Customize the command line terminal in Linux - Guide

Updated: November 29, 2008

If you're using the terminal every now and then, there's no reason why it should not be beautiful and exciting, just like the rest of your desktop. For example, the default Ubuntu terminal is a bit spartan, but it can be pimped up very easily.

Default desktop

Change terminal - default

This is the default terminal. It's plain and simple and will probably be good enough for most of you. However, if you wish to make it a little more spicy - let's say, run it on a desktop already adorned with Compiz Fusion, the task is very simple.

New profile

Select Edit > Profiles:

Change terminal - profiles

For now, there's only one profile, the default one. We will create a new one. Click New.

Change terminal - new profile

Give it some sort of a name. You can also base it on other, existing profiles, like the default, for example.

Edit profile

Now, you have the choice of making numerous changes to the profile, so it will look, feel and behave differently. Your basis is the default terminal. This means you do not have to touch everything - only the few tweaks that you desire. In our example, we merely wish to turn out terminal transparent.

Change terminal - effects

Select profile

After you're done with the customization, select the profile that you want to load. You can also make the new profile load as the default when launching a new terminal.

Change terminal - select fancy

Test customizations

Finally, we merely need to open a new tab to see the fruit of our hard work. Voila! It's not much, but the impact of the change is strong and refreshing.

Change terminal - fancy


Linux can be used for fun, too. It offers a very high degree of freedom in both choice and taste to any user who wishes to make the most of their machine, be it the internals of the system or something as innocent as desktop decorations.

No special knowledge is needed. Everything is available in just a few mouse clicks, only limited by your patience and imagination.


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