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Quick Start

Create a file named .wezterm.lua in your home directory, with the following contents:

-- Pull in the wezterm API
local wezterm = require 'wezterm'

-- This table will hold the configuration.
local config = {}

-- In newer versions of wezterm, use the config_builder which will
-- help provide clearer error messages
if wezterm.config_builder then
  config = wezterm.config_builder()

-- This is where you actually apply your config choices

-- For example, changing the color scheme:
config.color_scheme = 'AdventureTime'

-- and finally, return the configuration to wezterm
return config

Configuration Files

wezterm will look for a lua configuration file using the logic shown below.


The recommendation is to place your configuration file at $HOME/.wezterm.lua (%HOME%/.wezterm.lua on Windows) to get started.

More complex configurations that need to span multiple files can be placed in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/wezterm/wezterm.lua (for X11/Wayland) or $HOME/.config/wezterm/wezterm.lua (for all other systems).

graph TD
  X[Locate Configuration file] --> A{{--config-file CLI argument specified?}}
  A -->|Yes| B{{Can that file be loaded?}}
  B -->|Yes| C[Use it]
  B -->|No| D[Use built-in default configuration]
  A -->|No| E{{$WEZTERM_CONFIG_FILE<br/>environment set?}}
  E -->|Yes| B
  E -->|No| F{{"Running on Windows and<br/>wezterm.lua exists in same<br/>dir as wezterm.exe?<br/>(Thumb drive mode)"}}
  F -->|Yes| B
  F -->|No| H{{Is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME<br/>environment set and<br/>wezterm/wezterm.lua<br/>exists inside it?}}
  H -->|Yes| B
  J --> B
  H -->|No| K{{Does $HOME/.config/wezterm/wezterm.lua exist?}}
  K -->|Yes| B
  K -->|No| J[Use $HOME/.wezterm.lua]

Prior to version 20210314-114017-04b7cedd, if the candidate file exists but failed to parse, wezterm would treat it as though it didn't exist and continue to try other candidate file locations. In all current versions of wezterm, an error will be shown and the default configuration will be used instead.


On Windows, to support users that carry their wezterm application and configuration around on a thumb drive, wezterm will look for the config file in the same location as wezterm.exe. That is shown in the chart above as thumb drive mode. It is not recommended to store your configs in that location if you are not running off a thumb drive.

wezterm will watch the config file that it loads; if/when it changes, the configuration will be automatically reloaded and the majority of options will take effect immediately. You may also use the CTRL+SHIFT+R keyboard shortcut to force the configuration to be reloaded.


The configuration file may be evaluated multiple times for each wezterm process both at startup and in response to the configuration file being reloaded. You should avoid taking actions in the main flow of the config file that have side effects; for example, unconditionally launching background processes can result in many of them being spawned over time if you launch many copies of wezterm, or are frequently reloading your config file.

Configuration Overrides

Since: Version 20210314-114017-04b7cedd

The functionality described in this section requires version 20210314-114017-04b7cedd of wezterm, or a more recent version.

wezterm allows overriding configuration values via the command line; here are a couple of examples:

$ wezterm --config enable_scroll_bar=true
$ wezterm --config 'exit_behavior="Hold"'

Configuration specified via the command line will always override the values provided by the configuration file, even if the configuration file is reloaded.

Each window can have an additional set of window-specific overrides applied to it by code in your configuration file. That's useful for eg: setting transparency or any other arbitrary option on a per-window basis. Read the window:set_config_overrides documentation for more information and examples of how to use that functionality.

Configuration File Structure

The wezterm.lua configuration file is a lua script which allows for a high degree of flexibility. The script is expected to return a configuration table, so a basic empty (and rather useless!) configuration file will look like this:

return {}

Throughout these docs you'll find configuration fragments that demonstrate configuration and that look something like this:

local wezterm = require 'wezterm'
local config = {}

config.color_scheme = 'Batman'

return config

and perhaps another one like this:

local wezterm = require 'wezterm'
local config = {}

config.font = wezterm.font 'JetBrains Mono'

return config

If you wanted to use both of these in the same file, you would merge them together like this:

local wezterm = require 'wezterm'
local config = {}

config.font = wezterm.font 'JetBrains Mono'
config.color_scheme = 'Batman'

return config

For the sake of brevity in these docs, individual snippets may be shown as just the config assignments:

config.color_scheme = 'Batman'

Making your own Lua Modules

If you'd like to break apart your configuration into multiple files, you'll be interested in this information.

The Lua package.path is configured with the following paths in this order:

  • On Windows: a wezterm_modules dir in the same directory as wezterm.exe. This is for thumb drive mode, and is not recommended to be used otherwise.
  • ~/.config/wezterm
  • ~/.wezterm
  • A system specific set of paths which may (or may not!) find locally installed lua modules

That means that if you wanted to break your config up into a helpers.lua file you would place it in ~/.config/wezterm/helpers.lua with contents like this:

-- I am helpers.lua and I should live in ~/.config/wezterm/helpers.lua

local wezterm = require 'wezterm'

-- This is the module table that we will export
local module = {}

-- This function is private to this module and is not visible
-- outside.
local function private_helper()
  wezterm.log_error 'hello!'

-- define a function in the module table.
-- Only functions defined in `module` will be exported to
-- code that imports this module.
-- The suggested convention for making modules that update
-- the config is for them to export an `apply_to_config`
-- function that accepts the config object, like this:
function module.apply_to_config(config)

  config.color_scheme = 'Batman'

-- return our module table
return module

and then in your wezterm.lua you would use it like this:

local helpers = require 'helpers'
local config = {}
return config

Configuration Reference

Continue browsing this section of the docs for an overview of the commonly adjusted settings, or visit the Lua Config Reference for a more detailed list of possibilities.