Mlterm is a multilingual terminal emulator on X11.

Web site:

RTL support

Mlterm unlike many other terminal have support for variants of languages that including RTL languages (Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Hebrew).

Why RTL support

  • more terminal software are being translated and it needs RTL enabled terminal to be usable. (apt-get apt-* and zenity etc..)
  • basic commands cd, ls, pwd while dealing with files in RTL language
  • reading and editing RTL text (cat, less, nano and vim etc..)

Fonts and anti-aliasing

using fixed width font with anti-aliasing can give the terminal a very good appearance. you can chose the font and other sittings by the GUI. to open the GUI settings window just hold Ctrl and press the right mouse button.


Mlterm unlike vte doesn't support embedding. so it can't be used inside Synaptic for example. see,Developer comment

Installing Mlterm by default with RTL languages

installing mlterm by default for the RTL languages will fix the issue of RTL text appearing in the wrong direction (ex, abc, cba). that will make apt-get messages and ls, cat output unreadable and the same for every program in terminal.

Vte not going to be fixed

It have been stated that vte developer wont fix the problem in vte because it needs to rewrite vte. no patch will do it. bicon which is another workaround is no longer maintained.

see developer comments in gnome bug: arabic, hebrew: character alignment not working properly

Testing version 3.0.0

to test mlterm 3.0.0 you can use the following ppa (lucid comes with 2.9.4):

deb lucid main
deb-src lucid main


Working Arabic RTL text with Bidi support Window-1.png

old_Working Arabic RTL text with Bidi support

Chines and Japanese languages even

Chines and Japanese languages even

you can change the font through the GUI

you can change the font through the GUI

Mlterm vs vte video comparison with bicon testing in vte:


Including mlterm when a user chose to install RTL language support

what are the requirement to have this done? I've sent a message to Ubunt-desktop mail-list but no respond. I'll try contacting Ubuntu-devs and some other related mail-list maybe. could any one help on this please? -- damascene 2010-04-09 04:30:35 I've opened the new main bug as I've been told it would be better in #ubuntu-devel -- damascene I hope some one other add testing cases for Urdu ,Persian and Chinese -- damascene

Mlterm (last edited 2022-02-23 14:49:22 by flimm)