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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

3 Answers 3

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,
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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1  
Thanks, I'll try that! –  Stabledog Jan 17 at 15:14
    
Ubuntu 14.04 has the same issue. Your solution solved it for me. –  Nomæd Nov 11 at 11:49
    
Tried the tab:active block alone, no effect. :\ It appears that the file does not get noticed/read by a newly opened gnome-terminal. Could it be in the wrong place, does it have to be referenced from somewhere? –  Tomislav Nakic-Alfirevic Nov 14 at 14:58
    
Forgot to add: I tried switching to another theme and back (as suggested here: askubuntu.com/a/221783/32201) and still no effect. –  Tomislav Nakic-Alfirevic Nov 14 at 15:05

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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2  
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
    
Any updates on this for 14.04? Changing the whole theme feels like overkill. And High Contrast in particular is very ugly. –  becko Oct 15 at 22:25

Here is what worked for me in ubuntu 14.04, I tried to maintain similar overall look, and make the inactive tabs less bright.

edit the file ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css

to contain

TerminalWindow .notebook tab:active {
    background-color: #f5f4f3;
    foreground-color: #000000;
}

TerminalWindow .notebook tab {
    background-color: #d2d1d0;
    foreground-color: #2e2d2c;
}

close ALL terminal windows start and test

EDIT: After using that for a little while it became clear that a pronounced difference between active and inactive tab is not enough.

I think it is necessary to be able to tell an inactive tab at the first glance - without looking to its sides.

So here is the updated configuration (darker inactive tabs):

TerminalWindow .notebook tab:active {
    background-color: #f5f4f3;
    foreground-color: #000000;
}

TerminalWindow .notebook tab {
    background-color: #a2a1a0;
    foreground-color: #1e1d1c;
}
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Thanks... this stretch of my life has passed by, but next time I get the problem I'll try that! –  Stabledog Nov 30 at 20:23

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