Favorite terminals (with great alt- support)

As I try lots of terminals across linux and macs, a lot of them don’t send / don’t send properly certain alt key combinations. <a-|> is a common offender. What are the terms most people are using?

I generally use gnome-terminal (based on libvte) for comfort (pretty fonts, URL highlighting, etc.) and xterm for robustness. In both of them:

$ hexdump -C
00000000  1b 7c 0a                                          |.|.|

<a-|> does as I expect. Also pterm (PuTTY’s terminal emulation), urxvt, terminology, qterminal (a light-weight wrapper around KDE’s terminal widget), and st.

kitty and Alacritty.


termite, or gnome-term work fine. Konsole worked fine too, except it can’t handle rgb themes without tmux

Another vote for kitty here…it’s fast and featureful.

I use Alacritty, but it’s alt support on Mac is terrible. I use Karabiner-Elements to map Alt to send ESC prefixes, making it work.

(This might be fixed in new Alacritty, although the new Alacritty seems to be more fundamentally broken on Mac right now… blanking the screen and doing weird things… I haven’t investigated further.)


<a-|> outputs ‘^[|’

Termite, that I used in the past, is now officially dead and recommends migrating to Alacritty.
The deprecation notice in the README explains a toxic situation around the handling of the VTE library by GNOME:


Wezterm works great, can configure to send csi u escapes too.

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