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In Ubuntu 13.04, I often have multiple tabs open in gnome-terminal. The problem is that, while I can set the title of each tab, it is very hard to tell which tab is active -- the color and rendering distinction between the active tab and the inactive tab is so subtle that one must study the tab bar very carefully.

Is there a way to make this contrast more obvious?

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What is the name of the theme you are using? –  user25656 Oct 8 '13 at 10:41

2 Answers 2

I'm running Ubuntu 13.10 with the Ambience theme - had the same problem.

Solution: edit ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css (you might have to create it) and add:

TerminalWindow.background {
        background-color: #6e6e6e;
        color: #000000;

TerminalWindow .notebook tab {
        padding: 2;
        background-color: #6e6e6e;

TerminalWindow .notebook tab:active {
        background-color: #d1d1d1;
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Thanks, I'll try that! –  Stabledog Jan 17 at 15:14

I don't have any problem to distinguish active and inactive tabs in gnome-terminal using the default Ubuntu theme - Ambiance.

Looking on Launchpad, I found that this is a confirmed bug affecting many people: Difficult to distinguish which tab is selected.

If this is affecting you also, you can solve this by changing your Ubuntu theme: right click on the desktop, select Change Desktop Background and in the new opened window change your theme to High Contrast:

change ubuntu theme

Then you can distinguish without problems your active and inactive tabs in gnome-terminal:

terminal tabs

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Ok, that's an idea. I guess I was hoping for something less global and dramatic than changing the entire desktop theme -- but if that's the only way, I guess it's worth it. Thanks! –  Stabledog Oct 8 '13 at 11:17

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