The nautilus-open-terminal package adds a menu/right-click option to open a terminal in the current directory.

I want to change this from opening gnome-terminal to opening terminator. There is some advice on changing the default terminal emulator here, however these instructions do not appear to be valid any more, and I can't find any place in the system settings where the default emulator can be changed.

I also tried:

$ sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator


* 0            /usr/bin/terminator               50        auto mode

But this does not appear to have any effect. Any idea how I can get this to work?

  • Here's a question about setting the default terminal emulator. – user32085 Nov 7 '11 at 15:31
  • Ok, I tried that and it doesn't work. In fact the "Open in Terminal" command does nothing now – YXD Nov 7 '11 at 15:37
  • Tested this just now to see how was it working for terminator, with terminator you need to set up the full path to the program, after that it will work like a charm by pressing ctrl+alt+t or when you have a program calling the terminal. – Bruno Pereira Nov 7 '11 at 15:49
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    Thanks for the advice. Everything you've described works fine, however I can't get nautilus-open-terminal working with Terminator, which is really my original question. If you or anyone has any insights into how I can make this work I'd be very grateful. – YXD Nov 7 '11 at 16:41
up vote 30 down vote accepted

Ubuntu 13.04: (in case you came here via google)

You can't change the terminal app used anymore.

Details: nautilus-open-terminal uses GAppInfo to launch the terminal process, which uses a hard coded list of terminal emulators:


  1. Remove gnome-terminal: sudo apt-get remove gnome-terminal
  2. Symlink terminator to gnome-terminal: sudo ln -s /usr/bin/terminator /usr/bin/gnome-terminal
  • See --- I think this is a bug. – Rmano Jan 28 '15 at 9:40
  • Really it is --- here since 2010. Ok. – Rmano Jan 29 '15 at 8:08
  • Works in 14.04 as well. Thanks! – La bla bla Jun 28 '15 at 7:26
  • For Ubuntu Mate, do: sudo apt-get remove mate-terminal followed by sudo ln -s /usr/bin/terminator /usr/bin/mate-terminal. – user_1_1_1 Nov 14 '16 at 23:04
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    This does not work in 16.04. I can launch gnome-terminal from the command line, but Nautilus's "Open in Terminal" option does nothing. – Cerin Feb 3 '17 at 17:46

Nautilus-Actions Install nautilus-actions

We may define our own right-click context menu items with nautilus-actions.

  • Run the Nautilus-Actions Configuration Tool either from the Dash, or from a terminal with


enter image description here

  • In the Action tab give your action a sensible label, e.g. "Open in Terminator" and choose to display this in the selection or the context menu.

  • Next open the Command tab to enter the commands to run

enter image description here

  • Give in the full path to your command (/usr/bin/terminator) and program options (--working-directory=%d/%b) for opening the current path in Terminator.

  • After logging out and in again (or just restarting nautilus with nautilus -q) the right click context menu below will be displayed:

enter image description here

  • Wow, thanks so much for the detailed writeup! I will try this tomorrow when I get to the office and report back. – YXD Nov 8 '11 at 1:43
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    Great solution. One thing: It's not really necessary to log out/in, restarting nautilus with nautilus -q is sufficient. I just proposed an edit for that. – Christoph Jan 1 '14 at 21:32
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    Nautilus-Actions can't go to relative symlinks paths, it uses absolute dispatchers, but open-in-terminal plugin opens relative paths. – unclechu Oct 1 '14 at 23:39
  • wow thank you so much I didn't know that application existed :) – Iman Akbari May 29 '16 at 7:27
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    if you don't want Open in Terminator to be in submenu, in Nautilus-Actions, go to Edit > Preferences > Disable "Create a root 'Nautilus-Actions' menu" – Hải Phong Sep 19 '16 at 1:28

To configure the default terminal in gnome you need to install dconf-tools (sudo apt-get install dconf-tools).

After that you can use dconf-editor or gsettings to set your favorite terminal emulator. This guide uses gsettings.

After installing terminator type this command

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec /usr/bin/terminator

Set the exec-args for the terminal you need, in your case -x to execute the rest of the necessary arguments of nautilus-open-terminal.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec-arg "-x"

After this terminator will be your default terminal emulator, when nautilus-open-terminal calls the default terminal it should open terminator instead of gnome-terminal.

  • The arguments are required. Have edited and accepted. – YXD Nov 8 '11 at 12:45
  • What arguments are you using with terminator, if its useful I will edit the answer and add that information. – Bruno Pereira Nov 8 '11 at 12:59
  • it's org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec-arg '-x' as in my edit. – YXD Nov 8 '11 at 13:22
  • But the key point is it's already set correctly by default - what works for gnome-terminal works for terminator. – YXD Nov 8 '11 at 13:23
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    This doesn't work on Ubuntu 16.04... – Cerin Feb 3 '17 at 17:42

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