July 30, 2019

772 words 4 mins read



A modern cross-platform terminal emulator in Go

repo name liamg/aminal
repo link https://github.com/liamg/aminal
language Go
size (curr.) 34470 kB
stars (curr.) 2060
created 2018-10-17
license GNU General Public License v3.0

Aminal - A Modern Terminal Emulator

Travis Build Status GoReportCard Github Release Slack License

Aminal is a modern terminal emulator for Mac/Linux/Windows implemented in Golang and utilising OpenGL.

Demo GIF

The project is experimental at the moment, so you probably won’t want to rely on Aminal as your main terminal for a while.

Ensure you have your latest graphics card drivers installed before use.


  • Unicode support
  • OpenGL rendering
  • Customisation options
  • True colour support
  • Support for common ANSI escape sequences a la xterm
  • Scrollback buffer
  • Clipboard access
  • Clickable URLs
  • Multi platform support (Windows, Linux, OSX)
  • Sixel support
  • Hints/overlays
  • Built-in patched fonts for powerline
  • Retina display support



brew tap liamg/aminal
brew install aminal


You can run Aminal with a binary from the releases page.

Dev environment setup instructions are available here.

Prebuilt Binaries

Prebuilt binaries are available for Linux, OSX and Windows on the releases page.

Download the binary and sudo cp aminal-* /usr/local/bin/aminal && chmod +x /usr/local/bin/aminal.

Install with Go

go get -u github.com/liamg/aminal



  • On macOS, you need Xcode or Command Line Tools for Xcode (xcode-select --install) for required headers and libraries.
  • On Ubuntu/Debian-like Linux distributions, you need libgl1-mesa-dev xorg-dev.
  • On CentOS/Fedora-like Linux distributions, you need libX11-devel libXcursor-devel libXrandr-devel libXinerama-devel mesa-libGL-devel libXi-devel.

Building Locally

There are various make targets available, the most obvious being:

make test
make build
make install

As long as you have your GOBIN environment variable set up properly (and in PATH), you should be able to run aminal.

Keyboard/Mouse Shortcuts

Operation Key(s)
Select text click + drag
Select word double click
Select line triple click
Copy ctrl + shift + c (Mac: super + c)
Paste ctrl + shift + v (Mac: super + v)
Search online for selected text ctrl + shift + g (Mac: super + g)
Toggle debug display ctrl + shift + d (Mac: super + d)
Toggle slomo ctrl + shift + ; (Mac: super + ;)
Report bug in aminal ctrl + shift + r (Mac: super + r)


Aminal looks for a config file in the following places, and stops when it finds one:

  • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/aminal/config.toml
  • $HOME/.config/aminal/config.toml
  • $HOME/.aminal.toml

Note that on Windows Aminal uses %USERPROFILE% environment variable instead of $HOME.

It will write a config file to whichever of those directories exists (preferring the top of the list) the first time it runs, if one doesn’t already exist.

You can ignore the config and use defaults by specifying --ignore-config as a CLI flag.

Config File

debug = false               # Enable debug logging to stdout. Defaults to false.
slomo = false               # Enable slow motion output mode, useful for debugging shells/terminal GUI apps etc. Defaults to false.
shell = "/bin/bash"         # The shell to run for the terminal session. Defaults to the users shell.
search_url = "https://www.google.com/search?q=$QUERY" # The search engine to use for the "search selected text" action. Defaults to google. Set this to your own search url using $QUERY as the keywords to replace when searching.
max_lines = 1000            # Maximum number of lines in the terminal buffer.
copy_and_paste_with_mouse = true # Text selected with the mouse is copied to the clipboard on end selection, and is pasted on right mouse button click.
dpi-scale = 0.0             # Override DPI scale. Defaults to 0.0 (let Aminal determine the DPI scale itself).

  cursor        = "#e8dfd6" 
  foreground    = "#e8dfd6" 
  background    = "#021b21" 
  black         = "#032c36" 
  red           = "#c2454e" 
  green         = "#7cbf9e"
  yellow        = "#8a7a63"
  blue          = "#065f73"
  magenta       = "#ff5879"
  cyan          = "#44b5b1"
  light_grey    = "#f2f1b9"
  dark_grey     = "#3e4360"
  light_red     = "#ef5847"
  light_green   = "#a2db91"
  light_yellow  = "#beb090"
  light_blue    = "#61778d"
  light_magenta = "#ff99a1"
  light_cyan    = "#9ed9d8"
  white         = "#f6f6c9"
  selection     = "#333366" # Mouse selection background colour

  copy      = "ctrl + shift + c"    # Copy highlighted text to system clipboard
  paste     = "ctrl + shift + v"    # Paste text from system clipboard
  debug     = "ctrl + shift + d"    # Toggle debug panel overlay
  google    = "ctrl + shift + g"    # Google selected text
  report    = "ctrl + shift + r"    # Send bug report
  slomo     = "ctrl + shift + ;"    # Toggle slow motion output mode (useful for debugging)

CLI Flags

Flag Description
--debug Enable debug mode, with debug logging and debug info terminal overlay.
--slomo Enable slomo mode, delay the handling of each incoming byte (or escape sequence) from the pty by 100ms. Useful for debugging.
--shell [shell] Use the specified shell program instead of the user’s usual one.
--version Show the version of aminal and exit.


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