mrxvt looking for maintainers

Hi all!

mrxvt is a cool light-weight terminal emulator, not tied to a specific desktop environment and with minimal dependency. This was also one of my very first bigger contributions to Free Software. Well I had patches here and there before, but that’s one project where I stuck around longer and where I was quickly given commit rights. So it is dear to my heart. It was also my first big feature attempt since I started a branch to add UTF-8 support (actually any-encoding support), which is the normal way of things now but at the time, many software and distributions were still not working with UTF-8 as a default. Then I left for years-long wandering our planet on a motorcycle (as people who know me are aware) and because of this, drastically slowed down FLOSS contributions until a few years ago. Back as a contributor, mrxvt is not my main project anymore (you know which these are: GIMP and ZeMarmot!). I moved on.

Now I have to admit the awful truth: I don’t use mrxvt much anymore. My main reason is actually because I need dearly UTF-8 and even though I’d love to finish whatever I started on this topic years ago, I don’t have the opportunity to do this anymore. Whatever terminal I use now* is good for me.

Yet mrxvt is still used, and we have regularly people asking about its development. So this is just a small call, if not too late:

if anyone is interested into taking over mrxvt, you are welcome to do so!

I have recently moved the code from subversion (on Sourceforge) to git on gitlab. So consider this new repository as the new official upstream of mrxvt. But be it know that my goal here is not to take back active development. I just can’t make the time to it. I can only assure that I would maintain it with GI (historical maintainer who also has commit right on the new repo as well) and would review and merge any patch which makes sense. If any developer who previously had commit rights on our subversion repository asks me for, I can give you commit rights there too.

Last but not least: if anyone wants to take over, we will gladly give ownership. But please send a few patches first. We had a few people who wanted to become the upstream without even showing a piece of code. Well we want to give the baby, but making sure first we give it to someone who cares. So just make a few patches that we can review, and we’ll happily give over mrxvt.

* Full disclosure: my current terminal of choice is Guake. Well it has unfortunately its share of bugs, but I really love the “making it appear and disappear in a click”. Considering that the terminal emulator is undoubtly the software I use the most daily, making it a special one, with its own windowing (not lost in alt-tab hell) is a very good trick to me.

3 Replies to “mrxvt looking for maintainers”

  1. Hi All,

    Just a quick follow up: I’m “GI”, current “maintainer” of mrxvt. I use mrxvt every day, all the time; but I have no time to add features. I will only fix bugs that affect me on my system.

    As Jehan said, we welcome contributors. I think the only feature I would really like to see added is UTF-8 support. I can live without everything else… If you’re interested, join us on the mailing list or send pull requests.

    [Here]( are a few tricks that might help you if you’re interested in using UTF8 in mrxvt (even though mrxvt doesn’t support it). As long as you configure your shell, vim and mutt correctly, you can get by for most simple cases. But if you need something complicated (e.g. double width characters, line drawing, and the whole nine yards) you need a terminal emulator with full UTF-8 support.


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