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#1 2014-06-19 08:37:30

Registered: 2012-06-13
Posts: 20

Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

Hey all. It's been a hot minute since I last ran #! on my machines, and I fianlly got back to being happy with it. I'm running ratpoison with a little one-line conky I've been cobbling together. 2ManyDogs is my hero, man. Gutterslob too.

But I have a problem: Resizing frames containing terminals leads to weird gaps. I know it's because the terminals resize according to some fraction of their font width. I'm using the default terminator replacement that comes with Wheezy these days, so either can I add some padding so it fills the frame. You can see it here.

Can I fix terminator? Should I switch to some other terminal? What kind of terminals do you guys like for different DE/WM's? Is this even the right location for this thread?

I have no idea.


Be excellent to each other!

#2 2014-06-19 09:11:51

Emerald Caffeine
From: 星界
Registered: 2012-05-11
Posts: 1,648

Re: Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

Perfect location for this thread.

Terminator is a GTK app and thus, there is most definitely some buried style you can modify to change the background.


I use urxvt+tmux. tmux, like GNU screen or similar applications, is a so-called terminal multiplexer. Instead of using terminators approach, which consists in placing multiple, distinct terminal widgets into a tiled layout, a terminal multiplexer works with any kind of terminal that supports a certain set of ANSI control sequences (read: any decent terminal emulator, including the Linux framebuffer tty consoles). The result is the same, but more powerful and with more transparent configuration options.

Here's my urxvt+tmux config, you see that the terminal is being 'padded' with the terminal background:
The tiles (=panes) you see here are not separate terminal emulator instances but areas that the terminal multiplexer manages. You can also connect to the same multiplexer session from any other terminal.

Tannhäuser ~ {www,pkg,ddl}{gitlog,repoidx}


#3 2014-06-19 09:34:06

#! unstable
From: China
Registered: 2009-07-02
Posts: 6,826

Re: Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

I would also rather use rxvt for such a setup. It starts somewhat quicker, has no vte dependency, and is highly customizable through the .Xresources file. And the latter is really an important factor IMO. For tiling WMs, there is nothing better than rxvt or stterm, IMO.

And also a big +1 for tmux. This and a good terminal emulator (yes, rxvt) is way more powerful than Terminator. Will never go back again.

Sweaty lads picking up the soap | I love the new "Ignore user" button


#4 2014-06-19 13:47:47

#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-10-02
Posts: 1,007

Re: Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

I also prefer urxvt/tmux to terminator, but if you want to stick with terminator why just use one terminator session and use terminator's window-splitting and tabbing features, instead of starting new terminals in separate windows?

Almost any terminal you use will have this "problem" when running in multiple windows in ratpoison, unless you patch ratpoison to ignore window hints. The answer is (as others have suggested) to use one terminal with a multiplexer (tmux) or tabs/tiles in a terminal that supports this (terminator and others).


#5 2014-06-19 20:36:49

Registered: 2012-06-13
Posts: 20

Re: Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

Okay, you definitely sold me on urxvt after a bit of reading, but am I still going to run into the same hinting issues around the window at large? I ran it a few times with the default config/theme (which is ugly as Windows 95 sin, by the way), and resizing gave me similar issues only at different paddings.

I suppose I could just change my padding keybindings to resize in terms of the font percentage or however it works in these terminals, but that seems like a hacky, non-elegant way to do it.

Nice to know I have a new piece of software (two even!) to get used to, though. Exciting!

EDIT: twoion, is that a conky script to show your window numbers there at the bottom?

Last edited by sledd (2014-06-19 20:39:12)


#6 2014-06-19 20:43:58

From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

Arch wiki wrote:

Ratpoison: urxvt and xterm
Urxvt and xterm would not resize to a fixed number of pixels. Instead, it resize itself to multiples of its font's size, therefore, chances that there are unfilled gaps are high. To correct this, we can use the xterm/urxvt option internalBorder and set the border of ratpoison to 0. … _and_xterm


#7 2014-06-19 23:29:08

#! Die Hard
From: USA
Registered: 2011-03-03
Posts: 1,572

Re: Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

The shrink command in ratpoison might be useful to you.

I also prefer urxvt and tmux for this sort of thing.

"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce tribe


#8 2014-06-20 04:21:31

Registered: 2012-06-13
Posts: 20

Re: Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

Oh, now I feel dumb for not finding that one on the ArchWiki. Looks like you've made me a convert. Now if I can figure out why the hell part of my conky is flickering...

But excellent! Thanks, guys!


#9 2014-06-20 18:34:38

#! Junkie
From: the six feet under the ground
Registered: 2011-05-06
Posts: 334

Re: Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

Patch for ratpoison to remove the gaps between windows.

Edit: Also I have created personal ratpoison with EWMH  support (_NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS, _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP, _NET_CLIENT_LIST, _NET_CLIENT_LIST_STACKING, _NET_WM_DESKTOP, _NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW) to work better with wmctrl + panels tint2,lxpanel + things that require ewmh support ... and this patch to remove the gaps.

Last edited by ivo (2014-06-20 18:53:02)

I love GnuEmacs, GnuScreen, ratpoison, and conkeror.

My site || My Github


#10 2014-07-17 17:33:27

New Member
Registered: 2014-07-17
Posts: 1

Re: Tiling Window Managers and Terminator

To actually answer the initial question. To get terminator to tile nicely just uncheck "Window geometry hints" in the global preferences or add "geometry_hinting = False" to terminator's .config file.


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