What terminal emulators are available for heavy terminal users?


One note: terminal multiplexer (tmux, screen, etc.) is not the same as terminal emulator (xterm, gnome-terminal, urxvt, etc.)

Aside from a recommendation (mine would definitely be tmux and I've switched from screen a while ago) you asked about customisations.

Color coding for everything

Make sure to choose a terminal that can support 256 colors. You can test if it does by downloading a simple Perl script from http://www.frexx.de/xterm-256-notes/data/256colors2.pl. chmod +x it and run it (after of course looking briefly at its code).

Another thing is (if you decide to use tmux) is to make sure it sets the TERM environment variable correctly. Make sure to put:

set -g default-terminal "screen-256color"

in your ~/.tmux.conf file.

Easy to modify the aesthetics of the terminal (is it vain to want my terminal to look nice?) such as transparency, borders, etc.

I'm using urxvt after switching from aterm (I've used gnome-terminal, xterm...

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I spend a lot of time at the command-line during the workday and at home too since I run Ubuntu exclusively.

I've been using the default gnome terminal but I've reached a point where I'd really like to get my terminal tricked out so that my common tasks are as easy as possible. Specifically, I find that I spend of lot of time browsing code in the terminal and working in config files.

On my wish list would be:

Ability to have multiple screens, tabs, windows (I don't have a preference at this point) that I can easily switch between. Color coding for everything Easy to modify the aesthetics of the terminal (is it vain to want my terminal to look nice?) such as transparency, borders, etc.

Answers 9

I highly recommend Terminator.

Colour coding depends on the commands you use though. grep and ls both accept --color

October 15, 2010 19:48 PM

I personally use gnome-terminal as my terminal emulator. Using gnome-terminal, I...

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Are you a system administrator, Linux power user, or someone who just spends a lot of time at the command line? Chances are your choice of terminal emulator says something about you. Do you prefer something lightweight? Full of features and customizable options? Or do you just use the default that ships with your distribution?

If you're not familiar with terminal emulator clients, essentially they are graphical applications that give you shell access to your machine. By using a text-mode interface to your computer, you can unleash the true power of Linux and the many applications that provide fast, efficient, and customizable control over its every function, not to mention many utilities that system administrators and developers rely on for their day-to-day work. To get to the shell from your system's graphical interface, you need a terminal emulator.

For comparison's sake, I included screenshots of each terminal running htop in its default configuration. Of course,...

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I personally use gnome-terminal as my terminal emulator. Using gnome-terminal, I run GNU Screen (byobu to be specific) in order to work with multiple windows. You can become really efficient with it. I use GNU Screen because I often have long-lived terminal sessions that I can check on or come back to later.

gnome-terminal running byobu (showing only one window open)

You seem more interested in a graphical solution for managing terminal windows. For this, I highly suggest the terminal emulator Terminator, which supports multiple windows without the need for a multiplexer like GNU Screen. You can split it horizontally and vertically as much as you like and there are even tabs. If you just feel like running lots of terminals, Terminator is really good.

Terminator (showing multiple Terminator windows open)

Besides GNU screen I would recommend tmux. It is a terminal multiplexer like GNU screen.


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One of the most important applications for Linux users is the terminal emulator. It allows every user to get access to the shell. Bash is the most common shell for Linux and UNIX distributions, it’s powerful and very necessary for newbies and advanced users. So, in this article, you are going to know the great alternatives that you have to use an excellent terminal emulator.

The goal of this project is to produce a useful tool for arranging terminals. It is inspired by programs such as gnome-multi-term, quadkonsole, etc. in that the main focus is arranging terminals in grids.

Arrange terminals in a grid Tabs Drag and drop re-ordering of terminals Lots of keyboard shortcuts Save multiple layouts and profiles via GUI preferences editor Simultaneous typing to arbitrary groups of terminals

You can install Terminator typing -

sudo apt-get install terminator

2. Tilda - a drop down terminal

The specialities of Tilda are that it does not behave...
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Each Desktop environment has their own terminal emulator app to interact with system through commands. In many reason, you may feel its not suitable for you as its offering the stand features and doesn’t offer robust future such as Tilix, Tilda, Terminator, Upterm, etc,.

What Is Linux Terminal Emulator?

A Linux terminal emulator is a program that emulates a video terminal within some other display architecture. It allows the user to access text terminal and all other applications such as text user interface and command line interface. It’s running either on the local machine or remote machine through ssh.

What Is Terminator?

Terminator is an advanced, powerful and feature-rich terminal emulator for Linux and Unix operating systems which supports multiple resizable terminal panels in one window. It allow users to create multiple terminals in one window and arrange terminals in grids. One of the important feature which i noticed in terminator is...

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A terminal emulation program operates as any other application. However, if emulating an older terminal or mainframe, the interface may be text only.

Some well established companies (banks, insurance companies and governments) may have decades-old programs running on mainframe computers. The terminals are long obsolete but are now emulated by terminal emulation software, which can access applications on mainframes still in use.

Many terminal emulators have been developed for various terminals. Some examples are VT220, Data General D211, Sperry/Unisys 2000-series UTS60, ADDS ViewPoint and Wyse 50/60. Some terminal emulation software actually emulates other software emulation programs. Examples are xterm and many Linux console terminals. Other software just emulates a standard (such as ANSI) - found on many operating systems such as DOS, Unix and GUI operating systems such as Windows and...

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Terminal emulation is the ability to make one computer terminal, typically a PC, appear to look like another, usually older type of terminal so that a user can access programs originally written to communicate with the other terminal type. Terminal emulation is often used to give PC users the ability to log on and get direct access to legacy programs in a mainframe operating system. Terminal emulation requires installing a special program in the PC or on a local area network (LAN) server to which it is connected. Typically, an enterprise with mainframe computers installs a terminal emulation program in all its workstations (or LAN servers). Workers can work locally with Windows or other PC or workstation applications and also open a window and work directly with mainframe applications. The terminal emulation program runs like any other workstation application as a separate program task providing its own window to the user. However, instead of content with a graphical user interface...

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Users of GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and other Unix implementations are probably used to hearing the words terminal emulator thrown around. However, fewer users are aware of why exactly this term is so common. Terminal emulators are extremely common pieces of software, but they’re not the same things as the command lines that they provide. Many users utilize these terms as though they were interchangeable when in reality they’re actually not.

There’s a few tricks designed to illustrate what a terminal emulator is and isn’t in this article. They’re mostly based on POSIX command line calls, so Unix users of all shades can enjoy them. Linux users who want to give it a try can hold down Ctrl, Alt and T to open up a terminal emulator. Apple macOS users might want to start a terminal emulator by clicking on the icon from the dock. Headless operators of FreeBSD, NetBSD, Darwin, OpenIndiana and other Unix implementations are probably already at a command line. Those with graphical...

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A terminal emulator is a a computer application that emulates or behaves like a hardware terminal composed of at least a keyboard and monitor. Hardware terminals allow access to the data and software programs installed or stored on centralized computers, often referred to as mainframes. These specialized computers typically are servers equipped with large amounts of memory, high storage capacity and very fast, powerful processors to handle multiple requests from client computers. Instead of needing a physical monitor and keyboard for the express purpose of accessing the resources of a central computer, terminal emulators were developed to allow software to take the place of hardware.

Terminal application and TTY are terms used to refer to a terminal emulator. Although many people think of a terminal emulator as synonymous with a shell terminal, the command line or a text terminal, there are slight differences in these words. For example, a shell is an actual application...

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A Terminal emulator is a computer program that reproduces a video terminal within some other display structure. In other words the Terminal emulator has an ability to make a dumb machine appear like a client computer networked to the server. The terminal emulator allows an end user to access console as well as its applications such as text user interface and command line interface.

20 Linux Terminal Emulators

You may find huge number of terminal emulators to choose from this open source world. Some of them offers large range of features while others offers less features. To give a better understanding to the quality of software that are available, we have gathered a list of marvelous terminal emulator for Linux. Each title provides its description and feature along with screenshot of the software with relevant download link.

1. Terminator

Terminator is an advanced and powerful terminal emulator which supports multiple terminals windows. This emulator is...

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Have you noticed that articles about Linux terminal emulators usually say something like “the terminal is not scary”? Well, they’re not wrong. The terminal emulator is just an application; there is nothing inherently “scary” about it (the commands you run in it are potentially dangerous). And since it’s an application like any other – say, a music player or a messaging app – you can easily replace it.

As you may already know, the word “terminal” used to refer to actual physical devices. They had a keyboard and a screen, and enabled people to interact with the mainframe computers. These days, our terminal emulators are just software, but we often use the same word – terminal – for them.

The majority of Linux terminals emulate the functionality of VTxxx devices developed by DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), but there are emulators for other devices (IBM, HP, ADDM…). Linux terminals are very similar to each other, especially those based on the VTE software library....

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Text-Terminal-HOWTO: Terminal Emulation (including the Console) Next Previous Contents

A trivial type of terminal emulation is where you set up a real terminal to emulate another brand/model of terminal. To do this you select the emulation you want (called "personality" in Wyse jargon) from the terminal's set-up menu. This section will not discuss this case.

Since a PC has a screen and keyboard (as does a real terminal) but also has much more computing power, it's easy to use some of this computing power to make the PC computer behave like a real text terminal. Still a third type is where you just use a text-based interface (at the console --usually just the monitor) to your Linux PC, either by a terminal screen (such as xterm) in Xwindow or by a "virtual terminal".

To fully emulate a real terminal on a PC requires that a serial port of the computer will be used to connect the emulated terminal to another computer. This would be either with a direct cable connection...

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The Origin of Terminal Emulators

In the early days of computing when processors and memory were extremely expensive, companies would often purchase one large, powerful central computer. Such a computer was shared by many users, who accessed it through so-called dumb terminals (sometimes they are also called thin clients or simply terminals).

These terminals enabled the users to enter and view data, whereas the actual processing was done by the central computer. The terminals (thin clients) were devices which consisted of a screen, a keyboard, and the technology that allowed them to transmit keystrokes to and receive output from the server, but had no noteworthy computing power of their own.

With the success of Linux, the client/server concept and central computing has undergone something of a renaissance. As a direct result of this the necessity of using a terminal to access a...

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The user interface to CICS and IMS applications from the PC is often through 3270 terminal emulators. The 3270 terminal emulators enable the CICS and IMS applications to display input and output screens on the PC using 3270 data streams and to receive input from the PC. It is intended for programs that use BMS or build 3270 data streams. Emulation is provided for 3270 models 2 through 5.

We recommend that you use a Telnet 3270 (TN3270) client such as Micro Focus RUMBA. The keyboard mapping and support for character level attributes is a property of the third-party TN3270 client you choose.

When you start a 3270 terminal emulator, it is separate from the enterprise server that runs the CICS or IMS application. Terminals do not need to be predefined. This means terminal emulation characteristics can be specified at terminal startup.

Enterprise Server needs to have a listener for requests from 3270 terminal emulators. You add this as part of configuring the...

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XTerm – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Copyright © 1997-2017,2018 by Thomas E. Dickey

Here is the latest version of this file.

From the manual page:

The xterm program is a terminal emulator for the X Window System. It provides DEC VT102/VT220 and selected features from higher-level terminals such as VT320/VT420/VT520 (VTxxx). It also provides Tektronix 4014 emulation for programs that cannot use the window system directly. If the underlying operating system supports terminal resizing capabilities (for example, the SIGWINCH signal in systems derived from 4.3bsd), xterm will use the facilities to notify programs running in the window whenever it is resized.

That is, xterm (pronounced "eks-term") is a specific program, not a generic item. It is the standard X terminal emulator program.

This FAQ presents various useful bits of information for both the specific program as well as other...

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To start things on a happy note, head here first. (Sooo true....)

First word

Because of the rapid hardware and...

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