Install Tilix Terminal Emulator in Ubuntu/Fedora/Arch Linux

Tilix is a tiling terminal emulator for Linux based in GTK+ 3. It has some interesting features that improve the user experience when using the terminal.

What is GTK+ 3?

It's a cross-platform widget toolkit for creating GUIs. Tilix uses its latest version (Ver. 3), so you will expect from this tool to have a stylish and modern user interface.

That seems cool. Now, what does tiling really mean?

It means that you can tile your open terminal windows forming a mosaic, which helps the user to have them organized and to see them all in the same workspace.

Features

These are some of the features that make Tilix an interesting alternative for a terminal emulator:

  • Split terminals horizontally or vertically
  • Re-arrange terminals by using drag and drop
  • Detach terminals into a new window via drag and drop
  • Replicate commands in multiple terminals by syncing input
  • Save and load terminal layouts
  • Create color schemes easily
  • Transparent background
  • Notification support for when the processes are completed
  • Experimental trigger and badge support

Installation

Ubuntu

Tested in: Xubuntu 17.10 / Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/terminix
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install tilix

Arch Linux

Tested in: Arch Linux 2017.11.01

Go to AUR - gtkd and click 'Download snapshot' as the image shows:

tilix aur gtkd

Do the same with AUR - tilix.

Now open a terminal and go to the path where the package gtkd is located. Type:

$ tar -xf gtkd.tar.gz
$ cd gtkd
$ makepkg -csi PKGBUILD

And answer 'yes' to all.

Then, do the same with tilix package (firstly go to its location). Type:

$ tar -xf tilix.tar.gz
$ cd tilix
$ makepkg -csi PKGBUILD

Fedora

Tested in: Fedora 27 Workstation

$ sudo dnf install tilix

Usage

Now I'll show how to use some of the features that make this little tool interesting. If you want further information, feel free to check the official documentation.

Command Line Actions

You can execute some actions by typing $ tilix -a <action>. The parameter --action can also be used.

  • Split the terminal right: session-add-right
  • Split the terminal down: session-add-down
  • Create a new Tilix window: app-new-window
  • Create a new Tilix session: app-new-session

For example, if you want to split the terminal right and execute sudo apt-get update process in the new terminal just type:

$ tilix -a session-add-right -x sudo apt-get update

Another example:

#1st terminal
$ tilix -a session-add-right

#2nd terminal
$ tilix -a session-add-down

It will look like this:

tilix tiling example

Themes

This tool has themes support. They are easy to create and configure because they're stored in json files, so you can change their parameters in a simple way.

Default themes are located in /usr/share/tilix/themes. User themes are located in ~/.config/tilix/schemes. You can place your custom themes there.

This is an example of a theme file:

{
 "name": "Material",
 "comment": "Material Oceanic Scheme",
 "use-theme-colors": false,
 "foreground-color": "#A1B0B8",
 "background-color": "#263238",
 "palette": [
 "#252525",
 "#FF5252",
 "#C3D82C",
 "#FFC135",
 "#42A5F5",
 "#D81B60",
 "#00ACC1",
 "#F5F5F5",
 "#708284",
 "#FF5252",
 "#C3D82C",
 "#FFC135",
 "#42A5F5",
 "#D81B60",
 "#00ACC1",
 "#F5F5F5"
 ]
}

You can take this one as a layout and customize it to create your own theme.

Titles

There is support for customized titles. You only have to set what variables do you want to be displayed in the terminal title.

  • Title of the terminal: ${title}
  • Icon title of the terminal: ${iconTitle}
  • Numeric terminal ID: ${id}
  • Current directory: ${directory}
  • Columns of the terminal: ${colums}
  • Rows of the terminal: ${rows}
  • Hostname, availability dependent on the VTE script being configured on remote systems or triggers: ${hostname}
  • Username, requires trigger support and configuration: ${username}
  • Name of the application: ${appName}
  • Name of the session: ${session}
  • Number of the session: ${session}

You can configure them in Preferences - Appearance - Application title.

For example, I want my terminal title to have the application name (Tilix) and the terminal number, so configure the setting like this:

tilix configure title

Quake mode

This tool also supports a Quake-style mode where the console appears on the top of the screen. You can then toggle the terminal off or on as needed when staying in this mode.

You can use this mode by typing tilix --quake.

I recommend to bind a shortcut on your keyboard to use this mode, you just have to go to the settings of your window manager and bind a shortcut key to that command.

This is how Quake mode looks like:

tilix quake mode

Other features

You can check more advanced features like triggers, badges and custom hyperlinks in the official documentation.

Wrapping up

Tilix is an interesting and highly configurable terminal emulator. It has some nice UI features due to its modern GTK+ 3 implementation and has useful features for productivity such as terminal tiling, too. More advanced users can also take advantage of its complex and powerful features like badges, triggers and custom hyperlinks. This tool is a good terminal emulator alternative for both beginners and professionals, I suggest you try it and test all its functionalities!

Ivo Ursino 12:05 am

About Ivo Ursino

I’m an Information Systems Engineering student and Linux enthusiast. I enjoy learning new technologies and testing them so as to give my review and help with their improvement. Staying up to date in the digital world is a must for me.

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