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Revision as of 13:14, 3 December 2014 by Blackx (talk | contribs) (Using Guake on multiple monitors: new section)
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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.

Using Guake on multiple monitors

There are two GConf options allowing you to change the screen on which Guake window will appear:

  • /apps/guake/general/display_n — display to appear on if the mouse_display option is not set. If this is set to an invalid value (as in the case of removing a screen from a system), the invalid value is automatically updated to the current primary screen.
  • /apps/guake/general/mouse_display — appear on the mouse display. This overrides any setting in display_n.

Use some tool like gconf-editor to edit GConf options.


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 to toggle Guake window visibility (i.e. users that setup Ctrl+Shift+z to open the guake console are able to open it by just pressing Shift+z, independent on whether Ctrl key has been pressed).

To solve the problem you should manually fix the value of the GConf key /apps/guake/keybindings/global/show_hide. Open a gconf-editor, navigate to apps > guake > keybindings > global > show_hide and replace <Primary> with <Control>.

See also