st is a simple terminal implementation for X.

Screenshot of dwm & st


xterm is bloated and unmaintainable. Here’s an excerpt from the README:

                Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

This is undoubtedly the most ugly program in the distribution.  It was one of
the first "serious" programs ported, and still has a lot of historical baggage.
Ideally, there would be a general tty widget and then vt102 and tek4014
subwidgets so that they could be used in other programs.  We are trying to
clean things up as we go, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Needless to say things have not changed, it’s still ugly. It has over 65K lines of code and emulates obscure and obsolete terminals you will never need.

The popular alternative, rxvt has only 32K lines of code. This is just too much for something as simple as a terminal emulator; it’s yet another example of code complexity.

Terminal emulation doesn’t need to be so complex.


Things that have already been implemented are

See the goals for more details and the TODO for what still needs to be implemented or fixed.


Configuration is done with config.h. Read the comments in the generated config.h to edit it according to your needs. Defaults are stored in config.def.h.


The FAQ is maintained in the st source code repository.


st is actively developed. You can browse its source code repository or get a copy using git with the following command:

git clone git://