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Alacritty is the result of frustration with existing terminal emulators. Using vim inside tmux in many terminals was a particularly bad experience. None of them were ever quite fast enough. Even so, Linux does have some decent alternatives. For example, urxvt and st give good experiences. The major downside with those options is difficulty of configuration and inability to run on non-X11 platforms. The options for macOS are particularly slow–especially with a full-screen terminal on a 4k monitor. None of these terminals are cross-platform–they are usually married to the windowing and font rendering APIs of their native platform.
Alacritty aims to address these issues. The project’s architecture and features are guided by a set of values:
Correctness: Alacritty should be able to properly render modern terminal applications like tmux and vim. Glyphs should be rendered properly, and the proper glyphs should be displayed.
Performance: Alacritty should be the fastest terminal emulator available anywhere.
Appearance: Alacritty should have beautiful font rendering and look fantastic on all supported platforms.
Simplicity: Alacritty should be conservative about which features it offers. As we’ve learned from past terminal emulators, it’s far too easy to become bloated. st taught us that it doesn’t need to be that way. Features like GUI-based configuration, tabs and scrollback are unnecessary. The latter features are better provided by a terminal multiplexer like tmux.
Portability: Alacritty should support major operating systems including Linux, macOS, and Windows.
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