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Switched to Alacritty

thermatix profile image Martin Becker ・2 min read

I just switched to using Alacritty (as in about 40 mins ago, give or take). It's a fair bit more bare bones then the ITerm2 I was using but to be completly honest I never used any of the extra features provided by it so I'm not missing anything.

It's a lot faster than Iterm2 by a lot I'm also finding that Nvim has sped up a lot and by far the best feature is that it's solved one the biggest bugbears I've ever had about Iterm2 (and Apples Term). I use Powerline fonts but one the biggest issues is that ITerm2 never rendered them properly as a result the tips of the powerline characters stuck up and as a result made everything just a little bit ugly. That problem is non-existent on Alacritty (at least for me)

AS for negatives there are a few. To use it as an .app you have to clone the repo and then build it, not a big issue but it took a while.

I did have issues getting Alacritty to find the font I wanted. I told it to look for a font called Knack Regular Nerd Font Complete but it kept saying it didn't exist. I posted an issue and someone said they tried Knack Nerd Font so I tried that and it worked.

Finally there is a bug I get with tmux, where the last character of the status line is moved to the beginning of the next line. For some people it would be a deal breaker but for me I can live with it as it appears next to buffer tab line (airline) on neovim so I don't notice it plus I can live with that over misaligned powerline characters so long as I set the last line of the tmux status line to |. I've added an issue on Github so hopefully it gets fixed soon.

Any way, I'm really liking it and can't wait for it to get even better.

Discussion

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Alex Dimitrov

A question - is there any good support to make tabs? I want to see more than one thing at the same window, but the only solution I found was to open a new instance (window) and alt-tab between them..

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Martin Becker Author

Alacritty doesn't support tabs, you would need to use a tool like Tmux, then open up multiple windows (tabs), with some customization you can display the windows in the status bar and then use keyboard shortcuts to easily switch between them. This is because Alacritty is designed to be more bare bones in that it's just about being a really good terminal emulator and nothing else, if you want more you need to use a tool for it, want tabs? Use a terminal multiplexer (like Tmux). You could however use a window manager but I can't really comment on that as I've never used them.

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Alex Dimitrov

Got it, then, in this case, it's not what I was looking for it seems. Mainly I liked it indeed for the speed and settings (visuals), but maybe there are tools better suited for my workflow... In any case, thanks for the feedback! What you just posted was not all collected in one place where I was googling :D 🙌

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Martin Becker Author

You might want to try Kitty, it's like alacritty in that it's GPU accelerated but has stuff like tabs build in.

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Brian

Couple of font tricks in my post about alacritty/kitty here:
dev.to/bdmorin/level-up-your-termi...