Howto make the best out of GNOME Terminal

If you are happen to use Linux or UNIX, it’s inevitable to avoid the command line. I might make you scream out loud in your sleep, but once you get your head around it, it would not be that scary. In fact, I now could live without it. The sad fact is that not many care about tweaking it easier if you have to spend long hours with it. So first is to choose the right terminal front end, on Linux my only choice is GNOME Terminal. Hold on, but but .. what about the nifty Swiss knife KDE’s Konsole? To me, Konsole sucks, yes, I openly bash Konsole and I will tell you why, Konsole is like killing a pig with a cow knife. My good app philosophy is a simple app that does the job well. (Apple has been doing right based on this philosophy. You don’t have to be a Genius to do genius work right ;P).

GNOME Terminal out-performs other terminals like rxvt, xterm, aterm. Konsole is as fast as GNOME Terminal but when you open more than 3 tabs, GNOME Terminal consumes less resources.


I am not going into too deep comparing terminals because it’s not the whole purpose of this post. I am going to show how to tweak your GNOME Terminal for optimal usage.

  1. Configure your GNOME Terminal background to 60% opacity transparent. It would helps see the code when the text is behind the background.
  2. Turn on Unlimited Scrolling, please note this feature is just available in version 2.28 onward.
  3. Hide Menu Bar, it’s just a distraction.
  4. Move Scrollbar location to the left side to minimize your mouse movement to the right side.
  5. Use big good font, like Monaco at size 12

About Jones Lee

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5 responses to “Howto make the best out of GNOME Terminal

  1. TN

    Anh viet post cu nhu la ga de trung y@__@

  2. mossby

    What’s the reasoning behind minimizing mouse movement on the right side? Just curious.

    • mossby

      Actually, I just opted to turn the scroll bar off completely. You can scroll through your window using Shift+PgUp and Shift+PgDwn!

      I like this solution even more!

  3. IMO another optimalization is make bash show last directory (like in su mode).
    The rational of this decision is for less distraction in very long directory deep (you can use pwd to get directory link).

    To doing that, edit /etc/bash.bashrc

    find something like:

    PS1=’${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[33[01;32m\]\u@\h\[33[00m\]:\[33[01;34m\]\w\[33[00m\]\$ ‘

    change \w to \W
    (I am using debian based linux)

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