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Best Free Linux Terminal Emulators


Do you find yourself at the command line frequently? These terminal emulators will make your experience much more pleasant.

Which terminal emulation program do you use most often?

Do you spend a lot of time at the command line? If yes, you might be a system administrator, Linux expert, or power user. Your terminal emulator of choice probably reveals something about you. Do you like your drinks to be on the light side? Packed with functions and personalization choices? Or do you simply rely on the pre-installed default?

Terminal emulator clients, for the uninitiated, are graphical programs that let you shell access to your computer. There are some other scripts also available like linpeas. To know about  this click on linpeas.

Using a text-mode interface to your computer allows you to access the full potential of Linux and its many applications, including many utilities that system administrators and developers rely on in their daily work. A terminal emulator is required to access the shell from the graphical user interface.

I have provided screen captures of each terminal with its default settings for running htop so you can see how they compare. Naturally, every terminal program permits at least some degree of customisation, so the way it appears on my machine is not necessarily how it would appear on yours.



In contrast to other terminal emulators, Guake's UI slides down from the top of the screen when you press a shortcut key. It's also the workhorse of my home computer and my preferred terminal emulator.

The drop-down interface of Guake and other terminals is modeled after the terminal found in Quake, and my fondness for this sort of interface may stem from my fondness for video games from the 1990s.

Among Guake's many advantages, I appreciate the variety of preinstalled themes; I often switch between Solarized Dark and Tomorrow Night, two of my faves. It's customizable enough to include all the functions I use most, and the shortcuts I use most often (F12 to launch and F11 for full screen) have become second nature. You can find Guake on GitHub, and it's licensed under GPL v2.


The GNOME Console

One thing the GNOME terminal program has going for it is that, as a GNOME user, I have it pre-installed on every computer I use. Yet, it is a very useful program.

It also allows for the creation of several profiles, so I may experiment with alternative configurations without fear of overwriting my current settings, or create specialized profiles for use with specific applications. Once you're used to it, it'll be difficult to go back to life without GNOME Terminal's ability to make links clickable.

The default terminal emulator is licensed under GNU General Public License version 3, and the title bar styles well to match the GTK theme I'm using for the rest of my system.



If using xterm makes you feel retro, you'd be right. xterm, which has been around since 1984, is the terminal emulator of choice for the X Window system. This means you won't need any graphical toolkits on top of your window manager. This means it could be a suitable option for a bare-bones Linux setup that still needs a graphics card.

Nevertheless, with such a streamlined design comes a severe lack of functionality; it's essentially just a terminal. But, xterm is still useful in certain circumstances.

The MIT license allows anyone to use Xterm.



Tilda is another another Gtk-based terminal emulation app in the style of Quake's drop-down window. It gets its name from the tilde key, which is used by default to launch the Quake terminal. Tilda has a fairly barebones UI by default (no window title, border, or anything), but this can be customized in the settings.

It has numerous customization options, such as the ability to reassign keys, change the default font, size, and color, and even define scrolling preferences.

Tilda is free software licensed as GPL v2.

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