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[How-to] Custom symbols in X Terminal

16 January 2012Entry by

Are you in need of special symbols while in X Terminal? Don’t want to bring up the special characters menu all the time? Well, here’s an easy way to customize the special characters  line on the bottom of your X Terminal window.


Open up your XTerm and use those commands to modify the characters line:

Note: Run these commands as a regular user, not root.

Modify the key labels:

gconftool-2 -s /apps/osso/xterm/key_labels -t list –list-type=string “[keylabels]”

Replace keylabels with the set of labels you want to use, separated by colons without any whitespaces. You’re free to use any text, just don’t use labels too long. The maximum safe amount of labels you can use is 7, if you use more, they will all go to a side-menu.  For example, if we are to add pipe, input and tilde symbols you can use this:  Tab,Esc,PgUp,PgDn,|,>,~

Next, set the characters that those labels will correspond to:

gconftool-2 -s /apps/osso/xterm/keys -t list –list-type=string “[character values]”

Replace character values with the corresponding values. You can look up which values respond to which characters by looking at /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/nokia_vndr/rx-51 file (do it as a regular user, so you don’t modify it by accident)

If we follow the example for pipe, input and tilde characters, we shall use these values: Tab,Escape,Page_Up,Page_Down,bar,greater,asciitilde

Restart your X Terminal, so the fullscreen button goes where it should go and enjoy!


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