Alacritty, a fast and simple terminal emulator with good performance

about alacritty

In the next article we are going to take a look at Alacritty. Is about a free, cross-platform terminal emulator and fast which offers some interesting quirks. Perhaps one of the most interesting is that it will use the GPU for rendering. The terminal emulator is one of the most interesting applications on Gnu / Linux systems. Although on the one hand there are the newcomers who do not want to know anything about the terminal, on the other hand there are the more experienced users who see it as one of the most efficient tools to perform a large number of tasks. Today there are many and very good emulators that we can use in Ubuntu, but in this article we are going to focus on Alacritty in particular.

Alacritty is a terminal emulator that seeks to focus on simplicity and performance. With such a strong focus on performance, the included features try to take care of themselves as long as the emulator is as fast as possible. The default values ​​do not require additional configuration for most users, although it does allows configuration of many aspects of the terminal through its configuration file.

Today, and as indicated in their page on GitHub, the creators say that the software is at a beta level of readiness. Some features and bug fixes are still missing that need to be fixed, but many users already use this emulator on a daily basis.

General characteristics of Alacritty

Alacritty running

  • According to the project profile on Github, Alacritty is a terminal emulator that seeks to focus on performance and simplicity. This makes it quite comfortable to work with.
  • The speed of this emulator is achieved because relies on your computer's GPU for slightly more complex tasks. This makes the performance skyrocket, which seeks to simplify and facilitate the work of those users who spend a lot of time in front of the terminal.
  • Alacritty is multi platform, we can find it available for many Gnu / Linux distributions quickly and easily. It is also available for MacOS, BSD, and Windows.
  • Another important aspect of Alacritty is that it is open source released under the terms of the Apache 2.0 license. This makes it easy for users to use it and see the source code from its page on GitHub.

Install Alacritty on Ubuntu

Alacritty is available for various Gnu / Linux distributions. The installation of this emulator will be simple because they include it in their repositories or because there are already packages created for them.

In the case of Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19, we will be able to add your repository to our system and then install it. To add it we will only have to open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and write the command:

add Alacritty repository

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mmstick76/alacritty

After adding the repository, the list of available software should be updated. Once the update is finished, we can proceed to the installation of version 0.4.1 running the command:

installation with APT

sudo apt install alacritty

If you don't want to add another repository to your system, users too we will be able to find the binaries on Github. In my case, I downloaded the .DEB file for Ubuntu 18.04, and after moving to the folder where I saved the downloaded file, I installed it with the command:

install the .deb package

sudo dpkg -i Alacritty-v0.4.2-rc2-ubuntu_18_04_amd64.deb

After the installation, we can check installed version with the command:

check installed version

alacritty -V

Using the Alacritty terminal emulator

Once the installation is finished, we must not run it yet. First we have to copy the default settings of the application. It is in YML format and we can download it from the project GitHub page.

download the configuration file from GitHub

The file to download is called alacritty.yml, and we must copy it to the following location. If the directory does not exist, we must create it:

$HOME/.config/alacritty/

The configuration file is quite simple. What's more we will be able to modify it to our liking. Although you have to be careful with spaces and syntax.

Once the file has been saved in the indicated location, now andwe can run Alacritty looking for the launcher in our system.

Alacritty launcher

For, get help, users can use the one that comes with the emulator by typing:

Alacritty Help

alacritty -h

And that's it. There are no secrets with Alacritty. Is about a normal emulator like the one we have used before. However, it is quite fast and comfortable to use due to its performance.


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  1.   eloxs said

    Could you explain how to edit the configuration file to know what such a thing is, thanks for the article it is very good

    1.    Damien Amoedo said

      Hello. If I don't remember more, you have data about the Alacritty configuration file in your Wiki. I hope this helps you. Salu2.