This is a sample line from my .Xresources:

XTerm.vt100.geometry: 80x64+240+120

It works, but I'm concerned about style. One thing is that I see people use things like xterm*background. What's the difference? Another is that xterm's man page claims that the geometry resource is in the class Geometry, but when I put Geometry instead of the vt100, it doesn't work.

1 Answer 1


There are two variants of specifying X11 resources in .Xresources. You can either specify resources for an application name, or for a Class. Classes are typically named with leading capital(s).

I have in my .Xresources only this: xterm*color4: #8080c0.

In the example xterm, you can use the parameter -name xxx, to change the application name to xxx. That way you could have different "styles" of xterms, for instance. When you specify resources for a Class, it should affect all instances of that class (all XTerm applications, no matter the application name).

* is a wildcard. People use it to set the resource for many different widgets. Perhaps a button or a scrollbar. If you always want black background on everything, instead of having many rows of X resources, you can use a wildcard.

In your example, you should try Geometry with a capital G: XTerm.VT100.Geometry: 80x64+240+120 to set it for all your VT100 XTerms. (but not for TEK ones).

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