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I'm having difficulties using RXVT with Cygwin on Win7.

  • rxvt-native launches properly and i can use it, however, it is incredibly slow,
  • rxvt-unicode-xC doesn't launch at all,
  • rxvt-unicode-xS seems to launch but then immediately exits,
  • rxvt-x emphasized text also does nothing.

What is the difference between these 4 RXVT options, and why might rxvt-native be running so slowly while the other aren't usable at all?

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Not really an answer, but why not try mintty instead? It comes standard with Cygwin, doesn't require an X server, and in my (rather extensive) experience it's by far the best Cygwin terminal emulator available. –  Aaron Miller Jun 3 '13 at 17:07
    
I do use mintty, I have for years. It was suggested to me that I give rxvt a try (after complaining about a few things, like modifying the color scheme, for example). –  ash Jun 3 '13 at 17:52
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

rxvt-native attempts to run on both Windows and X11 via a rather hack-ish abstraction layer, which is probably the cause for it being slow. It is unmaintained and deprecated; if you want a Cygwin terminal without X, the default mintty shell is recommended.

rxvt-unicode is a fork of the original with a more modern codebase and Unicode support, but is an X11 program and therefore requires a running X server in order to operate. It comes in both standalone (-xS) and client/daemon (-xC being the client) varieties.

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