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foot.ini(5) File Formats Manual foot.ini(5)


foot.ini - configuration file for foot(1)


foot uses the standard unix configuration format, with section based key/value pairs. The default section is unnamed (i.e. not prefixed with a [section]).

foot will search for a configuration file in the following locations, in this order:


SECTION: default

font, font-bold, font-italic, font-bold-italic

Comma separated list of fonts to use, in fontconfig format. That is, a font name followed by a list of colon-separated options. Most noteworthy is :size=n, which is used to set the font size.


•Courier New:size=12
•Fantasque Sans Mono:fontfeatures=ss01

For each option, the first font is the primary font. The remaining fonts are fallback fonts that will be used whenever a glyph cannot be found in the primary font.

The fallback fonts are searched in the order they appear. If a glyph cannot be found in any of the fallback fonts, the dynamic fallback list from fontconfig (for the primary font) is searched.

font-bold, font-italic and font-bold-italic allow custom fonts to be used for bold/italic/bold+italic fonts. If left unconfigured, the bold/italic variants of the regular font(s) specified in font are used. Note: you may have to tweak the size(s) of the custom bold/italic fonts to match the regular font.

To disable bold and/or italic fonts, set e.g. font-bold to exactly the same value as font.

Default: monospace:size=8 (font), not set (font-bold, font-italic, font-bold-italic).


auto, yes, or no. When set to yes, fonts are sized using the monitor's DPI, making a font of a given size have the same physical size, regardless of monitor. In other words, if you drag a foot window between different monitors, the font size remains the same.

In this mode, the monitor's scaling factor is ignored; doubling the scaling factor will not double the font size.

When set to no, the monitor's DPI is ignored. The font is instead sized using the monitor's scaling factor; doubling the scaling factor does double the font size.

Finally, if set to auto, fonts will be sized using the monitor's DPI on monitors with a scaling factor of 1, but otherwise size fonts using the scaling factor.

Default: auto


Padding between border and glyphs, in pixels (subject to output scaling), on the form XxY. Default: 2x2.


Initial window width and height in pixels (subject to output scaling), on the form WIDTHxHEIGHT. The height includes the titlebar when using CSDs. Mutually exclusive to initial-window-size-chars. Default: 700x500.


Initial window width and height in characters, on the form WIDTHxHEIGHT. Mutually exclusive to initial-window-size-pixels.'

Note that if you have a multi-monitor setup, with different scaling factors, there is a possibility the window size will not be set correctly. If that is the case, use initial-window-size-pixels instead.

Default: not set.


Initial window mode for each newly spawned window: windowed, maximized or fullscreen. Default: windowed.


Deprecated. Alias for initial-window-size-pixels.


Executable to launch. Typically a shell. Default: $SHELL if set, otherwise the user's default shell (as specified in /etc/passwd). You can also pass arguments. For example /bin/bash --norc.


Boolean. If enabled, the shell will be launched as a login shell, by prepending a '-' to argv[0]. Default: no.


Value to set the environment variable TERM to. Default: foot or xterm-256color if built with -Dterminfo=disabled


Initial window title. Default: foot.


Value to set the app-id property on the Wayland window to. The compositor can use this value to e.g. group multiple windows, or apply window management rules. Default: foot.


Boolean. When enabled, bold text is rendered in a brighter color (in addition to using a bold font). Default: no.


Action to perform when receiving a BEL character. Can be set to either set-urgency, notify or none.

When set to set-urgency, the margins will be painted in red whenever BEL is received while the window does not have keyboard focus. Note that Wayland currently does not have an urgency hint like X11. The value set-urgency was chosen for forward-compatibility in the hopes that a corresponding Wayland protocol is added in the future (in which case foot will use that instead of painting its margins red).

Applications can enable/disable this feature programmatically with the CSI ? 1042 h and CSI ? 1042 l escape sequences.

Note: expect this feature to be replaced with proper compositor urgency support once/if that gets implemented.

When set to notify, foot will emit a desktop notification (see the notify option).

When set to none, no special action is taken when receiving BEL.

Default: none.


String of characters that act as word delimiters when selecting text. Note that whitespace characters are always word delimiters, regardless of this setting. Default: ,│`|:"'()[]{}<>


Command to execute to display a notification. ${title} and ${body} will be replaced with the notification's actual title and body (message content).

Applications can trigger notifications in the following ways:

•OSC 777: \e]777;notify;<title>;<body>\e\\

Default: notify-send -a foot -i foot ${title} ${body}.


Clipboard target to automatically copy selected text to. One of none, primary, clipboard or both. Default: primary.


Number of threads to use for rendering. Set to 0 to disable multithreading. Default: the number of available logical CPUs (including SMT). Note that this is not always the best value. In some cases, the number of physical cores is better.

SECTION: scrollback


Number of scrollback lines. The maximum number of allocated lines will be this value plus the number of visible lines, rounded up to the nearest power of 2. Default: 1000.


Amount to multiply mouse scrolling with. It is a decimal number, i.e. fractions are allowed. Default: 3.0.


Configures the style of the scrollback position indicator. One of none, fixed or relative. none disables the indicator completely. fixed always renders the indicator near the top of the window, and relative renders the indicator at the position corresponding to the current scrollback position. Default: relative.


Which format to use when displaying the scrollback position indicator. Either percentage, line, or a custom fixed string. This option is ignored if indicator-position=none. Default: empty string.

SECTION: cursor

This section controls the cursor style and color. Note that applications can change these at runtime.


Configures the default cursor style, and is one of: block, bar or underline. Note that this can be overridden by applications. Default: block.


Boolean. Enables blinking cursor. Note that this can be overridden by applications. Default: no.


Two RRGGBB values specifying the foreground (text) and background (cursor) colors for the cursor. Default: inversed foreground and background colors. Note that this value only applies to the block cursor. The other cursor styles are always rendered with the foreground color.

SECTION: mouse


Boolean. When enabled, the mouse cursor is hidden while typing. Default: no.


Boolean. This option controls the initial value for the alternate scroll mode. When this mode is enabled, mouse scroll events are translated to up/down key events when displaying the alternate screen.

This lets you scroll with the mouse in e.g. pagers (like less) without enabling native mouse support in them.

Alternate scrolling is not used if the application enables native mouse support.

This option can be modified by applications at run-time using the escape sequences CSI ? 1007 h (enable) and CSI ? 1007 l (disable).

Default: yes.

SECTION: colors

This section controls the 16 ANSI colors and the default foreground and background colors. Note that applications can change these at runtime.

The colors are in RRGGBB format. That is, they do not have an alpha component. You can configure the background transparency with the alpha option.


Default RRGGBB foreground color. This is the color used when no ANSI color is being used. Default: dcdccc.


Default RRGGBB background color. This is the color used when no ANSI color is being used. Default: 111111.

regular0, regular1 .. regular7

The eight basic ANSI colors. Default: 222222, cc9393, 7f9f7f, d0bf8f, 6ca0a3, dc8cc3, 93e0e3 and dcdccc (a variant of the zenburn theme).

bright0, bright1 .. bright7

The eight bright ANSI colors. Default: 666666, dca3a3, bfebbf, f0dfaf, 8cd0d3, fcace3, b3ffff and ffffff (a variant of the zenburn theme).


Background translucency. A value in the range 0.0-1.0, where 0.0 means completely transparent, and 1.0 is opaque. Default: 1.0.

selection-foreground, selection-background

Foreground (text) and background color to use in selected text. Note that both options must be set, or the default will be used. Default: inverse foreground/background.


This section controls the look of the CSDs (Client Side Decorations). Note that the default is to not use CSDs, but instead to use SSDs (Server Side Decorations) when the compositor supports it.

Note that unlike the colors defined in the colors section, the color values here are in AARRGGBB format. I.e. they contain an alpha component.


Which type of window decorations to prefer: client (CSD), server (SSD) or none.

Note that this is only a hint to the compositor. Depending on compositor support, and how it has been configured, it may instruct foot to use CSDs even though this option has been set to server, or render SSDs despite client or none being set.

Default: server.


Height, in pixels (subject to output scaling), of the titlebar. Default: 26.


Titlebar AARRGGBB color. Default: use the default foreground color.


Width, in pixels (subject to output scaling), of the minimize/maximize/close buttons. Default: 26.


Minimize button's AARRGGBB color. Default: use the default regular4 color (blue).


Maximize button's AARRGGBB color. Default: use the default regular2 color (green).


Close button's AARRGGBB color. Default: use the default regular1 color (red).

SECTION: key-bindings

This section lets you override the default key bindings.

The general format is action=combo1...comboN. That is, each action may have one or more key combinations, space separated. Each combination is on the form mod1+mod2+key. The names of the modifiers and the key must be valid XKB key names.

Note that if Shift is one of the modifiers, the key must be in upper case. For example, Control+Shift+v will never trigger, but Control+Shift+V will.

Note that Alt is usually called Mod1.

A key combination can only be mapped to one action. Lets say you want to bind Control+Shift+R to fullscreen. Since this is the default shortcut for search-start, you first need to unmap the default binding. This can be done by setting action=none; e.g. search-start=none.


Scrolls up/back one page in history. Default: Shift+Page_Up.


Scrolls up/back half of a page in history. Default: not set.


Scrolls up/back a single line in history. Default: not set.


Scroll down/forward one page in history. Default: Shift+Page_Down.


Scroll down/forward half of a page in history. Default: not set.


Scroll down/forward a single line in history. Default: not set.


Copies the current selection into the clipboard. Default: Control+Shift+C.


Pastes from the clipboard. Default: Control+Shift+V.


Pastes from the primary selection. Default: Shift+Insert (also defined in mouse-bindings).


Starts a scrollback/history search. Default: Control+Shift+R.


Increases the font size by 0.5pt. Default: Control+plus Control+equal Control+KP_Add.


Decreases the font size by 0.5pt. Default: Control+minus Control+KP_Subtract.


Resets the font size to the default. Default: Control+0 Control+KP_0.


Spawns a new terminal. If the shell has been configured to emit the OSC 7 escape sequence, the new terminal will start in the current working directory. Default: Control+Shift+N.


Minimizes the window. Default: not bound.


Toggle the maximized state. Default: not bound.


Toggles the fullscreen state. Default: not bound.

pipe-visible, pipe-scrollback, pipe-selected

Pipes the currently visible text, the entire scrollback, or the currently selected text to an external tool. The syntax for this option is a bit special; the first part of the value is the command to execute enclosed in "[]", followed by the binding(s).

You can configure multiple pipes as long as the command strings are different and the key bindings are unique.

Note that the command is not automatically run inside a shell; use sh -c "command line" if you need that.


pipe-visible=[sh -c "xurls | uniq | tac | bemenu | xargs -r firefox"] Control+Print

Default: not bound

SECTION: search-bindings

This section lets you override the default key bindings used in scrollback search mode. The syntax is exactly the same as the regular key-bindings.


Aborts the search. The viewport is restored and the primary selection is not updated. Default: Control+g Escape.


Exit search mode and copy current selection into the primary selection. Viewport is not restored. To copy the selection to the regular clipboard, use Control+Shift+C. Default: Return.


Search backwards in the scrollback history for the next match. Default: Control+r.


Searches forwards in the scrollback history for the next match. Default: Control+s.


Moves the cursor in the search box one character to the left. Default: Left Control+b.


Moves the cursor in the search box one word to the left. Default: Control+Left Mod1+b.


Moves the cursor in the search box one character to the right. Default: Right Control+f.


Moves the cursor in the search box one word to the right. Default: Control+Left Mod1+b.


Moves the cursor in the search box to the beginning of the input. Default: Home Control+a.


Moves the cursor in the search box to the end of the input. Default: End Control+e.


Deletes the character before the cursor. Default: BackSpace.


Deletes the word before the cursor. Default: Mod1+BackSpace Control+BackSpace.


Deletes the character after the cursor. Default: Delete.


Deletes the word after the cursor. Default: Mod1+b Control+Delete.


Extend current selection to the next word boundary. Default: Control+w.


Extend the current selection to the next whitespace. Default: Control+Shift+W.


Paste from the clipboard into the search buffer. Default: Control+v Control+y.


Paste from the primary selection into the search buffer. Default: Shift+Insert.

SECTION: mouse-bindings

This section lets you override the default mouse bindings.

The general format is action=combo1...comboN. That is, each action may have one or more key combinations, space separated. Each combination is on the form mod1+mod2+BTN_<name>[-COUNT]. The names of the modifiers must be valid XKB key names, and the button name must be a valid libinput name. You can find the button names using libinput debug-events.

Note that Shift cannot be used as a modifier in mouse bindings since it is used to enable selection when the client application is grabbing the mouse.

The trailing COUNT is optional and specifies the click count required to trigger the binding. The default if COUNT is omitted is 1.

A modifier+button combination can only be mapped to one action. Lets say you want to bind BTN_MIDDLE to fullscreen. Since BTN_MIDDLE is the default binding for primary-paste, you first need to unmap the default binding. This can be done by setting action=none; e.g. primary-paste=none.

All actions listed under key-bindings can be user here as well.


Begin an interactive selection. The selection is finalized, and copied to the primary selection, when the button is released. Default: BTN_LEFT.


Begin an interactive block selection. The selection is finalized, and copied to the primary selection, when the button is released. Default: Control+BTN_LEFT.


Interactively extend an existing selection. The selection is finalized, and copied to the primary selection, when the button is released. Default: BTN_RIGHT.


Select the word (separated by spaces, period, comma, parenthesis etc) under the pointer. Default: BTN_LEFT-2.


Select the word (separated by spaces only) under the pointer. Default: Control+_BTN_LEFT-2_.


Select the whole row under the pointer. Default: BTN_LEFT-3.


Pastes from the primary selection. Default: BTN_MIDDLE.


This section is for advanced users and describes configuration options that can be used to tweak foot's low-level behavior.

These options are not included in the example configuration. You should not change these unless you understand what they do and note that changing the default values will print a warning when launching foot.

Note that these options may change, or be removed at any time, without prior notice.

When reporting bugs, please mention if, and to what, you have changed any of these options.


Overrides the default scaling filter used when down-scaling bitmap fonts (e.g. emoji fonts). Possible values are none, nearest, bilinear, cubic or lanczos3. cubic and lanczos3 produce the best results, but are slower (with lanczos3 being the best and slowest).

Default: lanczos3.


Boolean. when enabled, double width glyphs with a character width of 1 are allowed to overflow into the neighbouring cell.

One use case for this is fonts "icon" characters in the Unicode private usage area, e.g. Nerd Fonts, or Powerline Fonts. Without this option, such glyphs will appear "cut off".

Another use case are legacy emoji characters like WHITE FROWNING FACE.

Note: this feature uses heuristics to determine which glyphs should be allowed to overflow.

Default: yes.


Enables a frame rendering timer, that prints the time it takes to render each frame, in microseconds, either on-screen, to stderr, or both. Valid values are none, osd, log and both. Default: none.

delayed-render-lower, delayed-render-upper

These two values control the timeouts (in nanoseconds) that are used to mitigate screen flicker caused by clients writing large, non-atomic screen updates.

If a client splits up a screen update over multiple write(3) calls, we may end up rendering an intermediate frame, quickly followed by another frame with the final screen content. For example, the client may erase part of the screen (or scroll) in one write, and then write new content in one or more subsequent writes. Rendering the frame when the screen has been erased, but not yet filled with new content will be perceived as screen flicker.

The real solution to this is Application Synchronized Updates (

The problem with this is twofold - first, it has not yet been standardized, and thus there are not many terminal emulators that implement it (foot does implement it), and second, applications must be patched to use it.

Until this has happened, foot offers an interim workaround; an attempt to mitigate the screen flicker without affecting neither performance nor latency.

It is based on the fact that the screen is updated at a fixed interval (typically 60Hz). For us, this means it does not matter if we render a new frame at the beginning of a frame interval, or at the end. Thus, the goal is to introduce a delay between receiving client data and rendering the resulting state, but without causing a frame skip.

While it should be possible to estimate the amount of time left until the next frame, foot's algorithm is currently not that advanced, but is based on statistics I guess you could say - the delay we introduce is so small that the risk of pushing the frame over to the next frame interval is also very small.

Now, that was a lot of text. But what is it foot actually does?

When receiving client data, it schedules a timer, the delayed-render-lower. If we do not receive any more client data before the timer has run out, we render the frame. If however, we do receive more data, the timer is re-scheduled. That is, each time we receive client data, frame rendering is delayed another delayed-render-lower nanoseconds.

Now, while this works very well with most clients, it would be possible to construct a malicious client that keeps writing data at a slow pace. To the user, this would look like foot has frozen as we never get to render a new frame. To prevent this, an upper limit is set - delayed-render-upper. If this timer runs out, we render the frame regardless of what the client is doing.

If changing these values, note that the lower timeout must be set lower than the upper timeout, but that this is not verified by foot. Furthermore, both values must be less than 16ms (that is, 16000000 nanoseconds).

You can disable the feature altogether by setting either value to 0. In this case, frames are rendered "as soon as possible".

Default: lower=500000 (0.5ms), upper=8333333 (8.3ms - half a frame interval).


Boolean. When enabled, foot will 'damage' the entire window each time a frame has been rendered. This forces the compositor to redraw the entire window. If disabled, foot will only 'damage' updated rows.

There is normally no reason to enable this. However, it has been seen to workaround an issue with fractional scaling in Gnome.

Note that enabling this option is likely to increase CPU and/or GPU usage (by the compositor, not by foot), and may have a negative impact on battery life.

Default: no.


This option controls the amount of virtual memory used by the pixmap memory to which the terminal screen content is rendered.

It does not change how much physical memory foot uses.

Foot uses a memory mapping trick to implement fast rendering of interactive scrolling (typically, but applies to "slow" scrolling in general). Example: holding down the 'up' or 'down' arrow key to scroll in a text editor.

For this to work, it needs a large amount of virtual address space. Again, note that this is not physical memory.

On a normal x64 based computer, each process has 128TB of virtual address space, and newer ones have 64PB. This is an insane amount and most applications do not use anywhere near that amount.

Each foot terminal window can allocate up to 2GB of virtual address space. With 128TB of address space, that means a maximum of 65536 windows in server/daemon mode (for 2GB). That should be enough, yes?

However, the Wayland compositor also needs to allocate the same amount of virtual address space. Thus, it has a slightly higher chance of running out of address space since it needs to host all running Wayland clients in the same way, at the same time.

In the off chance that this becomes a problem for you, you can reduce the amount used with this option.

Or, for optimal performance, you can increase it to the maximum allowed value, 2GB (but note that you most likely will not notice any difference compared to the default value).

Setting it to 0 disables the feature.

Note: this feature is always disabled in 32-bit.

Default: 512. Maximum allowed: 2048 (2GB).


foot(1), footclient(1)