Replace the GNOME Terminal on Ubuntu 15.10 with the Terminator

If you spend a great deal of time at the Linux command line, you need a good shell terminal application, ideally one that has support for tabs and split screens.

Unfortunately, GNOME Terminal, the default terminal application on Ubuntu 15.10 lacks support for those features. For me, that means having at least three terminal windows on my desktop at any one time.

That’s clutter, and that’s not good.

Fortunately, there are other terminal applications that are much better. The one I just installed on Ubuntu 15.10 to replace the GNOME Terminal is called the Terminator. It has support for tabs and split screens – vertical and horizontal, plus many default key bindings. To install it, simply open the shell terminal that you want to replace, and type sudo apt-get install terminator. Now you can launch it from the dash and uninstall the GNOME Terminal, if you wish.

By installing the Terminator, I went from using this:

Ubuntu 15.10 GNOME Terminal
Figure 1: GNOME Terminal on Ubuntu 15.10

To using this, which helps to declutter my desktop:

Terminator shell terminal for linux
Figure 2: Terminator shell terminal for Linux

Right-clicking on the application’s window brings up the options.

Terminator context menu
Figure 3: Entries in the context menu of the Terminator

And it has more configurable features than the GNOME Terminal.

Terminator shell terminal global options
Figure 4: Terminator shell terminal’s global options

And a good set of default keybindings. Do you know of a better terminal application?

Terminator keybindings
Figure 5: Terminator shell terminal’s keybindings

Please share:

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  1. how I can have the ‘~/.bash_profile’ whith ‘TERMINATOR’ like my ‘default terminal’?

    I use Xubuntu 14.04.


  2. As a fledgling person who’s going to try to learn programming on the Linux platform I think this will be helpful to me since I’ll be able to get a better grasp of exactly what programing is all about. Hoping to learn Python and Ruby with C+ and C++ as secondary languages. SO I’m looking forward to installing this on Linux Mint with the Cinnamon and MATE interfaces! Thank You to the creator, developer, and maintainer of this awesome tool!!!


  3. Maintainer here. Just like to point out that the current standard repositories have a really old version of Terminator (as is the one shown here). There was a release at the beginning of October (0.98) that contains many, many enhancements. There are updates in the stable PPA (https://launchpad.net/~gnome-terminator/+archive/ubuntu/ppa), and even a nightly PPA (https://launchpad.net/~gnome-terminator/+archive/ubuntu/nightly)

    We also have an ongoing GTK3 port which uses a greatly improved and updated version of the VTE widget, (just like the one used by GNOME-Terminal.) Help kicking the tyres and getting it out the door will be much appreciated. More detail on getting that running here: http://gnometerminator.blogspot.de/2015/09/so-you-want-to-try-terminator-gtk3.html

  4. Proffon McSinyx

    Please remind that GNOME Terminal supports framebuffer, even within tmux. And w/ tmux, splitting is easy AF

  5. You left out the most important part of Terminator – the ability to broadcast your keystrokes to all or some of your open sessions at the same time!

    Currently I’m working on a project and I’m building it on 4 Bananna Pi’s. All of the Pi’s are networked and my preferred way to communicate with them is to open Terminator, split it into 4 Terminals, log each terminal into it’s appropriate Pi and turn ‘Broadcast’ on. This means that whatever I type in terminal 1 is duplicated for all of the other terminals. If I modify a script on Pi 1, then the same script is changed on Pi 2-4 as well.

    I haven’t found another terminal emulator that can do this yet.. I *love* Terminator!

  6. Gnome Terminal has multiple tabs option, please check again.

  7. Dmitry Sidorenko

    Terminator is my best friend for many years, but Gnome Terminal has one nice feature Terminator is lacking.
    Terminal will reflow long lines of text when you resize terminal window.

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