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Terminator is a terminal emulator which supports tabs and multiple resizable terminal panels in one window. It is based on GNOME Terminal.


terminator is available in the official repositories. Install terminator-gtk3-bzrAUR for the latest (trunk) version.


See the man page or right click Terminator and then click Preferences.

man terminator_config

User-specific configuration can be found in ~/.config/terminator/config.

GTK+ customization

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Reason: please use the first argument of the template to provide a brief explanation. (Discuss in Talk:Terminator#)

Terminator supports tabs. Tab header height is sometimes considered too big. This can be fixed with gtk styling. From version 1.9 Terminator uses gtk+ 3, so that configuration can be done in ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtkcss. The items to customize are 'notebook tab', 'notebook tab button'. (note that this affects other gtk3 applications, too).

Example config:

notebook tab {
  min-height: 0;
  padding-top: 2px;
  padding-bottom: 2px;

notebook tab button {
  min-height: 0;
  min-width: 0;
  padding: 1px;
  margin-top: 1px;
  margin-bottom: 1px;

Key commands

F11 Toggle fullscreen

Ctrl + Shift+ O Split terminals horizontally

Ctrl + Shift+ E Split terminals vertically

Ctrl + Shift+ W Close current Panel

Ctrl + Shift+ T Open new tab

Alt + ↑ Move to the terminal above the current one

Alt + ↓ Move to the terminal below the current one

Alt + ← Move to the terminal left of the current one

Alt + → Move to the terminal right of the current one

Managing profiles

It is possible to start terminator with a random profile every time. To avoid unexpected behavior, you should start with a clean [profiles] section. You can copy the one from this file: http://pastebin.com/gGvYH6zD. It contains many well-known color schemes. Copy its contents to your config file, which is located in ~/.config/terminator/. Then, cat your list of profiles to a destination of your choice.

cat $HOME/.config/terminator/config | grep -B 1 'background_color' | grep '\]\]' | tr -d '[]' > $HOME/.config/terminator/profiles

If you add more profiles in the future and would like to have them included in the startup pool, you will have to reissue the command above. You can create an alias.

You must now modify Terminator's desktop file so that it selects a random profile from this list at startup.

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/terminator.desktop

Find the Exec line and comment it out with a #. Add your own Exec line as follows.

# Exec=terminator
Exec=sh -c "terminator -p $( shuf -n 1 $HOME/.config/terminator/profiles )"

Save the file and restart your DE.

Bonus: Go to the terminator preferences and under the "keybindings" tab, take note of how to switch to the next profile. This way,if the profile Terminator has started with is not your liking, you can quickly change it.

Drag and Drop

The layout can be modified by moving terminals with Drag and Drop.

More key commands

man terminator


Terminator also supports plugins. See writing Terminator plugins for more details.

External resources