kitty is highly customizable, everything from keyboard shortcuts, to rendering frames-per-second. See below for an overview of all customization possibilities.

You can open the config file within kitty by pressing ctrl+shift+f2 (+, on macOS). A kitty.conf with commented default configurations and descriptions will be created if the file does not exist. You can reload the config file within kitty by pressing ctrl+shift+f5 (++, on macOS) or sending kitty the SIGUSR1 signal with kill -SIGUSR1 $KITTY_PID. You can also display the current configuration by pressing ctrl+shift+f6 (++, on macOS).

kitty looks for a config file in the OS config directories (usually ~/.config/kitty/kitty.conf) but you can pass a specific path via the kitty --config option or use the KITTY_CONFIG_DIRECTORY environment variable. See kitty --config for full details.

Comments can be added to the config file as lines starting with the # character. This works only if the # character is the first character in the line.

Lines can be split by starting the next line with the \ character. All leading whitespace and the \ character are removed.

You can include secondary config files via the include directive. If you use a relative path for include, it is resolved with respect to the location of the current config file. Note that environment variables are expanded, so ${USER}.conf becomes name.conf if USER=name. A special environment variable KITTY_OS is available, to detect the operating system. It is linux, macos or bsd. Also, you can use globinclude to include files matching a shell glob pattern and envinclude to include configuration from environment variables. For example:

include other.conf
# Include *.conf files from all subdirs of kitty.d inside the kitty config dir
globinclude kitty.d/**/*.conf
# Include the *contents* of all env vars starting with KITTY_CONF_
envinclude KITTY_CONF_*


Syntax highlighting for kitty.conf in vim is available via vim-kitty.


kitty has very powerful font management. You can configure individual font faces and even specify special fonts for particular characters.

font_family, bold_font, italic_font, bold_italic_font
font_family      monospace
bold_font        auto
italic_font      auto
bold_italic_font auto

You can specify different fonts for the bold/italic/bold-italic variants. To get a full list of supported fonts use the kitty +list-fonts command. By default they are derived automatically, by the OSes font system. When bold_font or bold_italic_font is set to auto on macOS, the priority of bold fonts is semi-bold, bold, heavy. Setting them manually is useful for font families that have many weight variants like Book, Medium, Thick, etc. For example:

font_family      Operator Mono Book
bold_font        Operator Mono Medium
italic_font      Operator Mono Book Italic
bold_italic_font Operator Mono Medium Italic
font_size 11.0

Font size (in pts).

force_ltr no

kitty does not support BIDI (bidirectional text), however, for RTL scripts, words are automatically displayed in RTL. That is to say, in an RTL script, the words “HELLO WORLD” display in kitty as “WORLD HELLO”, and if you try to select a substring of an RTL-shaped string, you will get the character that would be there had the string been LTR. For example, assuming the Hebrew word ירושלים, selecting the character that on the screen appears to be ם actually writes into the selection buffer the character י. kitty’s default behavior is useful in conjunction with a filter to reverse the word order, however, if you wish to manipulate RTL glyphs, it can be very challenging to work with, so this option is provided to turn it off. Furthermore, this option can be used with the command line program GNU FriBidi to get BIDI support, because it will force kitty to always treat the text as LTR, which FriBidi expects for terminals.


Has no default values. Example values are shown below:

symbol_map U+E0A0-U+E0A3,U+E0C0-U+E0C7 PowerlineSymbols

Map the specified Unicode codepoints to a particular font. Useful if you need special rendering for some symbols, such as for Powerline. Avoids the need for patched fonts. Each Unicode code point is specified in the form U+<code point in hexadecimal>. You can specify multiple code points, separated by commas and ranges separated by hyphens. This option can be specified multiple times. The syntax is:

symbol_map codepoints Font Family Name

Has no default values. Example values are shown below:

narrow_symbols U+E0A0-U+E0A3,U+E0C0-U+E0C7 1

Usually, for Private Use Unicode characters and some symbol/dingbat characters, if the character is followed by one or more spaces, kitty will use those extra cells to render the character larger, if the character in the font has a wide aspect ratio. Using this option you can force kitty to restrict the specified code points to render in the specified number of cells (defaulting to one cell). This option can be specified multiple times. The syntax is:

narrow_symbols codepoints [optionally the number of cells]
disable_ligatures never

Choose how you want to handle multi-character ligatures. The default is to always render them. You can tell kitty to not render them when the cursor is over them by using cursor to make editing easier, or have kitty never render them at all by using always, if you don’t like them. The ligature strategy can be set per-window either using the kitty remote control facility or by defining shortcuts for it in kitty.conf, for example:

map alt+1 disable_ligatures_in active always
map alt+2 disable_ligatures_in all never
map alt+3 disable_ligatures_in tab cursor

Note that this refers to programming ligatures, typically implemented using the calt OpenType feature. For disabling general ligatures, use the font_features option.


Has no default values. Example values are shown below:

font_features none

Choose exactly which OpenType features to enable or disable. This is useful as some fonts might have features worthwhile in a terminal. For example, Fira Code includes a discretionary feature, zero, which in that font changes the appearance of the zero (0), to make it more easily distinguishable from Ø. Fira Code also includes other discretionary features known as Stylistic Sets which have the tags ss01 through ss20.

For the exact syntax to use for individual features, see the HarfBuzz documentation.

Note that this code is indexed by PostScript name, and not the font family. This allows you to define very precise feature settings; e.g. you can disable a feature in the italic font but not in the regular font.

On Linux, font features are first read from the FontConfig database and then this option is applied, so they can be configured in a single, central place.

To get the PostScript name for a font, use kitty +list-fonts --psnames:

$ kitty +list-fonts --psnames | grep Fira
Fira Code
Fira Code Bold (FiraCode-Bold)
Fira Code Light (FiraCode-Light)
Fira Code Medium (FiraCode-Medium)
Fira Code Regular (FiraCode-Regular)
Fira Code Retina (FiraCode-Retina)

The part in brackets is the PostScript name.

Enable alternate zero and oldstyle numerals:

font_features FiraCode-Retina +zero +onum

Enable only alternate zero in the bold font:

font_features FiraCode-Bold +zero

Disable the normal ligatures, but keep the calt feature which (in this font) breaks up monotony:

font_features TT2020StyleB-Regular -liga +calt

In conjunction with force_ltr, you may want to disable Arabic shaping entirely, and only look at their isolated forms if they show up in a document. You can do this with e.g.:

font_features UnifontMedium +isol -medi -fina -init

Modify font characteristics such as the position or thickness of the underline and strikethrough. The modifications can have the suffix px for pixels or % for percentage of original value. No suffix means use pts. For example:

modify_font underline_position -2
modify_font underline_thickness 150%
modify_font strikethrough_position 2px

Additionally, you can modify the size of the cell in which each font glyph is rendered and the baseline at which the glyph is placed in the cell. For example:

modify_font cell_width 80%
modify_font cell_height -2px
modify_font baseline 3

Note that modifying the baseline will automatically adjust the underline and strikethrough positions by the same amount. Increasing the baseline raises glyphs inside the cell and decreasing it lowers them. Decreasing the cell size might cause rendering artifacts, so use with care.

box_drawing_scale 0.001, 1, 1.5, 2

The sizes of the lines used for the box drawing Unicode characters. These values are in pts. They will be scaled by the monitor DPI to arrive at a pixel value. There must be four values corresponding to thin, normal, thick, and very thick lines.

undercurl_style thin-sparse

The style with which undercurls are rendered. This option takes the form (thin|thick)-(sparse|dense). Thin and thick control the thickness of the undercurl. Sparse and dense control how often the curl oscillates. With sparse the curl will peak once per character, with dense twice.

text_composition_strategy platform

Control how kitty composites text glyphs onto the background color. The default value of platform tries for text rendering as close to “native” for the platform kitty is running on as possible.

A value of legacy uses the old (pre kitty 0.28) strategy for how glyphs are composited. This will make dark text on light backgrounds look thicker and light text on dark backgrounds thinner. It might also make some text appear like the strokes are uneven.

You can fine tune the actual contrast curve used for glyph composition by specifying up to two space-separated numbers for this setting.

The first number is the gamma adjustment, which controls the thickness of dark text on light backgrounds. Increasing the value will make text appear thicker. The default value for this is 1.0 on Linux and 1.7 on macOS. Valid values are 0.01 and above. The result is scaled based on the luminance difference between the background and the foreground. Dark text on light backgrounds receives the full impact of the curve while light text on dark backgrounds is affected very little.

The second number is an additional multiplicative contrast. It is percentage ranging from 0 to 100. The default value is 0 on Linux and 30 on macOS.

If you wish to achieve similar looking thickness in light and dark themes, a good way to experiment is start by setting the value to 1.0 0 and use a dark theme. Then adjust the second parameter until it looks good. Then switch to a light theme and adjust the first parameter until the perceived thickness matches the dark theme.

text_fg_override_threshold 0

The minimum accepted difference in luminance between the foreground and background color, below which kitty will override the foreground color. It is percentage ranging from 0 to 100. If the difference in luminance of the foreground and background is below this threshold, the foreground color will be set to white if the background is dark or black if the background is light. The default value is 0, which means no overriding is performed. Useful when working with applications that use colors that do not contrast well with your preferred color scheme.

WARNING: Some programs use characters (such as block characters) for graphics display and may expect to be able to set the foreground and background to the same color (or similar colors). If you see unexpected stripes, dots, lines, incorrect color, no color where you expect color, or any kind of graphic display problem try setting text_fg_override_threshold to 0 to see if this is the cause of the problem.

Cursor customization

cursor #cccccc

Default cursor color. If set to the special value none the cursor will be rendered with a “reverse video” effect. Its color will be the color of the text in the cell it is over and the text will be rendered with the background color of the cell. Note that if the program running in the terminal sets a cursor color, this takes precedence. Also, the cursor colors are modified if the cell background and foreground colors have very low contrast. Note that some themes set this value, so if you want to override it, place your value after the lines where the theme file is included.

cursor_text_color #111111

The color of text under the cursor. If you want it rendered with the background color of the cell underneath instead, use the special keyword: background. Note that if cursor is set to none then this option is ignored. Note that some themes set this value, so if you want to override it, place your value after the lines where the theme file is included.

cursor_shape block

The cursor shape can be one of block, beam, underline. Note that when reloading the config this will be changed only if the cursor shape has not been set by the program running in the terminal. This sets the default cursor shape, applications running in the terminal can override it. In particular, shell integration in kitty sets the cursor shape to beam at shell prompts. You can avoid this by setting shell_integration to no-cursor.

cursor_shape_unfocused hollow

Defines the text cursor shape when the OS window is not focused. The unfocused cursor shape can be one of block, beam, underline, hollow.

cursor_beam_thickness 1.5

The thickness of the beam cursor (in pts).

cursor_underline_thickness 2.0

The thickness of the underline cursor (in pts).

cursor_blink_interval -1

The interval to blink the cursor (in seconds). Set to zero to disable blinking. Negative values mean use system default. Note that the minimum interval will be limited to repaint_delay.

cursor_stop_blinking_after 15.0

Stop blinking cursor after the specified number of seconds of keyboard inactivity. Set to zero to never stop blinking.


scrollback_lines 2000

Number of lines of history to keep in memory for scrolling back. Memory is allocated on demand. Negative numbers are (effectively) infinite scrollback. Note that using very large scrollback is not recommended as it can slow down performance of the terminal and also use large amounts of RAM. Instead, consider using scrollback_pager_history_size. Note that on config reload if this is changed it will only affect newly created windows, not existing ones.

scrollback_indicator_opacity 1.0

The opacity of the scrollback indicator which is a small colored rectangle that moves along the right hand side of the window as you scroll, indicating what fraction you have scrolled. The default is one which means fully opaque, aka visible. Set to a value between zero and one to make the indicator less visible.

scrollback_pager less --chop-long-lines --RAW-CONTROL-CHARS +INPUT_LINE_NUMBER

Program with which to view scrollback in a new window. The scrollback buffer is passed as STDIN to this program. If you change it, make sure the program you use can handle ANSI escape sequences for colors and text formatting. INPUT_LINE_NUMBER in the command line above will be replaced by an integer representing which line should be at the top of the screen. Similarly CURSOR_LINE and CURSOR_COLUMN will be replaced by the current cursor position or set to 0 if there is no cursor, for example, when showing the last command output.

scrollback_pager_history_size 0

Separate scrollback history size (in MB), used only for browsing the scrollback buffer with pager. This separate buffer is not available for interactive scrolling but will be piped to the pager program when viewing scrollback buffer in a separate window. The current implementation stores the data in UTF-8, so approximately 10000 lines per megabyte at 100 chars per line, for pure ASCII, unformatted text. A value of zero or less disables this feature. The maximum allowed size is 4GB. Note that on config reload if this is changed it will only affect newly created windows, not existing ones.

scrollback_fill_enlarged_window no

Fill new space with lines from the scrollback buffer after enlarging a window.

wheel_scroll_multiplier 5.0

Multiplier for the number of lines scrolled by the mouse wheel. Note that this is only used for low precision scrolling devices, not for high precision scrolling devices on platforms such as macOS and Wayland. Use negative numbers to change scroll direction. See also wheel_scroll_min_lines.

wheel_scroll_min_lines 1

The minimum number of lines scrolled by the mouse wheel. The scroll multiplier only takes effect after it reaches this number. Note that this is only used for low precision scrolling devices like wheel mice that scroll by very small amounts when using the wheel. With a negative number, the minimum number of lines will always be added.

touch_scroll_multiplier 1.0

Multiplier for the number of lines scrolled by a touchpad. Note that this is only used for high precision scrolling devices on platforms such as macOS and Wayland. Use negative numbers to change scroll direction.


mouse_hide_wait 3.0

Hide mouse cursor after the specified number of seconds of the mouse not being used. Set to zero to disable mouse cursor hiding. Set to a negative value to hide the mouse cursor immediately when typing text. Disabled by default on macOS as getting it to work robustly with the ever-changing sea of bugs that is Cocoa is too much effort.

url_color, url_style
url_color #0087bd
url_style curly

The color and style for highlighting URLs on mouse-over. url_style can be one of: none, straight, double, curly, dotted, dashed.

open_url_with default

The program to open clicked URLs. The special value default will first look for any URL handlers defined via the Scripting the mouse click facility and if non are found, it will use the Operating System’s default URL handler (open on macOS and xdg-open on Linux).

url_prefixes file ftp ftps gemini git gopher http https irc ircs kitty mailto news sftp ssh

The set of URL prefixes to look for when detecting a URL under the mouse cursor.

detect_urls yes

Detect URLs under the mouse. Detected URLs are highlighted with an underline and the mouse cursor becomes a hand over them. Even if this option is disabled, URLs are still clickable. See also the underline_hyperlinks option to control how hyperlinks (as opposed to plain text URLs) are displayed.


Additional characters to be disallowed from URLs, when detecting URLs under the mouse cursor. By default, all characters that are legal in URLs are allowed. Additionally, newlines are allowed (but stripped). This is to accommodate programs such as mutt that add hard line breaks even for continued lines. \n can be added to this option to disable this behavior. Special characters can be specified using backslash escapes, to specify a backslash use a double backslash.

show_hyperlink_targets no

When the mouse hovers over a terminal hyperlink, show the actual URL that will be activated when the hyperlink is clicked.

underline_hyperlinks hover

Control how hyperlinks are underlined. They can either be underlined on mouse hover, always (i.e. permanently underlined) or never which means that kitty will not apply any underline styling to hyperlinks. Uses the url_style and url_color settings for the underline style. Note that reloading the config and changing this value to/from always will only affect text subsequently received by kitty.

copy_on_select no

Copy to clipboard or a private buffer on select. With this set to clipboard, selecting text with the mouse will cause the text to be copied to clipboard. Useful on platforms such as macOS that do not have the concept of primary selection. You can instead specify a name such as a1 to copy to a private kitty buffer. Map a shortcut with the paste_from_buffer action to paste from this private buffer. For example:

copy_on_select a1
map shift+cmd+v paste_from_buffer a1

Note that copying to the clipboard is a security risk, as all programs, including websites open in your browser can read the contents of the system clipboard.

paste_actions quote-urls-at-prompt,confirm

A comma separated list of actions to take when pasting text into the terminal. The supported paste actions are:


If the text being pasted is a URL and the cursor is at a shell prompt, automatically quote the URL (needs shell_integration).


Replace dangerous control codes from pasted text, without confirmation.


Replace the newline character from pasted text, without confirmation.


Confirm the paste if the text to be pasted contains any terminal control codes as this can be dangerous, leading to code execution if the shell/program running in the terminal does not properly handle these.


Confirm the paste if it is very large (larger than 16KB) as pasting large amounts of text into shells can be very slow.


Run the filter_paste() function from the file in the kitty config directory on the pasted text. The text returned by the function will be actually pasted.


Has no effect.

strip_trailing_spaces never

Remove spaces at the end of lines when copying to clipboard. A value of smart will do it when using normal selections, but not rectangle selections. A value of always will always do it.

select_by_word_characters @-./_~?&=%+#

Characters considered part of a word when double clicking. In addition to these characters any character that is marked as an alphanumeric character in the Unicode database will be matched.


Characters considered part of a word when extending the selection forward on double clicking. In addition to these characters any character that is marked as an alphanumeric character in the Unicode database will be matched.

If empty (default) select_by_word_characters will be used for both directions.

click_interval -1.0

The interval between successive clicks to detect double/triple clicks (in seconds). Negative numbers will use the system default instead, if available, or fallback to 0.5.

focus_follows_mouse no

Set the active window to the window under the mouse when moving the mouse around. On macOS, this will also cause the OS Window under the mouse to be focused automatically when the mouse enters it.

pointer_shape_when_grabbed arrow

The shape of the mouse pointer when the program running in the terminal grabs the mouse.

default_pointer_shape beam

The default shape of the mouse pointer.

pointer_shape_when_dragging beam

The default shape of the mouse pointer when dragging across text.

Mouse actions

Mouse buttons can be mapped to perform arbitrary actions. The syntax is:

mouse_map button-name event-type modes action

Where button-name is one of left, middle, right, b1b8 with added keyboard modifiers. For example: ctrl+shift+left refers to holding the Ctrl+Shift keys while clicking with the left mouse button. The value b1b8 can be used to refer to up to eight buttons on a mouse.

event-type is one of press, release, doublepress, triplepress, click, doubleclick. modes indicates whether the action is performed when the mouse is grabbed by the program running in the terminal, or not. The values are grabbed or ungrabbed or a comma separated combination of them. grabbed refers to when the program running in the terminal has requested mouse events. Note that the click and double click events have a delay of click_interval to disambiguate from double and triple presses.

You can run kitty with the kitty --debug-input command line option to see mouse events. See the builtin actions below to get a sense of what is possible.

If you want to unmap a button, map it to nothing. For example, to disable opening of URLs with a plain click:

mouse_map left click ungrabbed

See all the mappable actions including mouse actions here.


Once a selection is started, releasing the button that started it will automatically end it and no release event will be dispatched.

clear_all_mouse_actions no

Remove all mouse action definitions up to this point. Useful, for instance, to remove the default mouse actions.

mouse_map left click ungrabbed mouse_handle_click selection link prompt

First check for a selection and if one exists do nothing. Then check for a link under the mouse cursor and if one exists, click it. Finally check if the click happened at the current shell prompt and if so, move the cursor to the click location. Note that this requires shell integration to work.

mouse_map shift+left click grabbed,ungrabbed mouse_handle_click selection link prompt

Same as above, except that the action is performed even when the mouse is grabbed by the program running in the terminal.

mouse_map ctrl+shift+left release grabbed,ungrabbed mouse_handle_click link

Variant with Ctrl+Shift is present because the simple click based version has an unavoidable delay of click_interval, to disambiguate clicks from double clicks.

mouse_map ctrl+shift+left press grabbed discard_event

Prevent this press event from being sent to the program that has grabbed the mouse, as the corresponding release event is used to open a URL.

Paste from the primary selection
mouse_map middle release ungrabbed paste_from_selection
Start selecting text
mouse_map left press ungrabbed mouse_selection normal
Start selecting text in a rectangle
mouse_map ctrl+alt+left press ungrabbed mouse_selection rectangle
Select a word
mouse_map left doublepress ungrabbed mouse_selection word
Select a line
mouse_map left triplepress ungrabbed mouse_selection line
Select line from point
mouse_map ctrl+alt+left triplepress ungrabbed mouse_selection line_from_point

Select from the clicked point to the end of the line. If you would like to select the word at the point and then extend to the rest of the line, change line_from_point to word_and_line_from_point.

Extend the current selection
mouse_map right press ungrabbed mouse_selection extend

If you want only the end of the selection to be moved instead of the nearest boundary, use move-end instead of extend.

Paste from the primary selection even when grabbed
mouse_map shift+middle release ungrabbed,grabbed paste_selection
mouse_map shift+middle press grabbed discard_event
Start selecting text even when grabbed
mouse_map shift+left press ungrabbed,grabbed mouse_selection normal
Start selecting text in a rectangle even when grabbed
mouse_map ctrl+shift+alt+left press ungrabbed,grabbed mouse_selection rectangle
Select a word even when grabbed
mouse_map shift+left doublepress ungrabbed,grabbed mouse_selection word
Select a line even when grabbed
mouse_map shift+left triplepress ungrabbed,grabbed mouse_selection line
Select line from point even when grabbed
mouse_map ctrl+shift+alt+left triplepress ungrabbed,grabbed mouse_selection line_from_point

Select from the clicked point to the end of the line even when grabbed. If you would like to select the word at the point and then extend to the rest of the line, change line_from_point to word_and_line_from_point.

Extend the current selection even when grabbed
mouse_map shift+right press ungrabbed,grabbed mouse_selection extend
Show clicked command output in pager
mouse_map ctrl+shift+right press ungrabbed mouse_show_command_output

Requires shell integration to work.

Performance tuning

repaint_delay 10

Delay between screen updates (in milliseconds). Decreasing it, increases frames-per-second (FPS) at the cost of more CPU usage. The default value yields ~100 FPS which is more than sufficient for most uses. Note that to actually achieve 100 FPS, you have to either set sync_to_monitor to no or use a monitor with a high refresh rate. Also, to minimize latency when there is pending input to be processed, this option is ignored.

input_delay 3

Delay before input from the program running in the terminal is processed (in milliseconds). Note that decreasing it will increase responsiveness, but also increase CPU usage and might cause flicker in full screen programs that redraw the entire screen on each loop, because kitty is so fast that partial screen updates will be drawn. This setting is ignored when the input buffer is almost full.

sync_to_monitor yes

Sync screen updates to the refresh rate of the monitor. This prevents screen tearing when scrolling. However, it limits the rendering speed to the refresh rate of your monitor. With a very high speed mouse/high keyboard repeat rate, you may notice some slight input latency. If so, set this to no.

Terminal bell

enable_audio_bell yes

The audio bell. Useful to disable it in environments that require silence.

visual_bell_duration 0.0

The visual bell duration (in seconds). Flash the screen when a bell occurs for the specified number of seconds. Set to zero to disable.

visual_bell_color none

The color used by visual bell. Set to none will fall back to selection background color. If you feel that the visual bell is too bright, you can set it to a darker color.

window_alert_on_bell yes

Request window attention on bell. Makes the dock icon bounce on macOS or the taskbar flash on Linux.

bell_on_tab "🔔 "

Some text or a Unicode symbol to show on the tab if a window in the tab that does not have focus has a bell. If you want to use leading or trailing spaces, surround the text with quotes. See tab_title_template for how this is rendered.

For backwards compatibility, values of yes, y and true are converted to the default bell symbol and no, n, false and none are converted to the empty string.

command_on_bell none

Program to run when a bell occurs. The environment variable KITTY_CHILD_CMDLINE can be used to get the program running in the window in which the bell occurred.

bell_path none

Path to a sound file to play as the bell sound. If set to none, the system default bell sound is used. Must be in a format supported by the operating systems sound API, such as WAV or OGA on Linux (libcanberra) or AIFF, MP3 or WAV on macOS (NSSound).

linux_bell_theme __custom

The XDG Sound Theme kitty will use to play the bell sound. Defaults to the custom theme name used by GNOME and Budgie, falling back to the default freedesktop theme if it does not exist. This option may be removed if Linux ever provides desktop-agnostic support for setting system sound themes.

Window layout

remember_window_size, initial_window_width, initial_window_height
remember_window_size  yes
initial_window_width  640
initial_window_height 400

If enabled, the OS Window size will be remembered so that new instances of kitty will have the same size as the previous instance. If disabled, the OS Window will initially have size configured by initial_window_width/height, in pixels. You can use a suffix of “c” on the width/height values to have them interpreted as number of cells instead of pixels.

enabled_layouts *

The enabled window layouts. A comma separated list of layout names. The special value all means all layouts. The first listed layout will be used as the startup layout. Default configuration is all layouts in alphabetical order. For a list of available layouts, see the Layouts.

window_resize_step_cells, window_resize_step_lines
window_resize_step_cells 2
window_resize_step_lines 2

The step size (in units of cell width/cell height) to use when resizing kitty windows in a layout with the shortcut ctrl+shift+r. The cells value is used for horizontal resizing, and the lines value is used for vertical resizing.

window_border_width 0.5pt

The width of window borders. Can be either in pixels (px) or pts (pt). Values in pts will be rounded to the nearest number of pixels based on screen resolution. If not specified, the unit is assumed to be pts. Note that borders are displayed only when more than one window is visible. They are meant to separate multiple windows.

draw_minimal_borders yes

Draw only the minimum borders needed. This means that only the borders that separate the window from a neighbor are drawn. Note that setting a non-zero window_margin_width overrides this and causes all borders to be drawn.

window_margin_width 0

The window margin (in pts) (blank area outside the border). A single value sets all four sides. Two values set the vertical and horizontal sides. Three values set top, horizontal and bottom. Four values set top, right, bottom and left.

single_window_margin_width -1

The window margin to use when only a single window is visible (in pts). Negative values will cause the value of window_margin_width to be used instead. A single value sets all four sides. Two values set the vertical and horizontal sides. Three values set top, horizontal and bottom. Four values set top, right, bottom and left.

window_padding_width 0

The window padding (in pts) (blank area between the text and the window border). A single value sets all four sides. Two values set the vertical and horizontal sides. Three values set top, horizontal and bottom. Four values set top, right, bottom and left.

single_window_padding_width -1

The window padding to use when only a single window is visible (in pts). Negative values will cause the value of window_padding_width to be used instead. A single value sets all four sides. Two values set the vertical and horizontal sides. Three values set top, horizontal and bottom. Four values set top, right, bottom and left.

placement_strategy center

When the window size is not an exact multiple of the cell size, the cell area of the terminal window will have some extra padding on the sides. You can control how that padding is distributed with this option. Using a value of center means the cell area will be placed centrally. A value of top-left means the padding will be only at the bottom and right edges. The value can be one of: top-left, top, top-right, left, center, right, bottom-left, bottom, bottom-right.

active_border_color #00ff00

The color for the border of the active window. Set this to none to not draw borders around the active window.

inactive_border_color #cccccc

The color for the border of inactive windows.

bell_border_color #ff5a00

The color for the border of inactive windows in which a bell has occurred.

inactive_text_alpha 1.0

Fade the text in inactive windows by the specified amount (a number between zero and one, with zero being fully faded).

hide_window_decorations no

Hide the window decorations (title-bar and window borders) with yes. On macOS, titlebar-only and titlebar-and-corners can be used to only hide the titlebar and the rounded corners. Whether this works and exactly what effect it has depends on the window manager/operating system. Note that the effects of changing this option when reloading config are undefined. When using titlebar-only, it is useful to also set window_margin_width and placement_strategy to prevent the rounded corners from clipping text. Or use titlebar-and-corners.

window_logo_path none

Path to a logo image. Must be in PNG format. Relative paths are interpreted relative to the kitty config directory. The logo is displayed in a corner of every kitty window. The position is controlled by window_logo_position. Individual windows can be configured to have different logos either using the launch action or the remote control facility.

window_logo_position bottom-right

Where to position the window logo in the window. The value can be one of: top-left, top, top-right, left, center, right, bottom-left, bottom, bottom-right.

window_logo_alpha 0.5

The amount the logo should be faded into the background. With zero being fully faded and one being fully opaque.

window_logo_scale 0

The percentage (0-100] of the window size to which the logo should scale. Using a single number means the logo is scaled to that percentage of the shortest window dimension, while preseving aspect ratio of the logo image.

Using two numbers means the width and height of the logo are scaled to the respective percentage of the window’s width and height.

Using zero as the percentage disables scaling in that dimension. A single zero (the default) disables all scaling of the window logo.

resize_debounce_time 0.1 0.5

The time to wait (in seconds) before asking the program running in kitty to resize and redraw the screen during a live resize of the OS window, when no new resize events have been received, i.e. when resizing is either paused or finished. On platforms such as macOS, where the operating system sends events corresponding to the start and end of a live resize, the second number is used for redraw-after-pause since kitty can distinguish between a pause and end of resizing. On such systems the first number is ignored and redraw is immediate after end of resize. On other systems only the first number is used so that kitty is “ready” quickly after the end of resizing, while not also continuously redrawing, to save energy.

resize_in_steps no

Resize the OS window in steps as large as the cells, instead of with the usual pixel accuracy. Combined with initial_window_width and initial_window_height in number of cells, this option can be used to keep the margins as small as possible when resizing the OS window. Note that this does not currently work on Wayland.

visual_window_select_characters 1234567890ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

The list of characters for visual window selection. For example, for selecting a window to focus on with ctrl+shift+f7. The value should be a series of unique numbers or alphabets, case insensitive, from the set 0-9A-Z`-=[];',./\. Specify your preference as a string of characters.

confirm_os_window_close -1

Ask for confirmation when closing an OS window or a tab with at least this number of kitty windows in it by window manager (e.g. clicking the window close button or pressing the operating system shortcut to close windows) or by the close_tab action. A value of zero disables confirmation. This confirmation also applies to requests to quit the entire application (all OS windows, via the quit action). Negative values are converted to positive ones, however, with shell_integration enabled, using negative values means windows sitting at a shell prompt are not counted, only windows where some command is currently running. Note that if you want confirmation when closing individual windows, you can map the close_window_with_confirmation action.

Tab bar

tab_bar_edge bottom

The edge to show the tab bar on, top or bottom.

tab_bar_margin_width 0.0

The margin to the left and right of the tab bar (in pts).

tab_bar_margin_height 0.0 0.0

The margin above and below the tab bar (in pts). The first number is the margin between the edge of the OS Window and the tab bar. The second number is the margin between the tab bar and the contents of the current tab.

tab_bar_style fade

The tab bar style, can be one of:


Each tab’s edges fade into the background color. (See also tab_fade)


Tabs look like the tabs in a physical file.


Tabs are separated by a configurable separator. (See also tab_separator)


Tabs are shown as a continuous line with “fancy” separators. (See also tab_powerline_style)


A user-supplied Python function called draw_tab is loaded from the file in the kitty config directory. For examples of how to write such a function, see the functions named draw_tab_with_* in kitty’s source code: kitty/ See also this discussion for examples from kitty users.


The tab bar is hidden. If you use this, you might want to create a mapping for the select_tab action which presents you with a list of tabs and allows for easy switching to a tab.

tab_bar_align left

The horizontal alignment of the tab bar, can be one of: left, center, right.

tab_bar_min_tabs 2

The minimum number of tabs that must exist before the tab bar is shown.

tab_switch_strategy previous

The algorithm to use when switching to a tab when the current tab is closed. The default of previous will switch to the last used tab. A value of left will switch to the tab to the left of the closed tab. A value of right will switch to the tab to the right of the closed tab. A value of last will switch to the right-most tab.

tab_fade 0.25 0.5 0.75 1

Control how each tab fades into the background when using fade for the tab_bar_style. Each number is an alpha (between zero and one) that controls how much the corresponding cell fades into the background, with zero being no fade and one being full fade. You can change the number of cells used by adding/removing entries to this list.

tab_separator " ┇"

The separator between tabs in the tab bar when using separator as the tab_bar_style.

tab_powerline_style angled

The powerline separator style between tabs in the tab bar when using powerline as the tab_bar_style, can be one of: angled, slanted, round.

tab_activity_symbol none

Some text or a Unicode symbol to show on the tab if a window in the tab that does not have focus has some activity. If you want to use leading or trailing spaces, surround the text with quotes. See tab_title_template for how this is rendered.

tab_title_max_length 0

The maximum number of cells that can be used to render the text in a tab. A value of zero means that no limit is applied.

tab_title_template "{}{bell_symbol}{activity_symbol}{}{title}"

A template to render the tab title. The default just renders the title with optional symbols for bell and activity. If you wish to include the tab-index as well, use something like: {index}:{title}. Useful if you have shortcuts mapped for goto_tab N. If you prefer to see the index as a superscript, use {sup.index}. All data available is:


The current tab title.


The tab index usable with goto_tab N shortcuts.


The current layout name.


The number of windows in the tab.


The number of window groups (a window group is a window and all of its overlay windows) in the tab.


The working directory of the currently active window in the tab (expensive, requires syscall). Use active_oldest_wd to get the directory of the oldest foreground process rather than the newest.


The name of the executable running in the foreground of the currently active window in the tab (expensive, requires syscall). Use active_oldest_exe for the oldest foreground process.


The maximum title length available.


The name of the current keyboard mode or the empty string if no keyboard mode is active.

Note that formatting is done by Python’s string formatting machinery, so you can use, for instance, {layout_name[:2].upper()} to show only the first two letters of the layout name, upper-cased. If you want to style the text, you can use styling directives, for example: {}red{}normal{}greenbg{}. Similarly, for bold and italic: {fmt.bold}bold{fmt.nobold}normal{fmt.italic}italic{fmt.noitalic}. Note that for backward compatibility, if {bell_symbol} or {activity_symbol} are not present in the template, they are prepended to it.

active_tab_title_template none

Template to use for active tabs. If not specified falls back to tab_title_template.

active_tab_foreground, active_tab_background, active_tab_font_style, inactive_tab_foreground, inactive_tab_background, inactive_tab_font_style
active_tab_foreground   #000
active_tab_background   #eee
active_tab_font_style   bold-italic
inactive_tab_foreground #444
inactive_tab_background #999
inactive_tab_font_style normal

Tab bar colors and styles.

tab_bar_background none

Background color for the tab bar. Defaults to using the terminal background color.

tab_bar_margin_color none

Color for the tab bar margin area. Defaults to using the terminal background color for margins above and below the tab bar. For side margins the default color is chosen to match the background color of the neighboring tab.

Color scheme

foreground, background
foreground #dddddd
background #000000

The foreground and background colors.

background_opacity 1.0

The opacity of the background. A number between zero and one, where one is opaque and zero is fully transparent. This will only work if supported by the OS (for instance, when using a compositor under X11). Note that it only sets the background color’s opacity in cells that have the same background color as the default terminal background, so that things like the status bar in vim, powerline prompts, etc. still look good. But it means that if you use a color theme with a background color in your editor, it will not be rendered as transparent. Instead you should change the default background color in your kitty config and not use a background color in the editor color scheme. Or use the escape codes to set the terminals default colors in a shell script to launch your editor. Be aware that using a value less than 1.0 is a (possibly significant) performance hit. When using a low value for this setting, it is desirable that you set the background color to a color the matches the general color of the desktop background, for best text rendering. If you want to dynamically change transparency of windows, set dynamic_background_opacity to yes (this is off by default as it has a performance cost). Changing this option when reloading the config will only work if dynamic_background_opacity was enabled in the original config.

background_blur 0

Set to a positive value to enable background blur (blurring of the visuals behind a transparent window) on platforms that support it. Only takes effect when background_opacity is less than one. On macOS, this will also control the blur radius (amount of blurring). Setting it to too high a value will cause severe performance issues and/or rendering artifacts. Usually, values up to 64 work well. Note that this might cause performance issues, depending on how the platform implements it, so use with care. Currently supported on macOS and KDE.

background_image none

Path to a background image. Must be in PNG format.

background_image_layout tiled

Whether to tile, scale or clamp the background image. The value can be one of tiled, mirror-tiled, scaled, clamped, centered or cscaled. The scaled and cscaled values scale the image to the window size, with cscaled preserving the image aspect ratio.

background_image_linear no

When background image is scaled, whether linear interpolation should be used.

dynamic_background_opacity no

Allow changing of the background_opacity dynamically, using either keyboard shortcuts (ctrl+shift+a>m and ctrl+shift+a>l) or the remote control facility. Changing this option by reloading the config is not supported.

background_tint 0.0

How much to tint the background image by the background color. This option makes it easier to read the text. Tinting is done using the current background color for each window. This option applies only if background_opacity is set and transparent windows are supported or background_image is set.

background_tint_gaps 1.0

How much to tint the background image at the window gaps by the background color, after applying background_tint. Since this is multiplicative with background_tint, it can be used to lighten the tint over the window gaps for a separated look.

dim_opacity 0.4

How much to dim text that has the DIM/FAINT attribute set. One means no dimming and zero means fully dimmed (i.e. invisible).

selection_foreground, selection_background
selection_foreground #000000
selection_background #fffacd

The foreground and background colors for text selected with the mouse. Setting both of these to none will cause a “reverse video” effect for selections, where the selection will be the cell text color and the text will become the cell background color. Setting only selection_foreground to none will cause the foreground color to be used unchanged. Note that these colors can be overridden by the program running in the terminal.

The color table

The 256 terminal colors. There are 8 basic colors, each color has a dull and bright version, for the first 16 colors. You can set the remaining 240 colors as color16 to color255.

color0, color8
color0 #000000
color8 #767676


color1, color9
color1 #cc0403
color9 #f2201f


color2, color10
color2  #19cb00
color10 #23fd00


color3, color11
color3  #cecb00
color11 #fffd00


color4, color12
color4  #0d73cc
color12 #1a8fff


color5, color13
color5  #cb1ed1
color13 #fd28ff


color6, color14
color6  #0dcdcd
color14 #14ffff


color7, color15
color7  #dddddd
color15 #ffffff


mark1_foreground black

Color for marks of type 1

mark1_background #98d3cb

Color for marks of type 1 (light steel blue)

mark2_foreground black

Color for marks of type 2

mark2_background #f2dcd3

Color for marks of type 1 (beige)

mark3_foreground black

Color for marks of type 3

mark3_background #f274bc

Color for marks of type 3 (violet)


shell .

The shell program to execute. The default value of . means to use whatever shell is set as the default shell for the current user. Note that on macOS if you change this, you might need to add --login and --interactive to ensure that the shell starts in interactive mode and reads its startup rc files. Environment variables are expanded in this setting.

editor .

The terminal based text editor (such as vim or nano) to use when editing the kitty config file or similar tasks.

The default value of . means to use the environment variables VISUAL and EDITOR in that order. If these variables aren’t set, kitty will run your shell ($SHELL -l -i -c env) to see if your shell startup rc files set VISUAL or EDITOR. If that doesn’t work, kitty will cycle through various known editors (vim, emacs, etc.) and take the first one that exists on your system.

close_on_child_death no

Close the window when the child process (usually the shell) exits. With the default value no, the terminal will remain open when the child exits as long as there are still other processes outputting to the terminal (for example disowned or backgrounded processes). When enabled with yes, the window will close as soon as the child process exits. Note that setting it to yes means that any background processes still using the terminal can fail silently because their stdout/stderr/stdin no longer work.


Allow other programs to control kitty using passwords. This option can be specified multiple times to add multiple passwords. If no passwords are present kitty will ask the user for permission if a program tries to use remote control with a password. A password can also optionally be associated with a set of allowed remote control actions. For example:

remote_control_password "my passphrase" get-colors set-colors focus-window focus-tab

Only the specified actions will be allowed when using this password. Glob patterns can be used too, for example:

remote_control_password "my passphrase" set-tab-* resize-*

To get a list of available actions, run:

kitten @ --help

A set of actions to be allowed when no password is sent can be specified by using an empty password. For example:

remote_control_password "" *-colors

Finally, the path to a python module can be specified that provides a function is_cmd_allowed that is used to check every remote control command. For example:

remote_control_password "my passphrase"

Relative paths are resolved from the kitty configuration directory. See Customizing authorization with your own program for details.

allow_remote_control no

Allow other programs to control kitty. If you turn this on, other programs can control all aspects of kitty, including sending text to kitty windows, opening new windows, closing windows, reading the content of windows, etc. Note that this even works over SSH connections. The default setting of no prevents any form of remote control. The meaning of the various values are:


Remote control requests received over both the TTY device and the socket are confirmed based on passwords, see remote_control_password.


Remote control requests received over a socket are accepted unconditionally. Requests received over the TTY are denied. See listen_on.


Remote control requests received over a socket are accepted unconditionally. Requests received over the TTY are confirmed based on password.


Remote control is completely disabled.


Remote control requests are always accepted.

listen_on none

Listen to the specified socket for remote control connections. Note that this will apply to all kitty instances. It can be overridden by the kitty --listen-on command line option. For UNIX sockets, such as unix:${TEMP}/mykitty or unix:@mykitty (on Linux). Environment variables are expanded and relative paths are resolved with respect to the temporary directory. If {kitty_pid} is present, then it is replaced by the PID of the kitty process, otherwise the PID of the kitty process is appended to the value, with a hyphen. For TCP sockets such as tcp:localhost:0 a random port is always used even if a non-zero port number is specified. See the help for kitty --listen-on for more details. Note that this will be ignored unless allow_remote_control is set to either: yes, socket or socket-only. Changing this option by reloading the config is not supported.


Specify the environment variables to be set in all child processes. Using the name with an equal sign (e.g. env VAR=) will set it to the empty string. Specifying only the name (e.g. env VAR) will remove the variable from the child process’ environment. Note that environment variables are expanded recursively, for example:

env VAR1=a
env VAR2=${HOME}/${VAR1}/b

The value of VAR2 will be <path to home directory>/a/b.


Path to python file which will be loaded for Watching launched windows. Can be specified more than once to load multiple watchers. The watchers will be added to every kitty window. Relative paths are resolved relative to the kitty config directory. Note that reloading the config will only affect windows created after the reload.


Control where kitty finds the programs to run. The default search order is: First search the system wide PATH, then ~/.local/bin and ~/bin. If still not found, the PATH defined in the login shell after sourcing all its startup files is tried. Finally, if present, the PATH specified by the env option is tried.

This option allows you to prepend, append, or remove paths from this search order. It can be specified multiple times for multiple paths. A simple path will be prepended to the search order. A path that starts with the + sign will be append to the search order, after ~/bin above. A path that starts with the - sign will be removed from the entire search order. For example:

exe_search_path /some/prepended/path
exe_search_path +/some/appended/path
exe_search_path -/some/excluded/path
update_check_interval 24

The interval to periodically check if an update to kitty is available (in hours). If an update is found, a system notification is displayed informing you of the available update. The default is to check every 24 hours, set to zero to disable. Update checking is only done by the official binary builds. Distro packages or source builds do not do update checking. Changing this option by reloading the config is not supported.

startup_session none

Path to a session file to use for all kitty instances. Can be overridden by using the kitty --session =none command line option for individual instances. See Startup Sessions in the kitty documentation for details. Note that relative paths are interpreted with respect to the kitty config directory. Environment variables in the path are expanded. Changing this option by reloading the config is not supported. Note that if kitty is invoked with command line arguments specifying a command to run, this option is ignored.

clipboard_control write-clipboard write-primary read-clipboard-ask read-primary-ask

Allow programs running in kitty to read and write from the clipboard. You can control exactly which actions are allowed. The possible actions are: write-clipboard, read-clipboard, write-primary, read-primary, read-clipboard-ask, read-primary-ask. The default is to allow writing to the clipboard and primary selection and to ask for permission when a program tries to read from the clipboard. Note that disabling the read confirmation is a security risk as it means that any program, even the ones running on a remote server via SSH can read your clipboard. See also clipboard_max_size.

clipboard_max_size 512

The maximum size (in MB) of data from programs running in kitty that will be stored for writing to the system clipboard. A value of zero means no size limit is applied. See also clipboard_control.


The password that can be supplied to the file transfer kitten to skip the transfer confirmation prompt. This should only be used when initiating transfers from trusted computers, over trusted networks or encrypted transports, as it allows any programs running on the remote machine to read/write to the local filesystem, without permission.

allow_hyperlinks yes

Process hyperlink escape sequences (OSC 8). If disabled OSC 8 escape sequences are ignored. Otherwise they become clickable links, that you can click with the mouse or by using the hints kitten. The special value of ask means that kitty will ask before opening the link when clicked.

shell_integration enabled

Enable shell integration on supported shells. This enables features such as jumping to previous prompts, browsing the output of the previous command in a pager, etc. on supported shells. Set to disabled to turn off shell integration, completely. It is also possible to disable individual features, set to a space separated list of these values: no-rc, no-cursor, no-title, no-cwd, no-prompt-mark, no-complete, no-sudo. See Shell integration for details.

allow_cloning ask

Control whether programs running in the terminal can request new windows to be created. The canonical example is clone-in-kitty. By default, kitty will ask for permission for each clone request. Allowing cloning unconditionally gives programs running in the terminal (including over SSH) permission to execute arbitrary code, as the user who is running the terminal, on the computer that the terminal is running on.

clone_source_strategies venv,conda,env_var,path

Control what shell code is sourced when running clone-in-kitty in the newly cloned window. The supported strategies are:


Source the file $VIRTUAL_ENV/bin/activate. This is used by the Python stdlib venv module and allows cloning venvs automatically.


Run conda activate $CONDA_DEFAULT_ENV. This supports the virtual environments created by conda.


Execute the contents of the environment variable KITTY_CLONE_SOURCE_CODE with eval.


Source the file pointed to by the environment variable KITTY_CLONE_SOURCE_PATH.

This option must be a comma separated list of the above values. Only the first valid match, in the order specified, is sourced.

notify_on_cmd_finish never

Show a desktop notification when a long-running command finishes (needs shell_integration). The possible values are:


Never send a notification.


Only send a notification when the window does not have keyboard focus.


Only send a notification when the window both is unfocused and not visible to the user, for example, because it is in an inactive tab or its OS window is not currently active.


Always send a notification, regardless of window state.

There are two optional arguments:

First, the minimum duration for what is considered a long running command. The default is 5 seconds. Specify a second argument to set the duration. For example: invisible 15. Do not set the value too small, otherwise a command that launches a new OS Window and exits will spam a notification.

Second, the action to perform. The default is notify. The possible values are:


Send a desktop notification.


Ring the terminal bell.


Run a custom command. All subsequent arguments are the cmdline to run.

Some more examples:

# Send a notification when a command takes more than 5 seconds in an unfocused window
notify_on_cmd_finish unfocused
# Send a notification when a command takes more than 10 seconds in a invisible window
notify_on_cmd_finish invisible 10.0
# Ring a bell when a command takes more than 10 seconds in a invisible window
notify_on_cmd_finish invisible 10.0 bell
# Run 'notify-send' when a command takes more than 10 seconds in a invisible window
# Here %c is replaced by the current command line and %s by the job exit code
notify_on_cmd_finish invisible 10.0 command notify-send "job finished with status: %s" %c
term xterm-kitty

The value of the TERM environment variable to set. Changing this can break many terminal programs, only change it if you know what you are doing, not because you read some advice on “Stack Overflow” to change it. The TERM variable is used by various programs to get information about the capabilities and behavior of the terminal. If you change it, depending on what programs you run, and how different the terminal you are changing it to is, various things from key-presses, to colors, to various advanced features may not work. Changing this option by reloading the config will only affect newly created windows.

terminfo_type path

The value of the TERMINFO environment variable to set. This variable is used by programs running in the terminal to search for terminfo databases. The default value of path causes kitty to set it to a filesystem location containing the kitty terminfo database. A value of direct means put the entire database into the env var directly. This can be useful when connecting to containers, for example. But, note that not all software supports this. A value of none means do not touch the variable.

forward_stdio no

Forward STDOUT and STDERR of the kitty process to child processes as file descriptors 3 and 4. This is useful for debugging as it allows child processes to print to kitty’s STDOUT directly. For example, echo hello world >&3 in a shell will print to the parent kitty’s STDOUT. When enabled, this also sets the KITTY_STDIO_FORWARDED=3 environment variable so child processes know about the forwarding.


Specify entries for various menus in kitty. Currently only the global menubar on macOS is supported. For example:

menu_map global "Actions::Launch something special" launch --hold --type=os-window sh -c "echo hello world"

This will create a menu entry named “Launch something special” in an “Actions” menu in the macOS global menubar. Sub-menus can be created by adding more levels separated by the :: characters.

OS specific tweaks

wayland_titlebar_color system

The color of the kitty window’s titlebar on Wayland systems with client side window decorations such as GNOME. A value of system means to use the default system colors, a value of background means to use the background color of the currently active kitty window and finally you can use an arbitrary color, such as #12af59 or red.

macos_titlebar_color system

The color of the kitty window’s titlebar on macOS. A value of system means to use the default system color, light or dark can also be used to set it explicitly. A value of background means to use the background color of the currently active window and finally you can use an arbitrary color, such as #12af59 or red. WARNING: This option works by using a hack when arbitrary color (or background) is configured, as there is no proper Cocoa API for it. It sets the background color of the entire window and makes the titlebar transparent. As such it is incompatible with background_opacity. If you want to use both, you are probably better off just hiding the titlebar with hide_window_decorations.

macos_option_as_alt no

Use the Option key as an Alt key on macOS. With this set to no, kitty will use the macOS native Option+Key to enter Unicode character behavior. This will break any Alt+Key keyboard shortcuts in your terminal programs, but you can use the macOS Unicode input technique. You can use the values: left, right or both to use only the left, right or both Option keys as Alt, instead. Note that kitty itself always treats Option the same as Alt. This means you cannot use this option to configure different kitty shortcuts for Option+Key vs. Alt+Key. Also, any kitty shortcuts using Option/Alt+Key will take priority, so that any such key presses will not be passed to terminal programs running inside kitty. Changing this option by reloading the config is not supported.

macos_hide_from_tasks no

Hide the kitty window from running tasks on macOS (+Tab and the Dock). Changing this option by reloading the config is not supported.

macos_quit_when_last_window_closed no

Have kitty quit when all the top-level windows are closed on macOS. By default, kitty will stay running, even with no open windows, as is the expected behavior on macOS.

macos_window_resizable yes

Disable this if you want kitty top-level OS windows to not be resizable on macOS.

macos_thicken_font 0

Draw an extra border around the font with the given width, to increase legibility at small font sizes on macOS. For example, a value of 0.75 will result in rendering that looks similar to sub-pixel antialiasing at common font sizes. Note that in modern kitty, this option is obsolete (although still supported). Consider using text_composition_strategy instead.

macos_traditional_fullscreen no

Use the macOS traditional full-screen transition, that is faster, but less pretty.

macos_show_window_title_in all

Control where the window title is displayed on macOS. A value of window will show the title of the currently active window at the top of the macOS window. A value of menubar will show the title of the currently active window in the macOS global menu bar, making use of otherwise wasted space. A value of all will show the title in both places, and none hides the title. See macos_menubar_title_max_length for how to control the length of the title in the menu bar.

macos_menubar_title_max_length 0

The maximum number of characters from the window title to show in the macOS global menu bar. Values less than one means that there is no maximum limit.

macos_custom_beam_cursor no

Use a custom mouse cursor for macOS that is easier to see on both light and dark backgrounds. Nowadays, the default macOS cursor already comes with a white border. WARNING: this might make your mouse cursor invisible on dual GPU machines. Changing this option by reloading the config is not supported.

macos_colorspace srgb

The colorspace in which to interpret terminal colors. The default of srgb will cause colors to match those seen in web browsers. The value of default will use whatever the native colorspace of the display is. The value of displayp3 will use Apple’s special snowflake display P3 color space, which will result in over saturated (brighter) colors with some color shift. Reloading configuration will change this value only for newly created OS windows.

linux_display_server auto

Choose between Wayland and X11 backends. By default, an appropriate backend based on the system state is chosen automatically. Set it to x11 or wayland to force the choice. Changing this option by reloading the config is not supported.

wayland_enable_ime yes

Enable Input Method Extension on Wayland. This is typically used for inputting text in East Asian languages. However, its implementation in Wayland is often buggy and introduces latency into the input loop, so disable this if you know you dont need it. Changing this option by reloading the config is not supported, it will not have any effect.

Keyboard shortcuts

Keys are identified simply by their lowercase Unicode characters. For example: a for the A key, [ for the left square bracket key, etc. For functional keys, such as Enter or Escape, the names are present at Functional key definitions. For modifier keys, the names are ctrl (control, ), shift (), alt (opt, option, ), super (cmd, command, ).

Simple shortcut mapping is done with the map directive. For full details on advanced mapping including modal and per application maps, see Making your keyboard dance. Some quick examples to illustrate common tasks:

# unmap a keyboard shortcut, passing it to the program running in kitty
map kitty_mod+space
# completely ignore a keyboard event
map ctrl+alt+f1 discard_event
# combine multiple actions
map kitty_mod+e combine : new_window : next_layout
# multi-key shortcuts
map ctrl+x>ctrl+y>z action

The full list of actions that can be mapped to key presses is available here.

kitty_mod ctrl+shift

Special modifier key alias for default shortcuts. You can change the value of this option to alter all default shortcuts that use kitty_mod.

clear_all_shortcuts no

Remove all shortcut definitions up to this point. Useful, for instance, to remove the default shortcuts.


Has no default values. Example values are shown below:

action_alias launch_tab launch --type=tab --cwd=current

Define action aliases to avoid repeating the same options in multiple mappings. Aliases can be defined for any action and will be expanded recursively. For example, the above alias allows you to create mappings to launch a new tab in the current working directory without duplication:

map f1 launch_tab vim
map f2 launch_tab emacs

Similarly, to alias kitten invocation:

action_alias hints kitten hints --hints-offset=0

Has no default values. Example values are shown below:

kitten_alias hints hints --hints-offset=0

Like action_alias above, but specifically for kittens. Generally, prefer to use action_alias. This option is a legacy version, present for backwards compatibility. It causes all invocations of the aliased kitten to be substituted. So the example above will cause all invocations of the hints kitten to have the --hints-offset=0 option applied.


Copy to clipboard
map ctrl+shift+c copy_to_clipboard
map cmd+c copy_to_clipboard 🍎

There is also a copy_or_interrupt action that can be optionally mapped to Ctrl+C. It will copy only if there is a selection and send an interrupt otherwise. Similarly, copy_and_clear_or_interrupt will copy and clear the selection or send an interrupt if there is no selection.

Paste from clipboard
map ctrl+shift+v paste_from_clipboard
map cmd+v paste_from_clipboard 🍎
Paste from selection
map ctrl+shift+s paste_from_selection
map shift+insert paste_from_selection
Pass selection to program
map ctrl+shift+o pass_selection_to_program

You can also pass the contents of the current selection to any program with pass_selection_to_program. By default, the system’s open program is used, but you can specify your own, the selection will be passed as a command line argument to the program. For example:

map kitty_mod+o pass_selection_to_program firefox

You can pass the current selection to a terminal program running in a new kitty window, by using the @selection placeholder:

map kitty_mod+y new_window less @selection


Scroll line up
map ctrl+shift+up scroll_line_up
map ctrl+shift+k scroll_line_up
map opt+cmd+page_up scroll_line_up 🍎
map cmd+up scroll_line_up 🍎
Scroll line down
map ctrl+shift+down scroll_line_down
map ctrl+shift+j scroll_line_down
map opt+cmd+page_down scroll_line_down 🍎
map cmd+down scroll_line_down 🍎
Scroll page up
map ctrl+shift+page_up scroll_page_up
map cmd+page_up scroll_page_up 🍎
Scroll page down
map ctrl+shift+page_down scroll_page_down
map cmd+page_down scroll_page_down 🍎
Scroll to top
map ctrl+shift+home scroll_home
map cmd+home scroll_home 🍎
Scroll to bottom
map ctrl+shift+end scroll_end
map cmd+end scroll_end 🍎
Scroll to previous shell prompt
map ctrl+shift+z scroll_to_prompt -1

Use a parameter of 0 for scroll_to_prompt to scroll to the last jumped to or the last clicked position. Requires shell integration to work.

Scroll to next shell prompt
map ctrl+shift+x scroll_to_prompt 1
Browse scrollback buffer in pager
map ctrl+shift+h show_scrollback

You can pipe the contents of the current screen and history buffer as STDIN to an arbitrary program using launch --stdin-source. For example, the following opens the scrollback buffer in less in an overlay window:

map f1 launch --stdin-source=@screen_scrollback --stdin-add-formatting --type=overlay less +G -R

For more details on piping screen and buffer contents to external programs, see The launch command.

Browse output of the last shell command in pager
map ctrl+shift+g show_last_command_output

You can also define additional shortcuts to get the command output. For example, to get the first command output on screen:

map f1 show_first_command_output_on_screen

To get the command output that was last accessed by a keyboard action or mouse action:

map f1 show_last_visited_command_output

You can pipe the output of the last command run in the shell using the launch action. For example, the following opens the output in less in an overlay window:

map f1 launch --stdin-source=@last_cmd_output --stdin-add-formatting --type=overlay less +G -R

To get the output of the first command on the screen, use @first_cmd_output_on_screen. To get the output of the last jumped to command, use @last_visited_cmd_output.

Requires shell integration to work.

Window management

New window
map ctrl+shift+enter new_window
map cmd+enter new_window 🍎

You can open a new kitty window running an arbitrary program, for example:

map kitty_mod+y launch mutt

You can open a new window with the current working directory set to the working directory of the current window using:

map ctrl+alt+enter launch --cwd=current

You can open a new window that is allowed to control kitty via the kitty remote control facility with launch --allow-remote-control. Any programs running in that window will be allowed to control kitty. For example:

map ctrl+enter launch --allow-remote-control some_program

You can open a new window next to the currently active window or as the first window, with:

map ctrl+n launch --location=neighbor
map ctrl+f launch --location=first

For more details, see The launch command.

New OS window
map ctrl+shift+n new_os_window
map cmd+n new_os_window 🍎

Works like new_window above, except that it opens a top-level OS window. In particular you can use new_os_window_with_cwd to open a window with the current working directory.

Close window
map ctrl+shift+w close_window
map shift+cmd+d close_window 🍎
Next window
map ctrl+shift+] next_window
Previous window
map ctrl+shift+[ previous_window
Move window forward
map ctrl+shift+f move_window_forward
Move window backward
map ctrl+shift+b move_window_backward
Move window to top
map ctrl+shift+` move_window_to_top
Start resizing window
map ctrl+shift+r start_resizing_window
map cmd+r start_resizing_window 🍎
First window
map ctrl+shift+1 first_window
map cmd+1 first_window 🍎
Second window
map ctrl+shift+2 second_window
map cmd+2 second_window 🍎
Third window
map ctrl+shift+3 third_window
map cmd+3 third_window 🍎
Fourth window
map ctrl+shift+4 fourth_window
map cmd+4 fourth_window 🍎
Fifth window
map ctrl+shift+5 fifth_window
map cmd+5 fifth_window 🍎
Sixth window
map ctrl+shift+6 sixth_window
map cmd+6 sixth_window 🍎
Seventh window
map ctrl+shift+7 seventh_window
map cmd+7 seventh_window 🍎
Eighth window
map ctrl+shift+8 eighth_window
map cmd+8 eighth_window 🍎
Ninth window
map ctrl+shift+9 ninth_window
map cmd+9 ninth_window 🍎
Tenth window
map ctrl+shift+0 tenth_window
Visually select and focus window
map ctrl+shift+f7 focus_visible_window

Display overlay numbers and alphabets on the window, and switch the focus to the window when you press the key. When there are only two windows, the focus will be switched directly without displaying the overlay. You can change the overlay characters and their order with option visual_window_select_characters.

Visually swap window with another
map ctrl+shift+f8 swap_with_window

Works like focus_visible_window above, but swaps the window.

Tab management

Next tab
map ctrl+shift+right next_tab
map shift+cmd+] next_tab 🍎
map ctrl+tab next_tab
Previous tab
map ctrl+shift+left previous_tab
map shift+cmd+[ previous_tab 🍎
map ctrl+shift+tab previous_tab
New tab
map ctrl+shift+t new_tab
map cmd+t new_tab 🍎
Close tab
map ctrl+shift+q close_tab
map cmd+w close_tab 🍎
Close OS window
map shift+cmd+w close_os_window 🍎
Move tab forward
map ctrl+shift+. move_tab_forward
Move tab backward
map ctrl+shift+, move_tab_backward
Set tab title
map ctrl+shift+alt+t set_tab_title
map shift+cmd+i set_tab_title 🍎

You can also create shortcuts to go to specific tabs, with 1 being the first tab, 2 the second tab and -1 being the previously active tab, and any number larger than the last tab being the last tab:

map ctrl+alt+1 goto_tab 1
map ctrl+alt+2 goto_tab 2

Just as with new_window above, you can also pass the name of arbitrary commands to run when using new_tab and new_tab_with_cwd. Finally, if you want the new tab to open next to the current tab rather than at the end of the tabs list, use:

map ctrl+t new_tab !neighbor [optional cmd to run]

Layout management

Next layout
map ctrl+shift+l next_layout

You can also create shortcuts to switch to specific layouts:

map ctrl+alt+t goto_layout tall
map ctrl+alt+s goto_layout stack

Similarly, to switch back to the previous layout:

map ctrl+alt+p last_used_layout

There is also a toggle_layout action that switches to the named layout or back to the previous layout if in the named layout. Useful to temporarily “zoom” the active window by switching to the stack layout:

map ctrl+alt+z toggle_layout stack

Font sizes

You can change the font size for all top-level kitty OS windows at a time or only the current one.

Increase font size
map ctrl+shift+equal change_font_size all +2.0
map ctrl+shift+plus change_font_size all +2.0
map ctrl+shift+kp_add change_font_size all +2.0
map cmd+plus change_font_size all +2.0 🍎
map cmd+equal change_font_size all +2.0 🍎
map shift+cmd+equal change_font_size all +2.0 🍎
Decrease font size
map ctrl+shift+minus change_font_size all -2.0
map ctrl+shift+kp_subtract change_font_size all -2.0
map cmd+minus change_font_size all -2.0 🍎
map shift+cmd+minus change_font_size all -2.0 🍎
Reset font size
map ctrl+shift+backspace change_font_size all 0
map cmd+0 change_font_size all 0 🍎

To setup shortcuts for specific font sizes:

map kitty_mod+f6 change_font_size all 10.0

To setup shortcuts to change only the current OS window’s font size:

map kitty_mod+f6 change_font_size current 10.0

Select and act on visible text

Use the hints kitten to select text and either pass it to an external program or insert it into the terminal or copy it to the clipboard.

Open URL
map ctrl+shift+e open_url_with_hints

Open a currently visible URL using the keyboard. The program used to open the URL is specified in open_url_with.

Insert selected path
map ctrl+shift+p>f kitten hints --type path --program -

Select a path/filename and insert it into the terminal. Useful, for instance to run git commands on a filename output from a previous git command.

Open selected path
map ctrl+shift+p>shift+f kitten hints --type path

Select a path/filename and open it with the default open program.

Insert selected line
map ctrl+shift+p>l kitten hints --type line --program -

Select a line of text and insert it into the terminal. Useful for the output of things like: ls -1.

Insert selected word
map ctrl+shift+p>w kitten hints --type word --program -

Select words and insert into terminal.

Insert selected hash
map ctrl+shift+p>h kitten hints --type hash --program -

Select something that looks like a hash and insert it into the terminal. Useful with git, which uses SHA1 hashes to identify commits.

Open the selected file at the selected line
map ctrl+shift+p>n kitten hints --type linenum

Select something that looks like filename:linenum and open it in your default editor at the specified line number.

map ctrl+shift+p>y kitten hints --type hyperlink

Select a hyperlink (i.e. a URL that has been marked as such by the terminal program, for example, by ls --hyperlink=auto).

The hints kitten has many more modes of operation that you can map to different shortcuts. For a full description see hints kitten.


Show documentation
map ctrl+shift+f1 show_kitty_doc overview
Toggle fullscreen
map ctrl+shift+f11 toggle_fullscreen
map ctrl+cmd+f toggle_fullscreen 🍎
Toggle maximized
map ctrl+shift+f10 toggle_maximized
Toggle macOS secure keyboard entry
map opt+cmd+s toggle_macos_secure_keyboard_entry 🍎
Unicode input
map ctrl+shift+u kitten unicode_input
map ctrl+cmd+space kitten unicode_input 🍎
Edit config file
map ctrl+shift+f2 edit_config_file
map cmd+, edit_config_file 🍎
Open the kitty command shell
map ctrl+shift+escape kitty_shell window

Open the kitty shell in a new window / tab / overlay / os_window to control kitty using commands.

Increase background opacity
map ctrl+shift+a>m set_background_opacity +0.1
Decrease background opacity
map ctrl+shift+a>l set_background_opacity -0.1
Make background fully opaque
map ctrl+shift+a>1 set_background_opacity 1
Reset background opacity
map ctrl+shift+a>d set_background_opacity default
Reset the terminal
map ctrl+shift+delete clear_terminal reset active
map opt+cmd+r clear_terminal reset active 🍎

You can create shortcuts to clear/reset the terminal. For example:

# Reset the terminal
map f1 clear_terminal reset active
# Clear the terminal screen by erasing all contents
map f1 clear_terminal clear active
# Clear the terminal scrollback by erasing it
map f1 clear_terminal scrollback active
# Scroll the contents of the screen into the scrollback
map f1 clear_terminal scroll active
# Clear everything on screen up to the line with the cursor or the start of the current prompt (needs shell integration)
map f1 clear_terminal to_cursor active
# Same as above except cleared lines are moved into scrollback
map f1 clear_terminal to_cursor_scroll active

If you want to operate on all kitty windows instead of just the current one, use all instead of active.

Some useful functions that can be defined in the shell rc files to perform various kinds of clearing of the current window:

clear-only-screen() {
    printf "\e[H\e[2J"

clear-screen-and-scrollback() {
    printf "\e[H\e[3J"

clear-screen-saving-contents-in-scrollback() {
    printf "\e[H\e[22J"

For instance, using these escape codes, it is possible to remap Ctrl+L to both scroll the current screen contents into the scrollback buffer and clear the screen, instead of just clearing the screen. For ZSH, in ~/.zshrc, add:

ctrl_l() {
    builtin print -rn -- $'\r\e[0J\e[H\e[22J' >"$TTY"
    builtin zle .reset-prompt
    builtin zle -R
zle -N ctrl_l
bindkey '^l' ctrl_l

Alternatively, you can just add map ctrl+l clear_terminal to_cursor_scroll active to kitty.conf which works with no changes to the shell rc files, but only clears up to the prompt, it does not clear anytext at the prompt itself.

Clear up to cursor line
map cmd+k clear_terminal to_cursor active 🍎
Reload kitty.conf
map ctrl+shift+f5 load_config_file
map ctrl+cmd+, load_config_file 🍎

Reload kitty.conf, applying any changes since the last time it was loaded. Note that a handful of options cannot be dynamically changed and require a full restart of kitty. Particularly, when changing shortcuts for actions located on the macOS global menu bar, a full restart is needed. You can also map a keybinding to load a different config file, for example:

map f5 load_config /path/to/alternative/kitty.conf

Note that all options from the original kitty.conf are discarded, in other words the new configuration replace the old ones.

Debug kitty configuration
map ctrl+shift+f6 debug_config
map opt+cmd+, debug_config 🍎

Show details about exactly what configuration kitty is running with and its host environment. Useful for debugging issues.

Send arbitrary text on key presses

You can tell kitty to send arbitrary (UTF-8) encoded text to the client program when pressing specified shortcut keys. For example:

map ctrl+alt+a send_text all Special text

This will send “Special text” when you press the Ctrl+Alt+A key combination. The text to be sent decodes ANSI C escapes so you can use escapes like \e to send control codes or \u21fb to send Unicode characters (or you can just input the Unicode characters directly as UTF-8 text). You can use kitten show_key to get the key escape codes you want to emulate.

The first argument to send_text is the keyboard modes in which to activate the shortcut. The possible values are normal, application, kitty or a comma separated combination of them. The modes normal and application refer to the DECCKM cursor key mode for terminals, and kitty refers to the kitty extended keyboard protocol. The special value all means all of them.

Some more examples:

# Output a word and move the cursor to the start of the line (like typing and pressing Home)
map ctrl+alt+a send_text normal Word\e[H
map ctrl+alt+a send_text application Word\eOH
# Run a command at a shell prompt (like typing the command and pressing Enter)
map ctrl+alt+a send_text normal,application some command with arguments\r
Open kitty Website
map shift+cmd+/ open_url 🍎
Hide macOS kitty application
map cmd+h hide_macos_app 🍎
Hide macOS other applications
map opt+cmd+h hide_macos_other_apps 🍎
Minimize macOS window
map cmd+m minimize_macos_window 🍎
Quit kitty
map cmd+q quit 🍎

Sample kitty.conf

You can download a sample kitty.conf file with all default settings and comments describing each setting by clicking: sample kitty.conf.

A default configuration file can also be generated by running:

kitty +runpy 'from kitty.config import *; print(commented_out_default_config())'

This will print the commented out default config file to STDOUT.

All mappable actions

See the list of all the things you can make |kitty| can do.