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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.

  • Chris Hong

    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!

  • Eliot

    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: BTW, your blog looks great on my mobile phone!