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Where is the config file for alacritty?

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Alacritty is a popular open source, cross-platform terminal emulator that focuses on simplicity, performance, and efficiency. It uses the GPU for hardware-accelerated rendering to provide smooth scrolling and full color support. As an open source project, Alacritty is highly configurable to suit different preferences and workflows. One of the main ways users customize Alacritty is through its configuration file. This file allows control over things like fonts, colors, scrolling, and key bindings. For many users, knowing where to find and how to edit Alacritty’s configuration file is essential to setting up their desired terminal environment. This article will walk through the details of locating and modifying Alacritty’s configuration file on Linux, macOS, and Windows.

Locating the Config File on Linux

On Linux systems, Alacritty looks for the config file in the following locations:

Location Description
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/alacritty/alacritty.yml User specific config file
$XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/alacritty/alacritty.yml System wide config file
$HOME/.config/alacritty/alacritty.yml Default user config location if $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is not set
/etc/xdg/alacritty/alacritty.yml Default system config location if $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS is not set

The config file will be created at one of these locations when Alacritty is first run. The user specific config takes priority if it exists.

To find the current config file being used, you can launch Alacritty and run the following command:

alacritty –print-config-path

This will print the full path to the config file Alacritty has loaded.

You can also manually check each of the potential config locations listed above. The default filename is `alacritty.yml` in YAML format.

Once you’ve located the file, you can open it in a text editor to customize Alacritty’s settings.

Locating the Config File on macOS

On macOS, the Alacritty config file is located at:

Location Description
~/Library/Application Support/alacritty/alacritty.yml User specific config file location

To quickly open this folder in Finder, run:

open ~/Library/Application\ Support/alacritty

The `alacritty.yml` file inside this directory contains all of Alacritty’s configuration options.

As with Linux, you can also launch Alacritty and use the `–print-config-path` flag to confirm the location of the active config file.

Locating the Config File on Windows

On Windows, Alacritty keeps the config file at:

Location Description
%APPDATA%\alacritty\alacritty.yml User specific config file location

The %APPDATA% folder resolves to a path like:


So the full config path will be something like:


You can open this directory in File Explorer and edit `alacritty.yml` to customize settings.

Or from an Alacritty terminal, you can run:

alacritty –print-config-path

To confirm the active config file location on Windows.

Modifying Configuration Options

Once you’ve located your Alacritty config file, you can open it in a text editor to modify settings.

The file uses YAML formatting for configuration options. Here is a simple example with some common tweaks:

# Font configuration
family: Monospace
style: Regular

family: Monospace
style: Bold

family: Monospace
style: Italic

size: 12

# Window settings
x: 10
y: 10

decorations: full

# Background opacity
background_opacity: 0.8

# Cursor style
style: Beam

This configures the font family, style, and size, adds padding around the terminal window, keeps window decorations like the title bar, sets the background opacity to 80%, and changes the cursor style.

The [Alacritty configuration docs]( explain all available options in detail. Some highlights include:

– **Colors** – Configure color schemes, palettes, and gamma settings
– **Scrolling** – Control scrollback buffer size and scrolling sensitivity
– **Performance** – Tune settings like render timer and glyph cache size for performance
– **Bell** – Configure visual and audible terminal bell
– **Selection** – Customize selection and clipboard behavior
– **Key bindings** – Modify keyboard shortcuts
– **Mouse** – Change mouse bindings like clicks and scrolling
– **Shell** – Set default shell program to launch

The config file allows extensive customization of Alacritty’s appearance and function. It’s a good idea to check the documentation for all available options when modifying the file.

Some common tweaks include changing the font, adjusting performance settings for slower/faster hardware, binding hotkeys for frequent actions, setting preferred color schemes, and configuring clipboard and selection behavior.

Once you’ve made changes to the config file, you can restart Alacritty to load the new configuration. Make small incremental changes and test them out to avoid breaking things. Over time, you can tune the config to perfectly match your terminal preferences.


Knowing where to find and how to edit Alacritty’s config file is key to customizing it as your ideal terminal emulator. The config file location varies across Linux, macOS, and Windows but is easily discoverable on each platform. Alacritty offers deep configurability through its YAML-formatted configuration file. Tweaking settings for things like fonts, colors, performance, and key bindings can provide a tailored terminal experience. The config file allows Alacritty to balance simplicity and customizability. With some exploration of the available options, you can tune Alacritty into your perfect terminal emulator.