xterm and all the X11 goodies. However, since upgrading to Windows 7, I have had a lot of problems with getting both X and xterm to work properly.

I was somehow able to cobble some stuff together to make it all work but then… disaster! I found out that copying text from Windows and pasting it into xterm (specifically when I am connected to a remote host via SSH) kills my network connection for a few seconds! It happens every time and I haven’t found a single solution to this problem on the web after Googling for it for months.

After a lot of hair pulling, I discovered that Cygwin has a port of rxvt. So I installed it and it is working perfectly for me. I created a shortcut on my desktop with this as the target:

C:\Cygwin\bin\rxvt.exe -display :0 -fn "Consolas-20" -tn rxvt -e /usr/bin/bash --login -i

Copy/paste is working again and everything is as it should be.


  1. Chris Hong / Nov 7 2009

    Hey, it’s great! I’ve been googling for days to figure out why my xterm lost the ssh connection without any success. Before finding your post. Your post helped me a lot to tackle the issue on running X11 server on my Windows 7 laptop. Thanks a lot!

  2. Eliot / Nov 14 2009

    Hi Matt, for an alternative to rxvt, check out rxvt-unicode (urxvt). It is now my terminal of choice. For some notes on urxvt and cygwin, see my old blog post: http://www.saltycrane.com/blog/2007/09/cygwin-x-ratposoin-screen-rxvt-setup/ BTW, your blog looks great on my mobile phone!

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