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What I would like to accomplish is to create an script/program that writes a terminator config file with a one-time use layout and then tell terminator 'use this config file instead of ~/.config/terminator/config' and load layout 'tmp' from it.

Use case:

Often I have to ssh into many servers to do exactly the same operation in all of them, the set of servers could vary so I could not possibly have an static layout that I could use all the time. If I could create such temporary layout with each terminal ssh-ing into a different server (using ssh @server as default command) and grouping all the terminals I could get my job done in a matter of seconds.

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The solution was in man terminator_config. In my particular solution was to define

export XDG_CONFIG_HOME="/tmp";

as part of my own script, then at the very last part of the script invoke the terminator instance, this way the variable will be only defined inside that bash/terminal instance (and its childs) and will not contaminate the default terminator's behavior. Below a pseudo-code example:

many_ssh_terminals.sh:

 export XDG_CONFIG_HOME="/tmp";
 mkdir > /tmp/terminator;
 write_config_with_layout > /tmp/terminator/config; 
 terminator -l tmp_layout
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