How to Change the Default Terminal Emulator in i3 Window Manager

Normally $mod+Return would pop up your default terminal emulator in i3wm. i3 does this with i3-sensible-terminal. You can change the default terminal emulator to that of your choice. I use rxvt-unicode aka urxvt. So here’s the procedure to change the default terminal emulator to urxvt so that $mod+Return would open urxvt.

  • Edit ~/.i3/config file.

nano ~/.i3/config

  • Find these lines:

# start a terminal
bindsym $mod+Return exec i3-sensible-terminal

  • Now either replace i3-sensible-terminal with urxvt, or comment-out this line and make another look alike line with urxvt in it. Mine look like this:

# start a terminal

#bindsym $mod+Return exec i3-sensible-terminal
bindsym $mod+Return exec urxvt
  • Now reload i3config without restarting using $mod + Shift + C
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