wterm − RXVT based X console.


wterm [ options ]


This manual page documents briefly the wterm application. Wterm is an X console based on RXVT, it has many features including fast transparency, nice scrollbars and image backgrounds.


In most cases, -option turns the option on, +option will turn it off. This may seem a little illogical, but such is life.


Intercept console messages.

-bd colour

Border colour.

-bg colour

Set background colour.

-cr colour

Cursor colour.

-display string

X server to connect to.

-e command [arguments]

Open wterm and execute command.

-fb fontname

Use specified font for bold.

-fg colour

Set foreground colour.

-fn fontname

Use specified font for normal text.

-gc GC

GC function types - The type of context use when creating the pixmap window.

−geometry geometry

Size (in characters) and position of window.


Turn on/off highlight.


Start wterm as an icon.


Turn on/off login shell.

-n string

Icon name for window.

-name string

Client instance, icon and title strings.

-pixmap file

Background pixmap

-pr colour

Pointer colour.


Turn on/off reverse video.


Turn on/off scrollbar.


Turn on/off shaded transparency.


Turn on/off scroll-on-tty-output.


Turn on/off scroll-on-keypress.

-sl number

Number of scrolled lines to save.


Turn on/off scrollbar right.


Turn on/off scrollbar without a trough.

-title string

Title name for window.

−tn string

Value of the TERM environment variable


Turn on/off transparency.


Turn on/off utmp inhibit.


Turn on/off visual bell.


Turn on/off window maker menu.


Docs can be found in /usr/share/doc/wterm/. Also, take a look at for more information on wterm.

GC function types, the type of context use when creating the pixmap window is a complex feature, and cannot be explained here in any depth which would be useful. I suggest the manpage XCreateGC(3x), which is a part of the xmanpages package.

The following manpages may also be of use:

xvt(1), rxvt(1).


Wterm has support for UTMP. This means that a user who using a wterm, is visible in the "who" command. In order for this to work, the wterm binary (located in /usr/bin/) is set with a group "utmp" and is set gid utmp.

If you find that UTMP support isn’t working (your wterm’s don’t show up in a who), check the permissions of /var/run/utmp. They should look something like:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 root utmp 8448 May 6 21:47 /var/run/utmp

This can be set with the following commands (as the root user):

chown root.utmp /var/run/utmp

chmod 664 /var/run/utmp


You can change your font size on the fly in wterm with the following keyboard combinations:

Key Combination


shift & keypad "+"

Make font larger

shift & keypad "-"

Make font smaller

It’s also worth noting that the keyboard combination shift & insert causes the current text selection to be inserted. Select a portion of text using your mouse cursor, and press the combination in wterm.


Author of xvt is John Bovey, authors of rxvt are Rob Nation, Mark Olesen, Oezguer Kesim and Geoff Wing, and author of wterm is an anonymous coder.

This manual page was written by Mark Triggs <mrbump [AT]>.