With a MATE Panel item set to 'application in terminal'

add launcher

I see xterm:

htop in xterm

I want to change that to gnome-terminal (or mate-terminal in MATE)

2 Answers 2


It seems to be hardcoded somewhere to use GNOME Terminal.
The logic behind this seems to be the following: if GNOME Terminal is not found, then desktop-shortcut uses xterm as fallback.

We can simulate GNOME Terminal installation on MATE by using a hack - create symlink to MATE Terminal executable:

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/mate-terminal /usr/local/bin/gnome-terminal

and then run application with MATE Terminal attached.

Note: I have faced the same problem with one of my laptops, so I asked a question on Ubuntu MATE Community. It is great that upcoming Ubuntu MATE 19.10 is not affected by this problem.

  • Ah good one! For my issue I needed ln -sf /usr/bin/mate-terminal /usr/bin/xterm And yes, I see other good changes coming in 19.10. Aug 31, 2019 at 14:37
  • 1
    It is OK if you do not have xterm package installed. Otherwise it is not recommended as /usr/bin/xterm will be overwritten on next upgrade of xterm package. You can try to remove xterm package with sudo apt-get remove xterm and then make symlink in /usr/local/bin (this folder is not maintained by APT).
    – N0rbert
    Aug 31, 2019 at 14:40

Or, you can change the drop-down from "Application in Terminal" to just "Application" - and before htop provide the full path to the wanted XXXX-terminal as this:
"Name: /usr/bin/gnome-terminal -e htop" (consult with man-page or help of the needed terminal application about the correct option format).

Even, maybe, with no change in the "Type" field ...

  • 1
    OK. My bad. I am using XFCE DE on Ubuntu 14.04. There's a default "Terminal" in "/usr/bin/xfce4-terminal" with this options : -x, --execute => Execute the remainder of the command line inside the terminal ; -e, --command=*htop* => Execute htop inside the Terminal ; -T, --title="Htop in GNME/MATE Terminal" => For setting the initial window title for the Terminal . Aug 31, 2019 at 18:09

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