GNOME's VTE Seeing Improvements For Faster Terminal Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 4 October 2023 at 09:56 AM EDT. 17 Comments
GNOME developer Christian Hergert recently demonstrated how Linux terminal emulators have the potential of running much faster. At the time it didn't sound like he would pursue the matter further but more recently he's begun working on folding some performance improvements into GNOME's VTE for a faster terminal experience.

GNOME's VTE is the virtual terminal library used for providing a VT widget for GTK applications.

GMOME Terminal

Hergert is using his recent speedy-terminal prototyping to guide his enhancements to VTE performance. In turn the work will yield faster VTE performance for both GTK3 and GTK4 usage. The results are quite promising so far:
"Once the last patch lands in this category we will have cut wall clock time down for a number of common scenarios by a solid 40%. That’s a pretty good win!"

He's also working on some patches to add GTK4 drawing primitives for VTE rather than Cairo. In turn this will lower the draw latency for GTK 4 usage. More details on the VTE performance improvement work via Hergert's blog.
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