Possible Duplicate:
What is a terminal and how do I open and use it?
How do I access the Terminal?

I just got ubuntu running on my computer and now I am ready to write a program...but I can't figure out how to open a command terminal. I guess I don't know where to find which version I am running either. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • 7
    Amazingly, I don't think this is a duplicate question. Wow
    – Jjed
    Sep 3, 2012 at 23:16
  • I was using a different version last week that had a nice little icon on the top of the screen that just launched it.
    – hydro
    Sep 3, 2012 at 23:19
  • @Mik Hm, I think closing that one was a mistake. "What is a terminal" and "How to open a terminal" are two separate questions.
    – Jjed
    Sep 3, 2012 at 23:21
  • 2
    @EliahKagan Yes, but that is against the principals of Q&A. Questions should not be a FAQ. It does not follow that the questions "What is X" and "Where is X" should be consolidated.
    – Jjed
    Sep 4, 2012 at 0:54
  • 1
    @JacobJohanEdwards You may want to post on meta about this. I think you're construing the appropriate scope of a question far more narrowly than is commonplace on Ask Ubuntu or any Stack Exchange site. But I'm just one person; you may be able to persuade the community at large otherwise. Sep 4, 2012 at 1:18

2 Answers 2


You can either:

  • Open the Dash by clicking the Ubuntu icon in the upper-left, type "terminal", and select the Terminal application from the results that appear.
  • Hit the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Alt+T.
  • 1
    interestingly i tried searching for "prompt", "command prompt", "shell", and "bash" and of course none of those was useful.
    – Michael
    Jun 10, 2015 at 20:11
  • 1
    I am typing console for some reason. I forgot it should be 'terminal'
    – Neon Warge
    Mar 11, 2018 at 3:41

There are a couple of methods:

  • If you're running Unity: open the dash, type terminal, hit Return.
  • If you're on the old style menus, Applications → Accessories → Terminal.
  • Control + Alt + T.
  • Alt + F2, gnome-terminal, Return.
  • For a TTY: Control + Alt + F1..7.

If you're using Ubuntu variants, you might need to substitute gnome-terminal for xfce4-terminal, konsole or if you've gone off-piste, terminator (my fav) or if you're running out of options, xterm. There are others — many, many others — but I doubt you'll ever find them on a *buntu default install.

The TTYs are your last, best hope if you desperately need some form of terminal. Just be aware that they're not conscious of the graphical environment so if you want to launch something graphical from one, you'll need to run export DISPLAY=:0 first. Or adapt that if you're running more than one X display.

  • I guess I am using Unity because it worked. Thank you!
    – hydro
    Sep 3, 2012 at 23:20

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