AB9IL.net: Ubuntu PPAs for Alacritty

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If you use Ubuntu based GNU/Linux and wish to install the elegant and very fast GPU-accelerated Alacritty terminal emulator, you may have noticed that the official repositories do not have it. To get it directly from the developer repositories on Github, you must install Rust, then download and compile Alacritty source code. If you do not mind the extra time and effort, that is the best way keep Alacritty current on your system. In my case, I wanted a simpler way to install precompiled binaries, almost as fresh as the Github source, but without installing Rust on my system.

It turns out that Ubuntu users may get Alacritty from two different Personal Package Archives (PPAs); one updating very often, and another updating at a lower rate. First, there is the PPA run by Michael Aaron Murphy. His PPA has been up for a long time, and it carries the more stable releases. As of this writing, it contains Alacritty version 0.6.0, last updated December 29, 2020. Use the following commands in a terminal to add it to your software sources:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mmstick76/alacritty
sudo apt updates
sudo apt install alacritty

The more frequently updated PPA, therefore with possibly less stable versions, is operated by Antoine Latter. It lists as an "Ubuntu" ppa, but the only software in it is Alacritty, and the latest version today is Alacritty 0.7.1, updated February 5, 2021. To install from this PPA, use the commands below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:aslatter/ppa
sudo apt updates
sudo apt install alacritty

The default configurations for Alacritty (colors, font, etc.) are good. I did adjust things slightly for my own preferences, changing the font style and size, going to a darker color scheme, setting transparency, and cursor blinking. It is all tweakable in a yaml file.

If you ever want to completely remove Alacritty from your computer, use the purge command:

sudo apt purge alacritty

If you ever want to remove access to a PPA, simply install the Package "ppa-purge":

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ppa-purge

Then use one of the commands below to purge the PPA, as apropriate for the source you intend to not use:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:mmstick76/alacritty
sudo ppa-purge ppa:aslatter/ppa

I am quite pleased with the responsiveness of my terminal since switching to Alacritty, and hope the tips given above will help you install and enjoy it as developers continue to make it better.

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