Benchmark of Various Terminal Emulation Programs

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:

time seq -f “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog %g” \

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 article](

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

* [Multi GNOME Terminal]( 17.7 seconds
* [wterm]( 19.6 seconds
* [Multi aterm]( 19.8 seconds
* [aterm]( 24.2 seconds
* [Eterm]( 25.5 seconds
* [Unicode rxvt]( 25.8 seconds
* [rxvt]( 27.5 seconds
* [Linux]( console (without framebuffers): 27.8 seconds
* [mrxvt]( 32.3 seconds
* [GNOME Terminal]( : 38.4 seconds
* [mlterm]( 38.4 seconds
* [xterm]( 53.3 seconds
* [cxterm]( 56.7 seconds
* [KDE Konsole]( 59.3 seconds
* [kterm]( 6 minutes 5.6 seconds
* [xvt]( 6 minutes 33 seconds
* [hanterm]( did not run (complained about missing fonts and I was too lazy to do something about it)

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 :).


  1. pake mesin PIII/733
    * xterm (bitmap fonts): 5:10
    * gnome-terminal (truetype fonts): 3:11
    * rxvt (bitmap fonts): 1:01
    * aterm (bitmap fonts): 0:34
    * console framebuffer vesa-tng 1024×768: 10:09


    pindah ke aterm lagi ah…

  2. Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.40GHz
    1st bench:
    real 0m21.829s
    user 0m2.900s
    sys 0m1.580s

    real 0m19.409s
    user 0m2.800s
    sys 0m1.480s

    real 0m21.592s
    user 0m2.700s
    sys 0m1.370s

    real 0m18.828s
    user 0m2.780s
    sys 0m1.800s

    real 0m24.068s
    user 0m2.570s
    sys 0m1.860s

    Kenapa ya beda2? *garuk2 kepala*

  3. Using PuTTY over 100 Mbps LAN I got 42.345 seconds. Heh. I think the network buffering has something to do with it. Somebody could try serial console with Tera Term or something similar, too, if they’d like.

  4. AMD Athlon(tm) XP 1900+, sambil kompile glibc sama nonton pake mplayer:

    KDE Konsole: 2m+
    screen: 44.145s

    kesimpulan, pakailah “screen” untuk compile2

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