Just upgraded Ubuntu to 11.4, stuck with trying to accomplish things in this crazy new Unity desktop. In the vertical bar there's a button to open a terminal. Ok, I open a terminal, cd to a directory and accomplish some useful work, maybe start a long compile or some command that takes forever.

Now on another desktop (workspace, whatever they call them) I use the same button to open a fresh terminal to do some other work on something else. But, there's no new terminal to work in. Instead it brings me to the first terminal. Eventually I found another way to open terminals, and I think the file manager had an "open terminal here" feature which is what I normally prefer anyway, but still...

Why does Unity do this, and how to persuade it to open a new gnome terminal for each time I click that button?


You have to click with the middle mouse button on the terminal icon in the launcher. This will open a new/second terminal.

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    Ah. This is nonobvious. Is it documented somewhere (where I hope to learn other unity-noob basics)? – DarenW May 3 '11 at 4:05
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    Don't know about a documentation but here's a nice wallpaper on OMGubuntu with some shortcuts/tricks omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/04/… . Hope this is a bit helpful. – Wolf F. May 3 '11 at 4:08
  • That cheatsheet wallpaper is excellent! I would gnashed my teeth less and maybe not wailed at all had I known of this prophet of Unity at the time I upgraded to 11.04 – DarenW May 3 '11 at 6:14
  • Ok, this gets the golden green checkmark. Can't beat it for simplicity, and it works. – DarenW May 3 '11 at 17:06

The "bar on the right" is called the launcher.

When you click on an icon of an application that is open on another workspace, it switches to that icon. If you want to be able create new terminal windows (remember, the launcher is not a dock), you can create a quicklist for the terminal.

Here is an example of a Terminal quicklist: What Custom Launchers and Unity Quicklists are available?

  • Can you edit this to point to the updated Terminal quicklist? – Cas May 4 '11 at 23:51
  • @Cas: sure :)! Forgot to do it actually. – RolandiXor May 5 '11 at 1:41

There is a utility called confity that can configure lots of "hidden" (nonobvious) settings in Unity. You can read more about it here.

If you install xdotool (via the usual method) it can even let you pop open new tabs from the Launcher.

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