On Debian, Shift+Down in URxvt opens new tab. But recently I started using another machine with Fedora, and here it has no effect; here Ctrl+T does that. But neither one works on both, so I'm doomed to think of where I am. Plus, I need Ctrl+T in some programs (Vim, MOC...).

Inspired by a document on ArchWiki, I tried to add URxvt.keysym.Shift-Down: perl:tabbedex:new_tab to my ~/.XDefaults, but that did not have effect. (But even if it did work, I'm not sure if it would release Ctrl+T for other use.)

Any ideas?


The ArchWiki comments are describing a different tab implementation for rxvt-unicode called "tabbedex". If you look closely, you'll notice that it's a separate package. If you want to try it out, grab the Perl source and shove it in ${HOME}/.urxvt/ext (see the perl-lib config item in rxvt-unicode(1)).

The package maintainers in Fedora appear to have decided to include this distro-custom patch:

keysym 0x74, BTW, is t. You can supersede the system tabbed Perl extension by putting a copy of /usr/lib/urxvt/perl/tabbed from a Debian machine into ~/.urxvt/ext on your Fedora machine or simply replacing the system copy.

Honestly, what prompted the Fedora patch? I have no idea.

  • Thanks for pointers. However, using Debian's tabbed only removes the Ctrl+T, so I end up with no shortcut at all. May 12 '14 at 14:27
  • You're right; I didn't realize the shift+up/down in the fedora build was hardwired in. Have you considered writing a patch for rxvt-unicode upstream making the feature a command-line - or at least, X resources option?
    – etherfish
    May 14 '14 at 7:22
  • see my update: Fedora devs responded with great speed, and removed the patches that broke the original, upstream-like behavior. May 14 '14 at 14:42
  • Fantastic news! Congratulations.
    – etherfish
    May 15 '14 at 7:34

Thanks to etherfish for pointers. I have done some more research:

Turns out that this has been broken by an RFE, which introduced first version of another patch, which enabled S-down/up to scroll one line, thus broke the tabbing.

Later this has been addressed few times (e.g. by editing the patch and trying to change that to C-up/down), but that was not really accepted so currently the situation is not solved, save for adding C-T, presumably as a hotfix (... better than no shortcut at all).

I have posted this as bug against Fedora

So what can we do now?

  • Wait for Fedora maintainers to fix the problem (or propose another patch).

  • Build urxvt yourself from upstream.

  • Use different version of tabbed, like tabbedex.

  • Use local copy of tabbed, adding a third shortcut that works on both distros (either add that to ~/.urxvt or edit the system-wide file).

Update: Awesome, about a day later, patch to the bug is already submitted and on its way to release. Patches that broke this on Fedora are being removed so that S-Down will soon work again. Thanks, Fedora devs!


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