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Part Two: Setting up Alacritty

Part Two: Setting up Alacritty

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Amit Biswas
ยทMar 19, 2023ยท

2 min read

Most Unix-based distros come with their flavor of the terminal emulator app, i.e. Terminal in macOS, gnome-terminal in Ubuntu, Terminator in Manjaro, and so on. I've been using Alacritty for a while now, it's a "blazingly fast" terminal emulator app written in Rust with tons of customization options. Let's set it up.

  • Install Alacritty for your OS of choice from their GitHub Repository.

  • Create a folder named alacritty in the $HOME/.config directory.

      mkdir -p ~/.config/alacritty
    
  • Create an alacritty.yml config file inside the alacritty folder with the following content. The location should be $HOME/.config/alacritty/alacritty.yml. This is a minimal version, the full list of configs can be found in their repository.

      # makes config change effects instant 
      live_config_reload: true
      # styles for the window
      window:
        dimensions:
          columns: 120
          lines: 36
        opacity: 0.98
        padding:
          x: 12
          y: 10
        dynamic_padding: false
        decoration: none
        decorations_theme_variant: Dark
      # font setup for the terminal
      # use Nerd font for better unicode support.
      # https://www.nerdfonts.com/font-downloads
      font:
        normal:
          family: "MesloLGS NF"
          style: Regular
        size: 12
      # cursor styles
      cursor:
        style:
          shape: Beam
          blinking: On
      # some utilites
      save_to_clipboard: true
      draw_bold_text_with_bright_colors: true
    
  • Install a theme of your choice following the instructions in the alacritty-theme repo. The one in the screenshot below is the dracula theme.

  • Bonus Tip for Ubuntu Gnome: In Ubuntu gnome (the default Ubuntu variant), Ctrl + Alt + T opens the default terminal. If you want to change the default terminal to Alacritty,

    • Go to Settings > Keyboard > View and Customize Shortcuts and search for Terminal. There should be an entry under Launchers, named Launch Terminal. Click on it, and press backspace. This will disable this shortcut and the Ctrl + Alt + T the combination is now free to use for custom shortcuts.

    • At the end of the previous shortcut list, there's an option named Custom Shortcuts. Click on it, and on the next page, click the + icon. This will show a prompt for a new keyboard shortcut, fill in the name as you like and use the cleared shortcut combination. The command value here is alacritty.

With these configs in place, start a new session of alacritty, the terminal should look something like this ๐Ÿ‘‡

That's all for setting up a terminal emulator! Check out the previous post in this series to set up zsh shell with some goodies, and the next post for setting up nvim for joining the IDE masterrace! Peace โœŒ๏ธ

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