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How can I get the PID of the GNOME Terminal instance I'm using from within a Bash script?

I can run xprop _NET_WM_PID and then manually click the terminal window, but I'd like to completely automate this.

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There are times when more than one instance is running — when I have a terminal open in a guest session, for example

The variable $PPID will give you the parent process for the current bash shell, which is often gnome-terminal.

To be safe though, the following will find the parent gnome-terminal process even if multiple bash shells are nested:

pstree -p -s $PPID | grep -Po 'gnome-terminal\(\K.*?(?=\))'

The following universal version will work for any shell, even if other grep instances are running. Deciphering it is left as an exercise for the reader ;)

pstree -p -a -s \
$(pstree -p -a | grep -B3 $RANDOM$RANDOM \
| grep -m1 `echo $SHELL |cut -d/ -f3` | cut -d, -f2)\
| grep gnome-terminal | cut -d, -f2
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True, but I think any method that assumes there is only one GNOME Terminal instance is still fundamentally flawed. Another counterexample: gnome-terminal --disable-factory – ændrük May 20 '12 at 1:02
See edited answer ;) – izx May 20 '12 at 2:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This solution feels the most robust to me. It recursively looks up the parent PID until finding one that belongs to GNOME Terminal.

find-parent() {
    i=($(ps -o pid= -o ppid= -o cmd= -p $1))
    ((i[0] == 1)) && return 1
    if [[ ${i[2]} =~ (^|/)gnome-terminal$ ]]; then echo ${i[0]}; else find-parent ${i[1]}; fi
}; find-parent $PPID
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