The terminal is the core of the Linux operating system. Many users prefer to use a GUI app to manage their system. If you're tired of the look of the command line and want a change, you should check out other apps for a customized terminal.

In that case, here are some of the best terminal apps to spice up your Linux experience. There are many terminal emulators out there, and some of them allow you to use Multigrid to multitask, which in turn increases your productivity.

Final screen

As for aesthetics, you can never go wrong with Terminator. Terminator builds on GNOME to simplify the workflow for multitaskers. And if you're a multitasker, this terminal emulator is a breeze for you.

You can use it to easily manage multiple tasks and rearrange the terminal windows at the same time. In addition to supporting multiple tabs, the multi-grid structure allows users to arrange the tabs in both vertical and horizontal modes. For the adjustment, the settings fall under the general settings Dialog box.

Related: The Best Alternatives to the Terminal App for Ubuntu

You can change the background and foreground text color, fonts, custom layouts, and much more as part of the customization. With Terminator you can also share your preferences as a template in the form of “profiles”.

To install Terminator on Debian-based distributions, enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install Terminator

If you are having trouble installing, try adding the Terminator repository to your system first.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa: gnome-terminator
sudo apt-get update

Terminology is one of the best terminal emulators that gives the command line a cool look. Terminology has its little details as it is based on EFL (Enlightenment Foundation Libraries).

As part of the adjustments, you can tweak the font and change backgrounds. Speaking of backgrounds, you can even set videos as the command line background.

Terminology comes with a tab switcher to compensate for your multitasking. It also recognizes and highlights text such as urls, emails, and even file paths, making it much easier to copy text. For additional customization, you can use the Elementor Toolkit to change the appearance of the terminal to your liking.

How to install Terminator on Ubuntu and Debian:

sudo apt-get install terminology

If you are a fan of the vintage style, then be prepared for a cool retro look on your terminal. Cool Retro Term gives you the old school look of a cathode ray monitor from the past. You get the same neon character look along with the blinking yellow cursor – it blinks when you take commands.

This terminal emulator is lightweight and does not consume your resources at all. You can also customize this terminal with additional settings to change the look to your liking. You can even go for the retro Apple II look (the all-caps look) – you would definitely love it.

Plus, you can also add some screen jitter to replicate the complete retro look. You should try at least once.

To install Cool Retro Term, enter the following command:

sudo apt install cool-retro-term

guake terminal

Guake is another terminal app for Linux that lets you execute commands instantly. It's one of the best Linux terminal emulators when you're running the GNOME desktop environment.

For instant commands, all you have to do is press a single button and you'll be presented with a drop-down terminal. Guake takes inspiration from Quake and therefore includes a ton of customization features.

It has gorgeous color schemes and some stylish options for customizing the command line. You can also launch multiple windows and then reset the color of the focused window to make it stand out.

There are some keyboard shortcuts like F11 to go to full screen mode and F12 to shut down the window. Similar to Guake, you'll find other options like Yakuake for KDE and the GTK-based Tilda.

To install Guake on Ubuntu, enter the following command:

sudo apt install guake

GNOME Terminal Linux

The GNOME terminal is preinstalled with the GNOME desktop environment. A light background with some green and white text looks fine at first glance. You can use the package manager to install it on your computer if you are using a different desktop environment.

Aside from the usual settings, you'll see a ton of customization features here that include custom cursors, fonts, and more. In addition, you can also adjust the window to full-screen or split-screen mode. GNOME Terminal can automatically detect URLs, email addresses, and more.

To install the GNOME Terminal on Debian-based distributions:

sudo apt install gnome-terminal

It's one of the oldest and best terminal emulators out there. While rxvt-unicode doesn't have great graphics or tricks, a rock solid foundation supports its development. You won't see any delays or hiccups during your workflow.

You'll see the usual customization features like font options, multiple color schemes, and Unicode support. Rxvt-unicode also runs in daemon mode, so the resource consumption is very low. If you want a stable emulator with customizations, you should definitely choose rxvt-unicode.

How to install this terminal emulator on Ubuntu and Debian:

sudo apt-get install -y rxvt-unicode

Alacritty is one of the best cross-platform terminal emulators that takes advantage of the power of your GPU. You can increase productivity by using the GPU to streamline your workflow. It's a simple terminal and you won't find a lot of functionality there. But yes, you get colored emojis.

To install Alacritty, you have to go through a long process. As a result, you may stick with your current terminal. Since this is a GPU piggyback, you may not be running out of resources to keep your PC running at its maximum potential.

You can install Alacritty on your system using Snap:

sudo snap install alacritty –classic

Related: Tips for Customizing the Look of Your Linux Terminal

Tilda is another terminal emulator based on GTK that comes with a borderless window. Like Guake, you can also launch the drop-down terminal with just a single press of a button F12 Button.

It's highly configurable, and at the same time, there are tons of features to look at. There is a catch here, however. Currently, Tilda is only compatible with Xorg-based desktops, so you won't be able to run it on Ubuntu.

To install Tilda, enter the following command into your terminal:

sudo apt install tilda

Choose the best terminal app for yourself

Linux users have many options to choose from considering the numerous applications available on the Internet. You can choose the terminal emulator that best suits your needs from the list.

Additionally, if you're a developer, there are tons of Linux-based operating systems out there that can help you be more productive.

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About the author

Varun Kesari
(15 articles published)

Technology journalist with over three years of IT experience.

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