Are there any terminals that can serve as an alternative to gnome-terminal. Do these alternatives have other/extra features ?

  • @private If you know any other alternatives to Ubuntu terminal , please add it here. That may be helpful to others in future.
    – Raja G
    Sep 4, 2013 at 14:27
  • Dude, what's wrong with xterm? Sep 4, 2013 at 17:17

7 Answers 7


Feel free to edit in info on features and/or maintenance.

There is a blog post at OMG! Ubuntu! that lists five alternatives to gnome-terminal. Another post at Tech Drive-in adds even more other ones. For screenshots, see these websites.


"It allows you to split its main window into as many tiles anyone could ever need."

sudo apt-get install terminator

Here are some of its features:

  • Arrange terminals in a grid
  • Tabs
  • Drag and drop to re-order terminals
  • Lots of keyboard shortcuts
  • Save multiple layouts and profiles via GUI preferences editor
  • Simultaneous typing to arbitrary groups of terminals


"a configurable “Quake-style” terminal emulator, meaning that it slides down from the top of your desktop when a user-configurable key (default is F1)" No longer actively maintained?

sudo apt-get install tilda 

As said at linuxlibrary: "Tilda does seem to offer more customization options than similar drop-down style terminals":

  • Highly customizable interface.
  • Set the level of transparency for the main Tilda window.
  • Unique built-in color schemes.
  • Users are able to reduce the main window to its most minimal state.


"similar in functionality to Tilda"

sudo apt-get install guake


"comparable to [...] Guake and Tilda. It’s also very lightweight, features tabs, and an option to toggle fullscreen"

sudo apt-get install stjerm



sudo apt-get install yakuake

CLI companion

mostly to learn terminal commands

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:clicompanion-devs/clicompanion-nightlies

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install clicompanion

or download a .deb file for it from here.


"Eterm is the lightest of them all"

sudo apt-get install eterm


"Supports features like drag & drop of items into Terminal windows"

sudo apt-get install roxterm


"Extra features include fast pseudo-transparency, optional off-focus fading of text"

sudo apt-get install aterm


"An extensive set or runtime options are available resulting in a very customizable terminal emulator" No longer actively maintained?


"a command line based system made on top of WebKit"


As rajagenupula mentions there is also terminology.

It "can do a lot of things you wouldn't expect from a terminal emulator, like displaying thumbnails for images, videos and documents and furthermore, it also allows you to preview those files directly from Terminology" (quote from webupd8)


"The fast, feature-rich, GPU based terminal emulator"

sudo apt-get install kitty

A productive terminal emulator for power users, some of its features:

  • split window into panes and navigate between them with the keybaord
  • display images inside the terminal
  • pick unicode characters like emojis through a visual menu

For a full list, see the kitty website.

  • Does not work. DISPLAY=:2 kitty still opens on DISPLAY=:0. Most others have the same problem. eterm works, but has way too small font size (I need 10 to 20 times bigger). Only terminology looks promising.
    – Tino
    Jul 20, 2023 at 13:38

You can use terminology,:) . its everything. its not just a simple terminal.

By using terminology you can preview images ,you can play videos from the terminal only.you no need to open other file managers. its everything.

to install it open your terminal and type

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hannes-janetzek/enlightenment-svn
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install terminology

then you access it, from unity dash. just install it once. I am sure you will surprised to see what you could do in the terminal.

look at the image , that will tell you everything that I am talking

enter image description here

one more feature just now figured out that , at a time you can with 5 terminal with out clicking at new time every time.

enter image description here

  • This looks like the best choice so far. It honors DISPLAY, it adapts good to display sizes (scale 0.25 to 5.0) with font 5pt to 45pt (so 5/4pt to 5*45pt), has a good bell feature and offers sane colors right out of the box. It has additional features like split, background graphics and translucency, but these I do not need .. yet (I use tmux extensively). Note that the version which comes with Ubuntu 22.04 apparently has no file/video/image options and leaves that to xdg-open, which I think is the right thing.
    – Tino
    Jul 20, 2023 at 14:17
  • To correct me: It can display images/videos/files with some external helper like tyq https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/F_icon.svg or locally from a directory with tyls -m (then klick on the thumbnail). However this does not work over ssh, even if those helpers are installed on the remote (and before you say "but": It's a major task and bit tricky, but can be implemented via TTY lines in a secure fashion, of course. It would be cool but I doubt it is worthwhile). And the video-controls are very limited, so better play Videos with mpv ..
    – Tino
    Jul 20, 2023 at 15:01

I suggest Byobu

Not only it has capability of splitting windows, but also there's indicators for battery %, network strength, clock, etc. If you attach a session there, it will also be transferred to tty. There's a somewhat of learning curve for splitting windows, but that is not too bad. Ctrl+a, then :, then type split -h or split -v. There's also ability to have new tabs/windows with F2 key

enter image description here

But since it isn't really terminal emulator (as discussed in the comments bellow ), I suggest sakura. It's a cross between minimalism of xterm and configurability of gnome-terminal. Just today I tried to install gnome-terminal in my Arch installation, and it didn't go through for whatever reason . . .sakura was a good alternative, easy to use, easy to configure.

  • 1
    But I don't think that byobu really is a terminal emulator, unlike gnome-terminal and other suggestions. I think you need to run byobu in a terminal emulator.
    – Léo Lam
    Oct 24, 2015 at 11:28
  • Technically byobu isnt terminal emulator, but if you search byobu in unity dash, it shows up there as an app. In actuality the full exec command for that app is Exec=env TERM=xterm-256color byobu So yes, you are correct Oct 24, 2015 at 11:32
  • I'll edit my answer to include a better suggestion Oct 24, 2015 at 11:34

Best is to install xfce4-terminal. It works fine in Gnome3, has an unobtrusive scrollbar, has a nice pastel theme, and has transparency.

  • 1
    There's clearly no such thing as the "best" terminal. Unfortunately, at this moment I really cannot recommend xfce4-terminal. It is stuck with the ~4 year old Gtk+-2 based vte-0.28 doing the actual terminal emulation, whereas Ubuntu Vivid ships gnome-terminal with vte-0.38. The actual emulation behavior received hundreds of bugfixes and dozens of new features. Let's hope xfce guys will come up with an updated version soon.
    – egmont
    Apr 25, 2015 at 23:06
  • I think xfce4-terminal It's the best replacement for gnome-terminal. Gnome drops features in gnome-terminal (such as background image).
    – Vassilis
    Aug 31, 2016 at 13:06
  • Yes, background images is clearly one of the most important aspects of any terminal emulator! Aug 15, 2017 at 15:01
  • Does not work: DISPLAY=:2 xfce4-terminal still opens on DISPLAY=:0
    – Tino
    Jul 20, 2023 at 13:32

I wrote Fourterm, Terminator-like terminal written in GTK+/Vala. It's faster, but it has less features. https://github.com/lzap/fourterm


XTerm is also very good! This article covers lot of its features: http://lukas.zapletalovi.com/2013/07/hidden-gems-of-xterm.html


Starting from GNOME 42, a new terminal, called Console, is available. It is an alternative to Ubuntu’s default GNOME Terminal. It is not a 1:1 replacement, it is designed to be a simple terminal emulator for the average user to carry out simple CLI tasks and aims to be a ‘core’ app for GNOME.

According to a dedicated news from OMG! Ubuntu!, probably GNOME team preferred to create a new terminal for the switch to GTK4 than adapting the GNOME terminal codebase.

Console is not automatically installed in Ubuntu 22.04, in fact it is not intended for GNOME Terminal/Tilix replacement: according to the GitLab page "Console aims to serve the casual linux user who rarely needs a terminal."

Console is available in the jammy universe repo and may be installed by running the command: sudo apt install gnome-console

Picture from OMG! Ubuntu! (side by side with the new text editor): Picture from OMG! Ubuntu! (side by side with the new text editor)

  • Thanks, he fit perfectly with my needs: turns red when sudo/su/pkexec, turns purplewhen ssh is in use Dec 21, 2022 at 9:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .