gnome terminal context menu image

I'm using Gnome Terminal 3.6.2 on Ubuntu 14.04.

On my trackpad I'm frequently accidentally opening a new terminal (even though I've disabled tap-to-click), I think the prominent placement of 'Open Terminal' here is to blame. Can I remove that entry or re-order them? It would be great to have Copy come first and Paste second? I use those much more often that opening a tab or terminal (intentionally).


I can duplicate the behavior (in 13.10) with a mouse- right clicking and dragging diagonally right and down will open a new terminal, but only if done quickly. If I right click and pause then I have to left click the menu options as expected.

update 2

It's starting to become more clear: there is an intentional feature of the right click menu that allows a right click and hold followed by the release of the right click on the context menu item of choice, which coexists with the right click release followed by a selection of the menu item and second right or left click.

The problem for me is when I'm intending to right click release and then select a menu item and a perform a second click. If the cursor is already moving down and right, or if I begin to make that move before releasing the right click, I get the undesired new terminal. I may be unconsciously trying to optimize the operation by getting a running start, or it is just random mouse movement.

  • Can you accept a solution?
    – Anwar
    Oct 22, 2016 at 14:15

3 Answers 3


In order to disable or reorder the gnome-terminal context menu, you should try editing the terminal.xml file located in /usr/share/gnome-terminal/ directory.

1) Make a backup of the terminal.xml file.
Open a Terminal window Ctrl+Alt+T and type:

  • cd /usr/share/gnome-terminal/
  • sudo cp -p terminal.xml terminal.xml.bak

2) Edit the terminal.xml file with your favorite editor. eg: nano

  • sudo nano -c /usr/share/gnome-terminal/terminal.xml

Regarding to your question you can comment the lines for the PopupNewTerminal PopupNewTab PopupCloseTab PopupCloseWindow menus. (Lines 88 to 93)

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You can comment those lines with <!-- lines --> symbols.

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To save the changes in nano.. Ctrl+O,Enter then Ctrl+X.

Exit or Close the Terminal window and open it again to see the changes.


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This is just an example, you can comment, delete or change the order in the menus (put the PopupCopy and PopupPaste menus before the PopupNewTerminal) in the file.

Just in case... please remember you have a backup of the terminal.xml.

Hope this helps.

  • 2
    Any idea where this is located in gnome-terminal 3.28? Jun 14, 2018 at 21:26

No, the order of the menu items cannot be changed by any settings, nor can it be disabled. If disabling tap-to-click does not work, you should file a bug report against the xserver-xorg-input-synaptics package. You can do that by running ubuntu-bug xserver-xorg-input-synaptics in your terminal.

  • Actually I can duplicate the behavior (in 13.10) with a mouse- right clicking and dragging diagonally right and down will open a new terminal, but only if done quickly. If I right click and pause then I have to left click the menu options as expected. Apr 24, 2014 at 0:15
  • Of course (and no, the pause is irrelevant, I can hold the right-click down for 10 minutes and then release on "Open Terminal" and a new terminal will open), a mouse and a touchpad are both pointing devices. How you are managing to accidentally right click on the touchpad though, is beyond me.
    – dobey
    Apr 24, 2014 at 0:59
  • It's intentional? Any way to disable it? Apr 24, 2014 at 16:50
  • I now know I wasn't accidentally right-clicking, I was releasing the right button a fraction of a second after beginning to move the mouse diagonally right and down to select Copy with a left click instead of making sure the pointer is absolutely still throughout the right click process. Or at other times I was already moving the mouse diagonally right and down and then right clicked mid move also intending to select Copy or Paste. Apr 24, 2014 at 16:59

The solution so far looks to be to untrain the right-click-release, menu select, click operation (maybe that came from Windows?), and just do the right click and hold and then release on the desired menu item- making sure the cursor is still would slow things down too much.

I believe click-hold-move-release is worse for carpal tunnel/repetitive strain, but so perhaps is having to close a bunch unwanted terminal windows.

Another possible solution would be if I could move the cursor from the keyboard and copy and paste vim-like, shortcuts to select text in terminal suggests screen (though the Ctrl + A then Escape command to enter copy mode is not ideal)

  • Or just use the keybindings for copy/paste, and the mouse to select the text, instead of using the menu at all.
    – dobey
    Apr 25, 2014 at 1:18

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