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Revision as of 12:34, 3 December 2014 by Blackx (talk | contribs) (Usage: some fixes)
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Guake is a top-down terminal for GNOME (in the style of Yakuake for KDE, Tilda or the terminal used in Quake).


Install guake, available in the official repositories.


Once installed, you can start Guake from the terminal with:

$ guake

After guake has started you can right click on the interface and select Preferences to change the hotkey to drop the terminal automatically, by default it is set to F12.

Also, you can adjust many of the Guake preferences with gconf-editor tool under apps > guake. If it's not enough for you, you are always free to copy the guake executable (/usr/bin/guake) to /usr/local/bin/guake and edit it in text editor, since it's just a Python script. Remember to make the file executable.


You may want Guake to load on starting up Desktop Environment. To do this, you need to

# cp /usr/share/applications/guake.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/

See Autostarting for more info.

Guake scripting

Like Yakuake, Guake allows to control itself at runtime by sending the D-Bus messages. Thus it can be used to start Guake in a user defined session. You can create tabs, assign names for them and also ask to run any specific command in any opened tab or just to show/hide Guake window, manually in a terminal or by creating a custom script for it.

Example of such a script is given below this section.

You can use guake executable itself to send D-Bus messages. Here is the list of available options you may be interested in:

  • -t, --toggle-visibility — toggle the visibility of the terminal window. Actually, you can just type guake, and it will toggle the visibility of already running instance.
  • -f, --fullscreen — put Guake to fullscreen mode.
  • --show — show Guake main window.
  • --hide — hide Guake main window.
  • -n CUR_DIR, --new-tab=CUR_DIR — create new tab and select it. Value of CUR_DIR used to set a current directory for the tab, if specified.
  • -s INDEX, --select-tab=INDEX — select tab with index INDEX. Tab indexes are started with 0.
  • -g, --selected-tab — print index of currently selected tab.
  • -e CMD, --execute-command=CMD — execute an arbitrary command CMD in the selected tab.
  • -i INDEX, --tab-index=INDEX — used with --rename-tab to specify index INDEX of a tab to rename. Default value is 0.
  • --rename-tab=TITLE — set the tab name to TITLE. You can reset tab title to default value by passing a single dash ("-"). Use -i option to specify which tab to rename.
  • --bgcolor=RGB — set the hexadecimal (#rrggbb) background color RGB of the selected tab.
  • --fgcolor=RGB — set the hexadecimal (#rrggbb) foreground color RGB of the selected tab.
  • -r TITLE, --rename-current-tab=TITLE — same as --rename-tab, but renames the currently selected tab.
  • -q, --quit — shutdown running Guake instance.

Multiple options may be combined in a single call. If there's no guake instance running, all of the options specified will be applied to the newly created instance.

To display list of all available options, type guake --help.



/usr/bin/guake &
sleep 5 # let main guake process start and initialize D-Bus session

# adjust tab which was opened by default
guake --rename-tab="iotop" --execute="/usr/bin/iotop"

# create new tab, start bash session in it
guake --new-tab --execute="/usr/bin/bash"
# and then execute htop, renaming the tab to "htop"
guake --execute="/usr/bin/htop" --rename-tab="htop"

# ...
guake --new-tab --execute="/usr/bin/bash"
guake --execute="/usr/bin/atop" --rename-tab="atop"

guake --new-tab --execute="/usr/bin/bash"
guake --execute="~/" --rename-tab="iptables -nvL"

guake --new-tab --execute="/usr/bin/bash"
guake --execute="/usr/bin/journalctl --follow --full" --rename-tab="journalctl"

guake --new-tab --execute="/usr/bin/bash"
guake --execute="/usr/bin/irssi" --rename-tab="irssi"

guake --new-tab --execute="/usr/bin/bash"
guake --execute="/usr/bin/sudo -i" --rename-tab="rootshell0"

guake --new-tab --execute="/usr/bin/bash"
guake --execute="/usr/bin/sudo -i" --rename-tab="rootshell1"

guake --new-tab --execute="/usr/bin/bash"
guake --rename-tab="shell0"

guake --new-tab --execute="/usr/bin/bash"
guake --rename-tab="shell1"

Notice than we should wait some time calling sleep to avoid race conditions between running instances.


Dual monitor workaround

The traditional patch for dual monitors is no longer available, but a workaround is to define the start points for the window. Open /usr/bin/guake and find this string:

window_rect.y = 0

is the default point in Y coordinate if you need change for the width of top desktop bar (or the long from the top of the bar to below), if you use it, and add the default X coordinate in the line below, for positioned the window I use:

window_rect.x = total_width - window_rect.width # fixme: this line gives no effect?
window_rect.y = 24
window_rect.x = 1024
return window_rect

My first window is 1024 pixels and my second window is 1280 pixels, so guake get size of the first window from left to right which is why I must increase the width by a percentage.

Find that string

width = 100

Change de value 100 for a more greater, in my case 125 (1280 divided by 1024 and multiplicated by 100).

If the window width identified wrong, try to change the display number in

window_rect = screen.get_monitor_geometry(0)

'Ctrl' keybind problem

As of guake 0.4.2-7, there has been a noted bug affecting multiple users concerning the use of the Ctrl key on the Keyboard Shortcuts to toggle guake visibility in the Keyboard shortcuts tab of guake-prefs (i.e. users that setup Ctrl+Shift+z to open the guake console can open it by pressing Shift+z, hence having the Ctrl key-bind irrelevant).

There is a bug in the program that stores the settings in Toggle Guake Visibility that places the Ctrl string as <Primary> instead of <Control>.

The workaround is to use the command-line gconftool-2 from gconf package, get the current string shortcut string from /apps/guake/keybindings/global/show_hide, and replace all instances of <Primary> to <Control>.

To get what the current keyboard shortcut string is:

# gconftool-2 -g /apps/guake/keybindings/global/show_hide

To activate the guake console with Ctrl+Shift+z for example:

# gconftool-2 -t string -s /apps/guake/keybindings/global/show_hide "<Control><Shift>z"

It would be easier to use the graphical gconftool equivalent gconf-editor to browse for and edit the /apps/guake/keybindings/global/show_hide string. Replace <Primary> in the string with <Control>.

Alternatively you can use this script to replace instances of <Primary> with <Control> in the /apps/guake/keybindings/global/show_hide string:

if which gconftool-2 &> /dev/null
  val=$(printf "%s" $(gconftool-2 -g /apps/guake/keybindings/global/show_hide))
  if [ "$newval" = "$val" ]
    then echo "No changes made. Could not find or replace <Primary> in your settings."
    echo "Replacing old string $val with new string:$newval"
    gconftool-2 -t string -s /apps/guake/keybindings/global/show_hide "$newval"
  echo "gconftool-2 not found. Please install gconf. Exiting..."

See also