This is related to why does the cursor freeze in terminals?.

Many terminal emulators (including the native xfce4-terminal) are built with GTK. Unfortunately, GNOME decided that cursor blinking was bad for the environment and by default cursors in GTK applications stop blinking after a short period of time.

The solution to this that has been provided in the past was to install the dconf editor and adjust the value of: /org/gnome/desktop/interface/cursor-blink-timeout

Unfortunately it seems this setting is not honored in Xubuntu 18.04, as the cursor continues to stop blinking after about 10 seconds. (xfce4-terminal, gnome-terminal, lxterminal...)

I installed terminology but that has a whole bunch of dependencies and really doesn't look at all like a conventional terminal emulator. But it does have a cursor that blinks, and keeps blinking.

Is there some trick to getting dconf changes to be recognized? Failing that, can anyone recommend a lightweight terminal with a blinking cursor? (Even xterm would be OK.)

  • konsole has continuous blinking provided the window is in focus. Whether it's lightweight or not is your call.
    – DK Bose
    Oct 18, 2018 at 0:48

1 Answer 1


I've learned that invoking xterm -bc will cause xterm to always blink the cursor regardless of whatever default behavior might otherwise be imposed. Blink speed can be customized with -bcf and -bcn, per the man page.

I've also discovered that GTK-based terminal emulators (and any GTK-based application) running in Xubuntu's xfce can have their cursor blinking behavior controlled, but apparently it's through xfconf and not the usual dconf. If you want to have the cursor blink for longer than 10 seconds in a GTK application, you can refer to this answer.

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