Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Install Urxvt Terminal on Ubuntu 18.04

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In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of installing the Urxvt terminal on Ubuntu 18.04. The Urxvt, or rxvt-unicode, terminal is a highly customizable and lightweight terminal emulator. It’s a popular choice among developers and system administrators due to its low memory usage and high level of customization.

Quick Answer

To install Urxvt terminal on Ubuntu 18.04, you need to update your system, enable the Universe repository, and then install the Urxvt terminal using the apt command. Once installed, you can launch the Urxvt terminal by running the "urxvt" command in your terminal or searching for "rxvt-unicode" in your system’s application menu.


Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

  • A system running Ubuntu 18.04.
  • Access to a user account with sudo or root privileges.
  • A terminal window / command line (Ctrl-Alt-T).

Step 1: Update Your System

First, it’s always a good idea to start by updating your system packages. Open your terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

This command will update the list of available packages and install the latest versions of all installed packages on your system. The -y flag automatically confirms all prompts that come up during the process.

Step 2: Enable Universe Repository

The Urxvt terminal is available in the Universe repository, which is a community-maintained repository in Ubuntu. To enable it, use the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository universe

This command will enable the universe repository, allowing you to install packages that aren’t included in the default Ubuntu repositories.

Step 3: Install Urxvt Terminal

Now that your system is up to date and the Universe repository is enabled, you can install the Urxvt terminal by running the following command:

sudo apt install rxvt-unicode

The apt install command installs new packages, and rxvt-unicode is the package name for the Urxvt terminal.

Step 4: Launch Urxvt Terminal

After the installation is complete, you can launch the Urxvt terminal by running the following command in your terminal:


Alternatively, you can find it by searching for “rxvt-unicode” in your system’s application menu.


Congratulations! You have successfully installed the Urxvt terminal on your Ubuntu 18.04 system. Now you can enjoy a lightweight and highly customizable terminal experience. For more information on how to customize your Urxvt terminal, you can check the man page or the ArchWiki page.

Remember, the Urxvt terminal is highly customizable. You can modify its appearance and behavior by editing the ~/.Xresources file in your home directory. If you’re new to Urxvt or terminal customization in general, there are many resources available online to help you get started.

We hope this tutorial was helpful. If you have any questions or run into any issues, feel free to leave a comment below.

Can I install Urxvt terminal on other Linux distributions?

Yes, Urxvt terminal can be installed on other Linux distributions as well. However, the installation process may vary slightly depending on the distribution. It is recommended to refer to the documentation or package manager of your specific distribution for instructions.

How can I uninstall Urxvt terminal?

To uninstall Urxvt terminal, open your terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt remove rxvt-unicode

This command will remove the Urxvt terminal package from your system. If you want to remove any configuration files associated with Urxvt, you can use the purge option instead of remove:

sudo apt purge rxvt-unicode
Can I use Urxvt terminal as the default terminal emulator?

Yes, you can set Urxvt terminal as the default terminal emulator in your Ubuntu 18.04 system. To do this, go to your system’s settings or preferences and look for the "Default Applications" or "Preferred Applications" option. In that menu, you should be able to select Urxvt terminal as the default terminal emulator.

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