On X window system (TWM) of my Ubuntu 12.04, xterm has width of 484 pixel and height of 316 pixel, and its geometry is 80x24, based on xwininfo.

On X window system (TWM) of my LFS 7.9, xterm has with of 644 pixel and height of 388 pixel, and its geometry is 80x24, based on xwininfo.

How can I configure xterm of LFS 7.9 so that its width by height size can be like Ubuntu 12.04? I like how Ubuntu xterm looks.

2 Answers 2


An XTerm's size is determined by the number of characters its displaying, the font it is using, and the size of the window manager decorations (title bar, outlines, etc.).

You're probably using a different (larger) font on LFS. Ubuntu's xterm settings are probably in /etc/X11/app-defaults/{XTerm,XTerm-color} (at least that's where they are in Debian). You could copy them over, or at least the settings you want. [BTW: If you're not aware, XTerm has multiple fonts you can switch to via ControlRightClick and ControlShiftKeypad +/- (all bindings configurable).

You can also do that on a per-user basis in your ~/.Xresources file and with xrdb.

If you want to know what all the settings in the XTerm app-defaults mean, the xterm manpage actually documents them thoroughly.

  • Can you please provide an example of how to translate from the xterm manpage to the ~/.Xresources file or to the app-defaults/XTerm file? It's not clear to me how to do that. Thanks! Sep 29, 2018 at 15:15
  • @AdrianKeister that would probably be better asked as a new question, along with details (e.g., which settings in particular).
    – derobert
    Sep 29, 2018 at 16:21

I was trying to resize and reposition my xterm terminal based on pixels as well. The solution I found was using this:

Reposition and Resize using pixels

So what you do is when you're calling xterm, you provide a title to it for example:

xterm -T "My XTerm"

Then using xdotool you find the Window ID:

xdotool search --onlyvisible --name "My XTerm"

You use the Window ID to set the size:

xdotool windowsize $WINDOW_ID_GOES_HERE $WIDTH $HEIGHT

And to reposition:

xdotool windowmove $WINDOW_ID_GOES_HERE $X $Y

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