This is modified tabbed extension for well known urxvt-unicode terminal emulator


  • Possibility to add named tabs, through the X resources, which represents its class. Without any configuration only simple shell class is available under CTRL+SHIFT+N shortcut. After creating first custom shell this default will be discarded.

    Named tabs
  • Shortcuts can be attached to Super_L and Super_R keys together with others

  • Fast navigation to first ten tabs (if available) with shortcut CTRL+[num], where num can be 0 to 9. CTRL+0 will switch to tenth tab.

  • Numbers in tabs can be switched off in by setting resource:URxvt.tabbed.tab-numbers: false

  • Integrated activity indicator with additional features like colors and different characters instead of simply asterisk depending on time.

    Indicator activity
  • Integrated tab renaming from stepb. Default under SHIFT+UP, then type some text and RETURN for accept, ESC for cancel.


Copy tabbed into ~/.urxvt directory.

Add these to your ~/.Xdefaults:

! Perl extension config
URxvt.perl-ext-common: default
URxvt.perl-ext: tabbed
! Any scripts placed here will override global ones with the same name
URxvt.perl-lib: /home/user/.urxvt/

! Tabbed extension configuration
URxvt.tabbed.tabbar-fg: 8
URxvt.tabbed.tabbar-bg: 0
URxvt.tabbed.tab-fg:    15
URxvt.tabbed.tab-bg:    8
URxvt.tabbed.new-button: false

Creating custom classes

Let's assume, that one want to add three kind of custom shells:

  • simple one (default shell in the system),
  • midnight commander,
  • root (namely - su command)

Three resources should be created in .Xdefaults:

URxvt.tabbed.tabcmds.1: N|shell
URxvt.tabbed.tabcmds.2: R|root|su -
URxvt.tabbed.tabcmds.3: M|mc|mc

Numbered attribute just after URxvt.tabbed.tabcmds resource is an ordinal number, started from 1. There shouldn't be gaps between numbers, otherwise custom shells defined after a gap will not work.

Resource values are pipe separated values, which are in order:

  • shortcut key, which will be used for invoking custom shell together with CTRL+SHIFT keys. Mod4 (aka Super or Windows key) are not supported, and most probably will be removed from script soon, as lots of window managers out there make a big use of those keys.

Note: There is limitation for characters used as a shortcut. Because some of them are used for control terminal itself (i.e. CTRL+SHIFT+D may not work), and also other characters (digits, some special characters etc.). Letters are case insensitive.

  • name of the tab, it could be anything but the pipe.
  • optional command. If omitted, simple shell will be launched.

Startup tabs

There is possibility to tell tabbed which tabs should be auto started during first window launch. First, you'll need to have some custom tab commands. Let's assume, that there are already defined three custom shells, like in section above. If one wanted to start shell, mc and root session, following line should be placed in ~/.Xdefaults:

URxvt.session: N|M|R

Launching tabbed interface

After that invoke urxvt with perl extensions enabled:

$ urxvt -pe tabbed

That's all.