The 7 Finest Alternate options to the Terminal App for Ubuntu

If you've been using Ubuntu for a while, you need to be aware of the power of the command line interface. It offers more control over the operating system and its function, uses less memory than a GUI and is suitable for automating your tasks. On Ubuntu, the Terminal app is the standard command line interface that picks up your commands for execution.

But what if you get bored of the standard terminal? No panic. As an Ubuntu user, your options are not limited thanks to an active open source culture. There are a multitude of credible terminal alternatives for Ubuntu all over the internet. Let's look at them one by one.

Guake is an interesting alternative to the standard Ubuntu terminal because it gives users a drop-down command line. Inspired by a first-person shooting game (FPS), users can hide the terminal and call it up again by simply pressing a button. There are also a variety of other functions such as:

  • Option to split the terminal horizontally or vertically.

  • Compatible with a multi-monitor setup.

  • Ability to choose from a wide variety of color palettes.

  • Open multiple tabs at the same time.

  • Options to restore previous tabs.

To install Guake on your system, open Terminal and enter the following command:

sudo apt-get update

The above command updates your system index repository. Now enter the command given below to start the installation process:

sudo apt-get install guake

After the installation is complete, you can verify it by running:

guake –version

You can either use the Guake directly from the Terminal app guake Command or through the GUI by going to the Applications menu.

Related: What is GUI (Graphical User Interface)?

Terminator is a useful terminal alternative that allows you to open multiple command line terminals in a single window. To do this, right-click on the terminator window and select Open tab. Likewise, you can split a single window either horizontally or vertically. Here are a few other features:

  • Lots of customization options. You can edit fonts, background, color, and more.

  • Also offers the split screen function.

  • Options to create multiple terminals in a single window.

  • Lots of keyboard shortcuts to save your time.

Again, the installation process is similar to the one we used above. If you want to try this app, use the following command to install it:

sudo apt-get install Terminator

After the installation is complete, you can launch the app from the Ubuntu application menu.

Yakuake is another drop-down Ubuntu app in the list that allows a user to switch screens with a single click. Although it was originally intended for the KDE desktop, it works well with GNOME and other desktop environments as well. It offers a wide variety of features such as:

  • A slim, smooth-running terminal.

  • Option to add multiple tabs. In addition, you can switch between tabs with simple keyboard shortcuts.

  • Go to the Yakuake Terminal and minimize it by pressing F12.

  • You can optimize the dimensions and animation of the terminal.

To install it, run the following commands on your Ubuntu computer:

sudo apt-get install yakuake

Related: Yakuake: The KDE Terminal Emulator That You Probably Not Using

Cool Retro Term is another popular terminal emulator. It looks like the old CRT monitors you may have used or seen in old hacker movies. It doesn't offer as many features as the terminals we've discussed so far, but here's a small list for the curious:

  • You can change the effects and style of the terminal.

  • Multiple colors are available.

  • And finally there is a nostalgic retro 80s look.

Again, Cool Retro's selling point has more to do with its aesthetics than with its functions. So give it a try if that's your thing. You can download the Cool Retro Term from the Snap Store.

To install Cool Retro run the following command:

sudo snap install cool-retro-term –classic

The installation takes a few seconds. You can then start the terminal directly from the application menu.

St, or often called Simple Terminal, is a terminal emulator for lovers of minimalist design. It offers a lightweight interface and uses less memory. In addition, it offers features such as multiple colors (approx. 256), resizing, support for wide characters, mouse and keyboard shortcuts, and more.

First, clone the official Git repository from the terminal:

git clone

Now install the st package with the do Command. Before doing this, however, you need to libxft-dev Package.

cd st
sudo apt install libxft-dev
sudo make clean install

The first command here will take you to the st Directory, and the second installs the libxft-dev Library package required to install the terminal. Finally, that install cleanly Command installs the app.

Note that Simple Terminal doesn't have a GUI launcher, so you'll need to launch it directly from your terminal. Just tip st in your terminal and press Enter to start the app.

The next alternative to the Ubuntu terminal on the list is the hyper terminal. It's an electron-based terminal based on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Hyper gives you a wide variety of customizations that you can install right from the command line. Some additional features include:

  • Ability to open multiple tabs.

  • Lots of abbreviations.

  • You can share the terminal.

  • Add your own custom CSS.

  • Install plugins, themes and more.

The developers wrote it to go beyond open web standards to create an engaging experience for command line users. Download the DEB file from the official website to start the installation.

Download: Hyper

sudo apt install gdebi-core
sudo gdebi hyper_3.0.2_amd64

The first command sudo apt-get install gdebi-core, Installed the gdebi Package. You'll need it to install Hyper after you've downloaded it. Otherwise the error occurs gdebi: command not found. And finally, the second command will install the downloaded application.

It is a terminal emulator that complies with the GNOME guidelines for human interfaces. It means it looks a lot like the standard terminal app on Ubuntu. However, it also offers various features including:

  • Custom links that you can use to add modified hyperlinks.

  • Open multiple terminal windows by dividing them either horizontally or vertically.

  • Drag and drop options.

  • The possibility of including background images.

  • Lots of keyboard shortcut options.

  • Options to customize colors and other styles.

Run the following command to install Tilix on your system:

sudo apt-get install -y tilix

After the app installation is complete, you can run it directly from the applications menu.

The best Ubuntu terminal alternatives explained

And that's it, folks. On Linux, you can always replace the default apps with free third-party software if you so choose. Hopefully one of these Ubuntu terminal spares hit a nerve. All of these tools have nifty features to offer and, like most Ubuntu software, are available as open source.

To make your job easier, Linux has app launcher applications that allow you to quickly search for files, find answers, and of course, launch applications.

The 9 Best Linux App Launchers to Get Your Chores done Faster

Do you want to quickly and efficiently search for files, find answers and start apps on Linux? You need one of these Linux app launchers.

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About the author

Shaant Minhas
(46 published articles)

Shaant is a staff writer at MUO. As a graduate in computer applications, he uses his passion for writing to explain complex things in plain English. When he's not researching or writing, he can enjoy a good book, run, or hang out with friends.

From Shaant Minhas

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