Terminator 0.97 – A Terminal Emulator to Manage Multiple Terminal Windows on Linux

Terminator is a terminal emulator released under General Public License and is available for GNU/Linux Platform. The application program lets you use multiple splitted and resized terminals, all at once on a single screen similar to tmux terminal multiplexer.

How to Use ‘Tmux Terminal’ to Access Multiple Terminals Inside a Single Console

How it is Different

Having multiple Gnome Terminal in one window in a very flexible manner is a plus for Linux nerds.

Who Should use It

Terminator is aimed at those who normally arrange lots of terminals near each other, but don’t want to use a frame based window manager.

What are its Features

  1. Automatically logs of all the terminal sessions.
  2. Drag and Drop features for text and URLs.
  3. Horizontal scrolling is supported.
  4. Find, a function to search for any specific text within the terminal.
  5. Support for UTF­8.
  6. Intelligent Quit – It knows about the running process, if any.
  7. Vertical scrolling is convenient.
  8. Freedom of use, General Public License.
  9. Support for Tab based Browsing.
  10. Portal ­ written in Python.
  11. Platform – Support for GNU/Linux Platform.

Installation of Terminator Emulator on Linux

On most of the standard Linux Distributions, terminator 0.97 version is available in the repository, and cab be installed using apt or yum.

On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora

First, you need to enable RPMForge repository under your system and then you install Terminator emulator using yum command as shown.

# yum install terminator

On Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint

On Debian based distributions, you can easily install using apt-get command as shown.

# apt­-get install terminator

How to use Terminator

Run the “terminator” command in the terminal to use it. Once, you fire the command you will see a screen similar to below.

Terminator Terminal Window

Terminator Terminal Window

Terminal Emulator Keyboard Shortcuts

To get the most out of Terminator it is crucial to know the key-bindings to control Terminator. The default shortcut keys that I use most are shown below.

  1. Split Terminal Horizontally – Ctrl+Shift+0
Split Terminal Windows

Split Terminal Windows

  1. Split Terminal Vertically – Ctrl+Shift+E
Split Terminal Vertically

Split Terminal Vertically

  1. Move Parent Dragbar Right – Ctrl+Shift+Right_Arrow_key
  2. Move Parent Dragbar Left – Ctrl+Shift+Left_Arrow_key
  3. Move Parent Dragbar Up – Ctrl+Shift+Up_Arrow_key
  4. Move Parent Dragbar Down – Ctrl+Shift+Down_Arrow_key
  5. Hide/Show Scrollbar – Ctrl+Shift+s
Hide/Show Terminal Scrollbar

Hide/Show Terminal Scrollbar

Note: Check the hidden scrollbar above, it can again be made visible using the same above key combination.

  1. Search for a Keyword – Ctrl+Shift+f
  2. Move to Next Terminal – Ctrl+Shift+N or Ctrl+Tab
Move to Next Terminal

Move to Next Terminal

  1. Move to the Above Terminal – Alt+Up_Arrow_Key
  2. Move to the Below Terminal – Alt+Down_Arrow_Key
  3. Move to the Left Terminal – Alt+Left_Arrow_Key
  4. Move to the Right Terminal – Alt+Right_Arrow_Key
  5. Copy a text to clipboard – Ctrl+Shift+c
  6. Paste a text from Clipboard – Ctrl+Shift+v
  7. Close the Current Terminal – Ctrl+Shift+w
  8. Quit the Terminator – Ctrl+Shift+q
  9. Toggle Between Terminals – Ctrl+Shift+x
  10. Open New Tab – Ctrl+Shift+t
  11. Move to Next Tab – Ctrl+page_Down
  12. Move to Previous Tab – Ctrl+Page_up
  13. Increase Font size – Ctrl+(+)
  14. Decrease Font Size – Ctrl+(­)
  15. Reset Font Size to Original – Ctrl+0
  16. Toggle Full Screen Mode – F11
  17. Reset Terminal – Ctrl+Shift+R
  18. Reset Terminal and Clear Window – Ctrl+Shift+G
  19. Remove all the terminal grouping – Super+Shift+t
  20. Group all Terminal into one – Super+g

Note: Super is a key with the windows logo right of left CTRL.

Reference Links

https://launchpad.net/terminator

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26 Responses

  1. Janaka Bandara says:

    Great article, and great tool!

    Just a small query; is it possible to change the color scheme of all windows/tabs of a running Terminator instance dynamically (e.g. via a dconf/gconf property value write) without having to discard existing tabs/windows or having to restart Terminator?

    In the default gnome-terminal (Ubuntu 16.04) I managed to do it via dconf; e.g. for changing the background color of all running terminal windows:

    dconf write /org/gnome/terminal/legacy/profiles:/:a_terminal_profile_id/background-color “‘rgb(255,255,255)'”

    I researched a bit but could not come with something useful.

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Janaka,

      Its so simple, just right click on the tab and go to the preference tab –> profiles –> colors tab to change the background color and text of the terminal for each opened terminal window..

      • Hi Ravi,

        Thanks, but I’m actually looking for something that can be automated (should have mentioned it in my original comment; sorry!) The thing is, I have a script which, when run, changes the colors of all open gnome-terminal windows/tabs (via a dconf value write), and I want to modify it to suit terminator.

  2. Aaron Kili K says:

    Great article, i have just been looking for this…….

    I would like to know where it works on servers.

  3. Deepika says:

    Having trouble opening terminator:

    [[email protected] ~]$ terminator

    (process:29177): Gtk-WARNING **: Locale not supported by C library.
    Using the fallback ‘C’ locale.
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/bin/terminator”, line 30, in
    import gtk, pango, gobject
    File “/usr/lib64/python2.6/site-packages/gtk-2.0/gtk/__init__.py”, line 64, in
    _init()
    File “/usr/lib64/python2.6/site-packages/gtk-2.0/gtk/__init__.py”, line 52, in _init
    _gtk.init_check()
    RuntimeError: could not open display

    My Vm is accessed through SSH. Is that the issue?

    Any help is very much appreciated.
    Thanks.

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Deepika,
      May be, but try to run the terminal within the server and see, if it still throws an error then it might be your GTK display problem..

    • Steve says:

      Did you pass -X as an option to forward the display to your local machine? Do you have an X session running locally? If your local machine is a Linux desktop, you have an X session by default. If you’re accessing the remote machine using something like PuTTY from Windows, then you will need additional software to provide the X session.

  4. Keith Kee says:

    There are some cool things you can do with this application if you access to their config file. :)

  5. Rodnaldo says:

    Hi Avishek, I’m looking for a answer about Why I can’t do Audible ping from Terminator and I can do it from CTRL+ALT+F1 typing ping -a 8.8.8.8 for example? And the most important how I could fix/do it from Terminator?

    Can you help me, please?

    Thanks a lot!!

    • Steve says:

      Do you have audible bell enabled in the profiles preferences? By default it is turned off, and instead there is a bell icon in the titlebar.

  6. soybean says:

    Is there a windows version of this tool somewhere?

  7. Fedora user says:

    Wrong link. The article is about “Gnome Terminator” which is a native Linux app, yet the link points to a Java based terminal emulator which is completely different, despite sharing the same name.

    Gnome Terminator is not available on the Windows platform.

  8. Steve Boddy says:

    Actually, yes, you’ve searched for Terminator, and gotten the wrong one in the link.

    Try:
    http://gnometerminator.blogspot.com/p/introduction.html
    and
    https://launchpad.net/terminator

  9. Steve Boddy says:

    Hi Avishek.

    As the current maintainer of Terminator, thanks for the article, but can I ask you to correct a couple of things so people don’t get the wrong idea.

    1. Terminator is not designed (nor have I heard of anyone succeeding) in running it on Mac OS X or Windows. There is some name confusion with another project out there called Terminator. Perhaps you are referring to or confusing with the other one.

    2. Possibly another confusion with the other project, there is no Java in Terminator. It is pure Python. “Portal ­ written in Java.” ?!?!?

    Everything else looks correct. You don’t mention which version you used, (terminator –version) but there are continual (if slow) additions. As ever, launchpad is the best place to see the latest, or to contribute.

    • Avishek Kumar says:

      Sorry Dear Steve Boddy,
      I Really was confused with another project Terminator.
      Thanks for taking the pain to Point that out.

      Requesting Admin, to correct it.

      • suman says:

        hi Avishek kumar,
        i am sandeep suman, working in a comppany in münich , germany. now i am trying to use nagios core to monitor in passive checks. i am going to use nrds. my client computer run windows. is there any tool better than nrds for thsi purpose in nagios ???

        congrats sir, u are doing very well in this field.

        waiting for reply.
        sandeep suman
        germany

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