I configured my compose key in /etc/default/keyboard:

~ $ cat /etc/default/keyboard 
# Check /usr/share/doc/keyboard-configuration/README.Debian for
# documentation on what to do after having modified this file.

# The following variables describe your keyboard and can have the same
# values as the XkbModel, XkbLayout, XkbVariant and XkbOptions options
# in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.


Now the compose key is working in all GUI apps (Chrome, Firefox, Notes, emacs etc). However its not working in xfce4-terminal and also any of its subprocesses. For example when I start emacs from the menu the compose key will work but if i start it from the terminal (and a new GUI window opens) the compose key fails.


That's because xfce4-terminal is independent of the X server. See this answer on SuperUser, a sister site to Ask Ubuntu.

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