When running xterm's ./configure --help there is an option

--enable-double-buffer  enable double-buffering

I've searched the web and came across the X11 Double Buffer Extension, the Introduction of which reads

The Double Buffer Extension (DBE) provides a standard way to utilize double-buffering within the framework of the X Window System. Double-buffering uses two buffers, called front and back, which hold images. The front buffer is visible to the user; the back buffer is not. Successive frames of an animation are rendered into the back buffer while the previously rendered frame is displayed in the front buffer. When a new frame is ready, the back and front buffers swap roles, making the new frame visible. Ideally, this exchange appears to happen instantaneously to the user and with no visual artifacts. Thus, only completely rendered images are presented to the user, and they remain visible during the entire time it takes to render a new frame. The result is a flicker-free animation.

Why would I want xterm to use double buffering? Usually an xterm doesn't need to update frames in short succession. Is there a benefit using this option for xterm?

1 Answer 1


This option was added to address xterm flickering (on some setups) when resizing/scrolling back/long outputs.
The initial patch was posted by a user on Archlinux forums. It was later integrated into xterm source code.

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