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

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Gnome terminal or some other kind of GUI? Maybe the tty? – Braiam Jul 29 '14 at 22:47
up vote 5 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
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Wow! This is way more convenient. Thank you! – King 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

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.

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This looks awesome! Unfortunately, I can't use it (running gnome-terminal 3.14.1). Is there anything I should do to enable this? (it does work in xterm) – Iago-lito Jul 21 '15 at 13:16
This feature is available since vte-0.40 which officially pairs with gnome-terminal-3.16 (although you can probably upgrade your vte only and keep gnome-terminal-3.14). – egmont Jul 22 '15 at 7:55
Great, let's upgrade then. Cheers! – Iago-lito Jul 22 '15 at 7:57
great answer! I followed these instructions to get gnome-terminal 3.16 – netimen Aug 16 '15 at 9:55

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.

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where is the cursor shape? – bagustris Mar 13 at 22:49

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