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How to install, configure, and use Hyper, Alacritty, and Kitty

A terminal emulator is a text-only application that emulates a console in a desktop environment. Basically, it is a GUI program that acts as a wrapper or front-end and allows you to run a shell and enter commands that the operating system can interpret and execute.

And just as any other program or application, you can install, uninstall, and customize different terminals. There are many great terminals out there such as iTerm, Alacrity, Windows Terminal, Hyper.is, Kitty, guake, and gnome-terminal.

A shell is a command-line interpreter. It sits between the kernel (core) of an operating system and the user, and exposes the operating system’s services to a human user or other programs. In other words, a shell is a command-line user interface for accessing the services of the operating system. Some example of shells are: Power Shell, cmd, Bash, fish, and Zsh. Terminals

Terminals

 

Hyper

Hyper is an open-source, cross-platform, Electron-based terminal which is built on HTML, JavaScript and CSS. It is modern, beautiful, fully extensible, and highly customizable.

  1. Installation. Windows. Go to its website Hyper and download it or choco install hyper. macOS: brew cask install hyper. GNU/Linux. Ubuntu: sudo apt install gdebi && sudo gdebi hyper_X.X.X_amd64.deb. Arch: yay -S hyper. On other distributions, download the AppImage file, chmod +x hyper_X.X.X_amd64.AppImage, then launch it, ./hyper_X.X.X_amd64.AppImage
  2. There is a “hamburger” menu on the top left corner and a context menu, they both provide access to its functionality. To open a new tab, select File, New Tab or type CTRL+SHIFT+T. To open a new windows, select File, New Windows or type CTRL+SHIFT+N. You can switch between tabs by pressing CTRL+1 (Windows, Select Tab, 1), CTRL+2, …, CTRL+9. Press F11 (Windows, Toggle Full-Screen) to toggle Full-Screen Mode.
  3. To configure Hyper Terminal, select Edit, Preferences or type Ctrl + “,”. Its config file (.hyper.js) will be opened in your default text editor.
      // Default font size in pixel for all tabs.
      fontSize: 14, 
      // font family with optional fallbacks.
      fontFamily: 'Menlo, "DejaVu Sans Mono", Consolas, "Lucida Console", monospace',
      // If true, selected copy will automatically be copied to the clipboard. By default, it is disabled.
      copyOnSelect: true,
      opacity: 0.85,
      [...]
      plugins: [
        "hyper-sweet", // A dark and modern theme for hyper.
        "hyper-systray", // Open Hyper from system tray or a global shortcut (Alt + Space).
        "hyper-opacity", // Set the opacity of your Hyper window. Add a line to your hyper configuration: opacity: 0.85.
        "hyper-tab-icons", // Add icons to the header tabs for the current running process in Hyper.
        "hyperborder", // Add a gradient border to the Hyper terminal.
        "hyperpower" // It is a particle effects extension, fun and cool but useless. 
      ],
    
  4. Besides, you can use the hyper plugin manager to list (hyper list), install (hyper i hyper-blink), search (hyper search), and remove (hyper u hyper-blink) plugins and themes. Awesome Hyper is a curated list of Hyper packages, themes, and resources.

    You may need to click on the Tools menu, select the Install Hyper CLI command in PATH option in order to get the hyper plugin manager to work properly.

    Hyper

    Hyper

     

Alacritty

Alacritty is a fast, cross-platform, OpenGL terminal emulator.

The full configuration is just a single file (alacritty.yml), so you don’t need to edit your settings through menus and submenus, but keep the config in your dotfiles and easily share it between different machines. Alacritty is a very minimal, clutter-free terminal emulator, but does not support tabs.

  1. You can install it in Windows (Alacritty Releases); macOS (brew install ‐‐cask ‐‐no-quarantine alacritty), Ubuntu (sudo snap install alacritty ‐‐classic); Arch (sudo pacman -S alacritty).
  2. Set Alacritty as your default terminal (GNU/Linux): sudo update-alternatives ‐‐install /usr/bin/x-terminal-emulator x-terminal-emulator /snap/bin/alacritty (you may have it in /usr/bin/alacritty -you should check it: whereis alacritty) 50 (priority). sudo update-alternatives ‐‐config x-terminal-emulator. There is no default terminal in macOS.
  3. GNU/Linux. Add a shortcut: Settings, Keyboard Shortcut, Custom Shortcuts. Name: Alacritty. Command: /snap/bin/alacritty. Set Custom Shortcut: Ctrl, Alt, and T.
  4. macOS. Install MesloLGS Fonts. GNU/Linux: Choose your Nerd Fonts, download it, and copy it into ~/.local/share/fonts. Update the font cache: fc-cache -f
  5. Let’s configure it by editing its configuration file: vim /home/user/.config/alacritty/alacritty.yml
# Window Customization
window:   # Window dimensions (changes require restart)
  decorations: none # Neither borders, nor title bar.
  startup_mode: Fullscreen 
scrolling: # Maximum number of lines in the scrollback buffer. It contains all the text that has been displayed on the screen.
  history: 10000
  multiplier: 3
background_opacity: .95 # Window opacity as a number from `0.0` (completely transparent) to `1.0` (opaque)
window.dynamic_title: true # Allow terminal applications to change Alacritty's window title.
# Font Customization
font:
  normal:
    family: MesloLGS NF
    style: Regular
  bold:
    family: MesloLGS NF
    style: Bold
  italic:
    family: MesloLGS NF
    style: Italic
  size: 12 # Text size
  offset:
    x: 0
    y: 0
  glyph_offset:
    x: 0
    y: 0
  use_thin_strokes: false
  debug:
    persistent_logging: false
draw_bold_text_with_bright_colors: true
# Colors (Gruvbox dark) https://github.com/eendroroy/alacritty-theme
colors:
  primary:
    background: '#000000'
    foreground: '#ebdbb2'
  normal:
    black:   '#282828'
    red:     '#cc241d'
    green:   '#98971a'
    yellow:  '#d79921'
    blue:    '#458588'
    magenta: '#b16286'
    cyan:    '#689d6a'
    white:   '#a89984'
  bright:
    black:   '#928374'
    red:     '#fb4934'
    green:   '#b8bb26'
    yellow:  '#fabd2f'
    blue:    '#83a598'
    magenta: '#d3869b'
    cyan:    '#8ec07c'
    white:   '#ebdbb2'
selection:
    # This string contains all characters are used as separators for "semantic words" in Alacritty.
    semantic_escape_chars: ",?`|:\"' ()[]{}<>\t"
    text: '0xffffff'
    background: '0xdc3232'
    white:   '0xffffff'
    save_to_clipboard: true  # When set to `true', selected text will be copied to the primary clipboard.

key_bindings:
  - { key: V, mods: Control, action: Paste } # Crtl + V = Paste
  - { key: C, mods: Control, action: Copy } # Crtl + C = Copy
  - { key: NumpadAdd, mods: Control, action: IncreaseFontSize } # Ctrl + "+", increase terminal's text size.
  - { key: NumpadSubtract, mods: Control, action: DecreaseFontSize } # Ctrl + "-", decrease terminal's text size.
  - { key: N, mods: Control, action: SpawnNewInstance }  # Ctrl + N, it creates a new instance.
  - { key: W, mods: Control, action: ToggleFullscreen } # Ctrl + W, toggle full screen terminal.
  - { key: F1, mods: Control, chars: "{" } # Barrier cannot type character that need Alt Gr key.
  - { key: F2, mods: Control, chars: "}" }
  - { key: F3, mods: Control, chars: "#" }
  - { key: F4, mods: Control, chars: "~" }
  - { key: F5, mods: Control, chars: "@" }
  - { key: F6, mods: Control, chars: "|" }

Kitty

Kitty is a fast, featureful, GPU based terminal emulator.

  1. Installation. macOS (brew install kitty). Arch (sudo pacman -S kitty). Ubuntu/Debian (sudo apt-get install kitty).

  2. Shortcuts. New tab/close tab: Ctrl + Shift + t / Ctrl + Shift +q. New window/Close window: Ctrl + Shift + enter/Ctrl + Shift + w. Move to the right/left tab: Ctrl + Shift + right/left arrow. Toggle fullscreen: Ctrl + Shift + F11.

  3. Display images in the terminal: kitty +kitten icat image.jpeg.

  4. Configure Kitty: gedit ~/.config/kitty/kitty.conf:

        font_family MesloLGS NF
        font_size 18.0 # Font size in points 
        copy_on_select yes # It will copy selected text into the clipboard
        map ctrl+c copy_to_clipboard # CTRL + C: Copy to clipboard
        map ctrl+v paste_from_clipboard #CTRL + V: Paste from clipboard
        background_opacity 0.9
        mouse_map ctrl+left press ungrabbed,grabbed mouse_click_url # Open URL on simple click. Otherwise, press Ctrl + Shift and then click.
    
  5. If you find problems with ssh: gedit .bashrc (remote server), export TERM=vt100.

  6. Change Themes: kitty +kitten themes.

    You have chosen the Apprentice theme. What would you like to do? Select Modify kitty.conf to load Apprentice. Press M and these lines will be added to your kitty.conf:

    # BEGIN_KITTY_THEME
    # Apprentice
    include current-theme.conf
    # END_KITTY_THEME
    

    Kitty Terminal

    Kitty Terminal

     

  7. Kitty has the ability to define its own windows that can be tiled next to each other in arbitrary arrangements, based on predefined layouts. There are many different layouts available. They are all enabled by default and you can switch layouts by pressing Ctrl + Shift + l.

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