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Only a short question but is it possible to set the default width (and height) of terminal sessions in gnome-terminal and terminator?

I find I always resize the window once it pops up so and given how much I use terminator it makes sense (IMO) to alter the default and save myself some time later on.

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up vote 46 down vote accepted

Terminator does allow you setting up a default size. :)

Just open the file ~/.config/terminator/config with your favorite editor. You should have a section titled [layouts]. You only need to add a line within the sub-section named [[[window0]]] belonging to the [[default]] section. My configuration file, for instance, looks like this:

  enabled_plugins = CustomCommandsMenu, InactivityWatch, ActivityWatch, TerminalShot, LaunchpadCodeURLHandler, LaunchpadBugURLHandler
    scrollbar_position = hidden
    visible_bell = True
    scrollback_lines = 1000000
    foreground_color = "#ffffff"
    copy_on_selection = True
    background_color = "#300a24"
      type = Terminal
      parent = window0
      profile = default
      type = Window
      parent = ""
      profile = None
      size = 900, 600

The relevant part is only the line starting with "size", of course.

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On Ubuntu 12.04 this file is missing. See here: – HDave Jun 11 '12 at 14:29
The "size" option does not show up in the GUI "Preferences" manager. Also, when I set it in the config file, my window sometimes opens at the correct size, then shrinks itself to some other size. This other size changes inconsistently, and sometimes it stays at the correct size. Any ideas? – Eric Dand Mar 11 '15 at 18:19
Also, man terminator_config has no mention of "size". – Eric Dand Mar 11 '15 at 18:29

I don't know about terminator, but in gnome-terminal there's an option under the profile settings to set the starting dimensions to any number of rows and columns you want, specifically Edit->Profile Preferences.

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I don't find this option anymore under Edit -> Profile Preferences. I remember I have set this option before somehow and I even find a gconf entry for this but I can't find a way to set this which works. Any ideas ? – koushik Oct 10 '10 at 15:26're right. It has vanished from the GUI for some reason. Surely this is all being stored in a config file somewhere... – Robert Edward Danhof Oct 12 '10 at 16:07

Hey. Assuming that you're calling up terminal from a panel menu or launcher icon, you can just change the instructions in that launcher to included desired geometry.

For example, I have a launcher for gnome-terminal on my gnome-panel which opens up to 80x40. Right click -> properties: command - set to "gnome-terminal (or terminator, whatever) --geometry=80x40"


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This is a good answer, except when using a keyboard shortcut to launch a terminal. In that case, see the answer by Ben Willams. – Jonathan Hartley Jun 19 '13 at 9:35

try this for gnome-terminal:

go to edit >> profile preferences

look down:

default size: 80 (you want to increase this)
colums: 24: (you want to increase this too!)

sorry if that are not the "right labels", i'm using ubuntu in spanish

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This has disappeared in the latest version of gnome-terminal, 2.30.2-0ubuntu1. My installation of 10.04 LTS picked up the new gnome-terminal package yesterday, and it no longer obeys the geometry settings in the profile.

The fields for setting the default size have disappeared from the options dialog. The option remains set in gconf, however (at /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/default_size_columns and default_size_rows).

There's a bug report here:

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Example: gnome-terminal --geometry=80x40+100+200

To make it so it always keep that setting:

sudo gedit /usr/share/vte/termcap/xterm

Locate something simliar to:


co is column number and li is row number.

Thanks to

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