Terminator is very powerful at organizing several computers or servers due to the split window and group all function. But here's the deal: I created my own Layout and would appreciate it to load at startup of terminator. Is that possible?

  • 1
    Can you post your ~/.config/terminator/config, or at least everything below [layouts]?
    – pconley
    Jul 1, 2012 at 6:10
  • Hi... There is no Folder ~/.config/terminator.
    – zulu34sx
    Jul 5, 2012 at 20:37
  • If you have a running command in your layout, terminator need a few seconds for drawing layout. Add a line as sleep 1 in your shell script.
    – user224664
    Dec 12, 2013 at 8:21
  • open config file ~/.config/terminator/config and edit command = cd /some/folder; bash. then save it and reopen the terminator.
    – suhailvs
    Feb 11, 2019 at 4:04

8 Answers 8

  1. After setting up your layout, right-click on any terminal background and choose PreferencesLayouts tab and click on Add button.

  2. Give it a name and hit Close.

  3. This should create the mentioned ~/.config/terminator/config file.

  4. Now you can start terminator using the saved layout using: terminator -l yourLayout (replace yourLayout with whatever you chose on step 2).

  5. (optional) Edit the ~/.config/terminator/config file so that where it says [layouts] and nested below it [[yourLayout]], rename yourLayout to default and remove/rename the previous default layout. Now, when Terminator starts without any parameters, it will load your custom [[default]] layout!

  6. (optional) Edit the [[[terminalx]]]/ command = a custom command;bash eg: command = ssh user@IP;bash (ending with bash) for each terminal, so that it will run your custom command during startup!!

  • 2
    I guess there is no way to make it remember also the paths where each window is when being saved?
    – JussiR
    Mar 19, 2014 at 10:24
  • 9
    Reame new layout name to "default" to start automaticaly
    – momo2047
    Jun 26, 2014 at 14:02
  • 6
    6. Set a custom initial command for each window. =) askubuntu.com/questions/349385/… Apr 15, 2015 at 8:27
  • 1
    This works well for tabs and windows, but for some reason 'directory' and 'command' properties in config file don't function properly. At the very least I want Terminator to launch in a specific folder. --working-directory flag works as expected, but it will not allow me to specify a dir of my choice to every tab in my custom layout.
    – yuranos
    Feb 20, 2017 at 0:51
  • 1
    Any way to save the layout from a shell command?
    – Zioalex
    Jul 3, 2017 at 9:57

There is a very easy way to accomplish this:

  • Open Terminator
  • Right click -> Preferences
  • In the Layouts tab (to the right of the Profiles tab), edit the default one, you will see that it says Window | window0 and Terminal | child1.
  • For the Terminal | child1, you can set: a Profile (to choose from the installed ones), a Default command, and a Working directory.
  • Set it/them to whatever you like, close, reopen again...
  • ... and voilá!

Hope this helped!

  • 17
    Important: Follow these steps exactly and it works. Bizarrely, if you click "Save" after setting a Custom command and/or Working directory, it won't work. Clicking Save seems to clear anything you entered for Custom command and Working directory.
    – trebormf
    Mar 18, 2019 at 14:02
  • 3
    This does not even answer the question. The question is about changing the default layout, not changing the profile for specific terminals in a layout.
    – Fritz
    Jun 18, 2019 at 11:16
  • 3
    I've flagged it as it does not answer the question even though it is marked as such. I think for the sake of a strong community it is vital that the answer, even if it helps the original questioner, also helps the community. This answer does not.
    – SeveQ
    Jun 28, 2019 at 11:20
  • The question is about setting user-preferred layout as default during startup. This is not the solution!
    – Casonade
    Dec 18, 2022 at 21:07

After saving your layout (as per mhnagaoka's answer), you can make your changes used by default by editing the config file.

Edit the ~/.config/terminator/config file and look for where it says [layouts]. It should look something like this:

    # ..default layout
    # ..your custom layout

Rename [[yourLayout]] to [[default]] and remove/rename the previous default layout. Now, when Terminator starts without any parameters, it will load your custom default layout!

  • 1
    This answer suited me best because it doesn't rely on using any mouse interaction. Feb 23, 2019 at 2:27

I use the method mhnagaoka suggested, but I made it usable from the launcher in Unity. I also had an issue with plain terminator -l my_default command, so specify these additional flags

  • -b for borderless and
  • -m for maximized.

The final Command is terminator -m -b -l my_default.

Now you need to modify terminator.desktop entry for Unity.

Go to your application folder, in my case it was /usr/share/applications. You need to have root permissions to edit with your text editor terminator.desktop.

In my case it was, sudo vim terminator.desktop.

Replace the Exec argument with your Command.

Now you can add the entry to your Unity Launcher, and it should always open your custom layout on the start.

  • 4
    not working in my 14.04 :( it just shows the same single terminal terminator window
    – tishma
    Jul 31, 2014 at 12:01
  • You have to add ; bash or ; zsh (depending on your shell) after each command in your layout. Then it works fine and opens all windows.
    – luke
    Apr 9, 2019 at 8:22

After setting up your layout, right-click on any terminal background and choose Preferences → Layouts tab and click on Add button. When prompted for the name type "default" and hit Enter.

Note: This may be a glitch but it's a useful glitch for me!

  • 1
    Nice solution and its working perfectly. Thanks :-) Oct 10, 2017 at 19:28
  • 1
    To everyone looking for the answer. This is the best and the easiest answer.
    – Omar Tariq
    Aug 21, 2018 at 7:42
  • This is awesome.
    – Astrid
    Nov 13, 2018 at 10:52
  • This does not work anymore..
    – Astrid
    Jan 15, 2019 at 10:50
  • It works on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Feb 10, 2022 at 15:20

To open a previously saved layout, open the Terminator Layout Launcher by pressing ALT-L. There, click on the layout you need, and press launch.


It's very simple. No need to edit the configuration file.

Just create your custom layout and Right Click->Preference->Layout->default and Press the save button. Now our configuration is saved as the default configuration. From next launch of the terminator, we will get the custom layout at the startup itself.

  • Found this to be the easiest solution of them all here. Firstly, positioning and creating set of windows and groups you want. Then saving custom layout and then re-opening the terminator did the trick! Thanks!
    – Shaze
    Feb 28, 2019 at 10:24

Just as an anecdote, even after configuring custom layout 're-use profile for newer terminals' has to be checked otherwise the new terminal again opens in default profile. enter image description here

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