I want to change default terminal to lilyterm. Here is instructions that I've found on the internet

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec lilyterm
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec-arg ""

But when I'm pressing shotcut, that must run default termial -- I'm getting

Windows manager warning: Error on terminal command"(null)". Terminal command is not defined.

Where I've made a mistake?


Have you tried changing it via the Terminal command:

sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator

I guess this does not help if the Gnome-shortcut is set specifically to gnome-terminal instead of x-terminal-emulator


Most of the answers here are outdated for today's Gnome software. For Gnome 3.36 there's no easy workaround. The problem lies in the fact that most Gnome software is based on Gio which it decides what terminal emulator to use eventually. Quoting a Gnome developer from gitlab.gnome.org:

The decision which terminal is going to be used by gnome-shell when starting apps that specify that they run in a terminal is made by glib and not gnome-shell and currently in glib there is a hardcoded list of terminals that is being tried: glib#338.

Hence, looking e.g at Gio's current (2.64) code responsible for this behavior, we can see that Gio has hard coded the tests for several specific terminal emulators' executables search in $PATH. gnome-terminal is tested there first and other terminal emulators are tested further. If gnome-terminal is found in your $PATH, it will be used and there's nothing one can do, besides altering the programs in your $PATH:

# mv /usr/bin/gnome-terminal /usr/bin/.gnome-terminal.unused
# ln -s /usr/bin/lilyterm /usr/bin/gnome-terminal

This also means that the most widely solution to this problem, using gsettings, doesn't work (also proposed here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).


I just accidentally bump into this question and this what work for me:

Check which terminal is left in your system. I already removed all "terminal apps" such as xterm etc and chose rxvt-unicode as default terminal.

Go to Keyboard shortcut and create a custom shortcut. It will do a trick for you.


Perhaps you should open the add/edit users dialogue and see if you can change the default terminal there.

Updated: Users & Groups (as admin) > Select User > Advanced Settings > Advanced > Shell

There is a drop down menu, but you can also type out /path/to/your/shell.

  • This is talking about terminal emulators, not shells. May 4 '12 at 0:39

Try with

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec 'lilyterm'
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec-arg '-x'

Note: You need to log out and log in again (tested succesfully on Gnome on Ubuntu 13.04).

Another possibility is to go to shortcuts in the Gnome settings and add a new one with lilyterm as command, and set it to Ctrl+Alt+T or anything else you prefer.

Another way is to replace gnome-terminal with a symlink that points to lilyterm - but you don't want to do that.

  • 1
    Still equal error message.
    – Jofsey
    Mar 9 '12 at 21:10
  • I modified the answer, please check this.
    – dadexix86
    Mar 9 '12 at 21:17
  • 1
    Nothing changes :(. In my opinion, such error message indicates, that desktop.default-applications.terminal and Default Terminal in shortcut settings is different things.
    – Jofsey
    Mar 9 '12 at 21:34
  • Have tou tried to logout-login after changing the settings? I think that gconf should be updated with this new gsettings configurations.
    – dadexix86
    Mar 9 '12 at 23:00
  • @dadexix86less yes, I have.
    – Jofsey
    Mar 9 '12 at 23:14

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