Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How do you change the text-cursor/caret in Terminal to block, I-Beam, or underline.

share|improve this question
Gnome terminal or some other kind of GUI? Maybe the tty? –  Braiam Jul 29 '14 at 22:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In addition to the GUI method, you can also change the cursor shape from the command-line:

$ gconftool-2 --type string --set /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/cursor_shape <VALUE>

The possible values are "block" to use a block cursor, "ibeam" to use a vertical line cursor, or "underline" to use an underline cursor.

To get the current value:

$ gconftool-2 --get /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/cursor_shape
share|improve this answer
Wow! This is way more convenient. Thank you! –  King Marvel Jul 29 '14 at 21:11
you already have my up-vote for the step-by-step GUI method ;) –  Sylvain Pineau Jul 29 '14 at 21:18

To change your text-cursor/caret:

  1. Open up Terminal.
  2. Right click the terminal window.
  3. Hover your mouse over the option Profiles.
  4. Select Profile Prefrences.

As seen here:

Just a terminal window

5.Here you will find the option, Cursor Shape.

Cusor shape

6.Enjoy using Terminal with a different Caret.

share|improve this answer

In recent versions of gnome-terminal, you can use the following escape sequences to change the cursor:

  • \e[ q: reset to whatever's defined in the profile settings
  • \e[1 q: blinking block
  • \e[2 q: steady block
  • \e[3 q: blinking underline
  • \e[4 q: steady underline
  • \e[5 q: blinking I-beam
  • \e[6 q: steady I-beam

You can print these by e.g. echo -ne '\e[5 q'.

This has the advantage/disadvantage (based on your use case) compared to the gconftool method that it influences the given tab only, and not all the tabs that use the given profile.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.