Klaus on Tilde Town

Make the Home, End and F-keys work correctly in URxvt

Just sharing a quick tip to make URxvt aka rxvt-unicode a little more usable as a lightweight, fast and decent Terminal emulator.

If you've ever went past the first step of configuring urxvt away from its ugly white-background, scrollbar on the left mess, you've probably ended up with another annoying problem: lack of F-keys working, which extends to other important keys such as Home, End and Page up and down.

Searching around the interwebz, I couldn't quite figure out a solution for it, as most of the times it presented a program-specific (ex: vim, etc) solution, or something stretching all the way to ancient definitions of VT-100 and its emulation, so this annoyance persisted for a while. Thankfully, a tip came in in the IRC that solved everything. Simply add the following line to your .Xresources file:

URxvt.termName: rxvt-unicode-256color

Then update your X configurations via xrdb -load ~/.Xresources, re-open urxvt and surely enough, it will magically restore the behavior of your keys.

Sounds strange to me that simply changing the terminal name makes its behavior change like this, but I guess it has to do with how some programs try to "sniff" the terminal's "User Agent" to activate certain features, like colors. Oh well, works well enough for me the time being, so guess it's alright!

What other tip do you know about configuring URxvt that makes it better to use? Let me know in mastodon!