I just downloaded Ubuntu 11.04 and as far as I can remember, there was the option of opening multiple terminals in tabs in Ubuntu. I cannot discover this feature in 11.04. Also, as a general query, suppose I open emacs from the terminal, then I wouldn't be able to do anything else on that terminal as long as I have emacs running, so what is a good way to multi-task?

8 Answers 8


CTRL + Shift + N will open a new terminal window if you are already working in the terminal, alternatively you can just select "Open Terminal" form the file menu as well.

And like @Alex said you can open a new tab by pressing CTRL + Shift + T.

  • At least in Ubuntu 12.10, it's CTRL + SHIFT + T and Alex's answer states the same. Maybe you mistyped?
    – its_me
    Feb 6, 2013 at 5:22
  • Perhaps... I don't know, this was such a long time, and I am not on an Ubuntu box to confirm whether it works or not...
    – TheXed
    Feb 6, 2013 at 14:20
  • @its_me I just used the command CTRL+Shift+N it works fine c:
    – Ahsan
    Apr 7, 2017 at 15:27

Check out Terminator as well. It's in the repo's

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right click on mouse and select open tab.

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You may open a new tab by pressing Ctrl + Shift + T, or go to File ->New tab`.


You can also use a terminal multiplexer like byobu or tmux. Byobu is beautifully configured for Ubuntu out of the box. Tmux requires some initial configuration, but is (relatively) easy to customize. Think of it as a command-line program that can run multiple shells organised like tabs.

I prefer to use a terminal multiplexer over gnome-terminal tabs because I can detach and attach from anywhere. Examples:

  • Login to work via ssh, start a multiplexer with a few tabs. Open a file with emacs, start a huge download, etc. Detach the multiplexer, logout of ssh, go to work. Reattach your session and resume work right where you left it: emacs stayed open, your download continued while you drove to work.

  • Start writing your research paper (in LaTeX of course ;) on your desktop. Realise it's far too nice a day to be sitting indoors. Reattach the multiplexer session on your lappy outside and continue working.


To get the terminal back after you open Emacs or any other gui:

  1. Return to the terminal (click on the terminal window)
  2. Press Ctrl-Z
  3. Run the command bg to unfreeze the gui

See also the jobs and fg commands.


There a Terminal Quicklist that has the option to open new tab.

Although it's not a new tab you can use the middle mouse on the launcher to open a new terminal.

I would also recommend you look into Tmux as this is a great tool for working in a single terminal screen. For example it will keep your session running after you logout from remote servers.


mssh - simple and effective, allows one to issue the same commands to all windows, i.e. to each ssh session.

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