4 January 2005

Benchmark of Various Terminal Emulation Programs

Posted under: at 22:25

I did some benchmark to measure scrolling speed of various terminal emulators. I did this benchmark because a slow terminal can really slow down compilation. I chose not to change any configuration (fonts, color, etc) for all programs measured here.

Script used in this benchmark:

#!/bin/sh
time seq -f "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog %g" \
    1000000

Basically, it prints the string “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” followed by line count for a million time. The script is inspired by a comment in this LWN.net article.

The result is below, sorted by time needed to finish the script above (less time is better).

Some observations:

  • Despite of its wealth of features, Multi GNOME Terminal is the fastest in this test
  • kterm and xvt are by far the slowest terminal emulation tested here
  • GNOME Terminal used to be much slower than KDE Konsole, but it appears to be faster than Konsole now
  • Eterm shows background image by default, but it is still one of the fastest terminal emulation program tested here. Changing it to display no background didn’t make it noticeably faster though.

My terminal program of choice? I still prefer Konsole for its scriptability, even if it is not the fastest :).

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