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7 Best Terminal Emulators For Linux

  • Last Updated : 02 Dec, 2020

Despite various GUI advancements, Terminal Emulators have still its adequate presence in the tech market. A terminal emulator is a software that allows to you interact with the host machine with the help of commands. Terminal Emulator is a lifeline for every Linux distro as it enables you to utilize the real strength of Linux.


For developers, their major time is spent in front of the terminal (terminal emulator), but the problem is that the default terminal emulator provided by most of the Linux distro doesn’t provide many functionalities. However, you don’t have to worry as you can always install a terminal emulator of your choice. Here, in this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best terminal emulators which you can use to make things more convenient & interesting:

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1. Terminator

What if we have a terminal in which you can open multiple Terminals in a single window? (Sound cool, right??) Terminator is a pretty cool terminal emulator that provides you this functionality. You can open multiple terminals in a single window and can split them vertically or horizontally as you want. It also provides you the functionality to give a custom title to every terminal and several prominent features like multi grid-like structure, layouts saving, etc.

You can install Terminator using the following command:


$ sudo apt install terminator


$ sudo yum install terminator

Arch Linux

$ sudo pacman -S terminator

2. Guake

Guake is a drop-down Linux terminal emulator that is mostly written in Python. The key feature of this emulator is that you can customize its behavior and appearance. If you just don’t like the design of your terminal then you can simply customize it the way you want. You can also configure the keyboard shortcuts for your Guake emulator. Guake would be the best choice for you if you love customization. Also, Guake enables the easy integration of the terminal into GUI and supports multi-tab.

You can install Guake using the following commands:


$ sudo apt install guake


$ sudo yum install guake

Arch Linux

$ sudo pacman -S guake

3. Cool Retro Term

If you are from the ’90s then this emulator is only for you. This emulator mimics the old cathode display and will give you an old school feel. This emulator is quite lightweight and easy to use.

Tip: You can always know about the key features of any application in Linux by using the man command. It provides you the official documentation of the application. 

You can install Cool Retro Term using the following command:


$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vantuz/cool-retro-term
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install cool-retro-term


$ sudo snap install cool-retro-term --classic

Arch Linux

$ sudo pacman -S cool-retro-term

4. GNOME Terminal

If you are on the LTS version of Ubuntu then this is the default terminal emulator. This emulator is quite stable and efficient and like other terminal emulators, it also provides colored text, a variety of themes, etc. The GNOME terminal also has the feature which parses the URLs and email in output and makes them clickable. Upon clicking, the appropriate application will open to access that resource (email or URL).

You can install GNOME terminal using the following command:


$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-shell ubuntu-gnome-desktop

5. Terminology

Some people are fully dependent on the terminal for their day-to-day tasks. They don’t like to navigate on GUI for doing their tasks, for such users Terminology is the best emulator. Terminology provides its user the functionality to preview the files, videos, images within the terminal. Just use the below command and you can preview a variety of files within Terminology. 

$ tycat <filename>

You can install Terminology using the following command:


$ sudo apt install -y terminology


$ sudo snap install terminology --classic

Arch Linux 

$ sudo pacman -S terminology

6. Kitty

Kitty is a scriptable OpenGL based terminal emulator with True Color, ligatures support, protocol extensions for keyboard input and image rendering. The key feature of the kitty is that it is a GPU based emulator so it offloads rendering to the GPU for lower system load and buttery smooth scrolling. Unlike gnome-terminal, Kitty actually opens up to full-screen if you used it in full-screen mode last, this feature of Kitty makes it pretty cool. You can set up your custom fonts, custom colors, and custom layout on the kitty.

You can install Kitty using the following command:


$ sudo apt install kitty

CentOS And Arch Linux

$ curl -L | sh /dev/stdin

7.  Rxvt-Unicode

Rxvt-Unicode is a customizable terminal emulator forked from rxvt. Features of rxvt-unicode include international language support through Unicode. Rxvt-Unicode uses very little memory and takes a lightweight approach without losing many important functionalities.

You can install rxvt-unicode using the following command:


$ sudo apt install rxvt-unicode


$ sudo yum install rxvt-unicode

Arch Linux

$ sudo pacman -S rxvt-unicode

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