Install terminology - A terminal with fancy Features

Even Linux is now become more and more friendly with a nice Graphical User Interface (GUI), there are some Linux users who prefer work with commands. Specially for system administrators. There are some tasks that could be more efficient done through commands.

A Terminal (or Console) as a tool to do command line tasks. Terminology is a terminal that equipped with some features such as multi-tabs support and split its screen. Terminator is one of them. Now, there is a new challenger here. Its called Terminology.

What is Terminology

Terminology is a terminal emulator which originally works with Enlightenment desktop. If we want to use another desktop such as GNOME but still want to use Terminology, we can do it as long we install the Enlightenment packages.


Terminology has a lot of features. From its website, at least Terminology has more than 20 features. The features are :

  • Most escapes supported by xterm, rxvt etc. Work
  • Xterm 256 color escapes work
  • Backgrounds (bitmap, scalable/vector, animated gif, videos)
  • Transparency
  • Bitmap and scalable fonts supported
  • Themes for the layout and design
  • URL, file path and email address detection and link-handling
  • Inline display of link content
  • Multiple copy and paste selections and buffer support
  • Works in X11
  • Works in Wayland
  • Works directly in the linux framebuffer (fbcon)
  • Can be finger/touch controlledScan scale by UI scaling factors
  • Can render using OpenGL or OpenGL-ES2 (not a requirement - just an option)
  • Can display inlined media content (images, video, documents)
  • Can do multiple "tabs"
  • Can do splitting into multiple panes
  • Block text selection
  • Drag and drop of text selections and links
  • Can stream media from URLs
  • Tab switcher has live thumbnail content
  • Single process, multiple windows/terminals support
  • Fast (gives urxvt a run for its money)
  • Themable visual bell
  • Compress backscroll
  • Text reflow on resize
  • More...


From its website, Terminology is only available in tarball format. By default, we must compile it to install. But if you are using Ubuntu based Linux, there is a way to install it without compile it. We will use PPA (Personal Package Archive) to do this.
Here are the steps :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hannes-janetzek/enlightenment-svn
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install terminology

Then you will found Terminology installed in /usr/bin/ folder. To run it, just type terminology from another terminal, or create a launcher / shortcut in your desktop.

Sneak Peak of Terminology

Here, we will figure out some features that might useful in daily use.

Multi-tab support

To create Tabs , we can press Ctrl+Shift+T or right click > New. Then another tab will show. At the first time, you will realize that the previous tab is disappear. To see all the tab, press Ctrl+Shift+Home buttons. Or you can go to the top right corner. There is an four boxes icon and a number beside it. Click it to see all the tab.

Multi-tab feature

If you want to quickly switch between tabs, press Ctrl+1 to switch to the first tab. Ctrl+2 to switch to the second tab and so on until Ctrl+0 for tab number 10. Another to do this is using Ctrl+PageUp and Ctrl+PageDn buttons.

To quit from particular tab, just type exit or right click > Close.

Preview files

Terminology allows you to preview files. To preview images we can use tycat command. Take a look at the command below.

$ tycat image_file_name

The picture will be displayed inside the terminal.

Preview Image

If you want to preview a video, you can user typop command.

$ typop video_file_name

Then a pop-up window will show playing the the video.

Preview video


Terminology support wallpaper function. So we can put an image in the background to make our terminal look nice. There are 2 (two) ways to do it.

Via Setting menu :

  • Right click anywhere at the Terminology screen
  • Choose Setting > Wallpaper
  • Pick the a picture
  • Or click Edit paths to pick another pictures from another location
  • If you has done with it, click at the outside of menu window to close the menu

Menu Setting

Choose wallpaper

*) Note : on my Ubuntu 13.04, I got Terminology 0.4 crashed when I tried to use Edit paths menu. By default, the wallpaper folder will be in /usr/share/terminology/backgrounds

Via command line :

This way is faster than the previous one. Just type :

$ tybg image_file_name

Then your wallpaper will instantly changed.

Change wallpaper via command line

Themes support

Terminology also support themes. A theme control how the font will be displayed and the color of it. To access it, right click > Setting. Then click Themes on the right panel. Now you can choose the available themes there.


Split Terminology

Like Terminator, we can split Terminology screen both horizontally and / or vertically. Again, right click on the Terminology screen. You will see buttons named Split V for vertical split and Split H for horizontal split.

Another way to do it using using keyboard combination.

  • To split horizontally, press Ctrl+Shift+PgUp
  • To split vertically, press Ctrl+Shift+PgDn

Split the screen

Shortcut key

For those who loves keyboard, Terminology provides you shortcuts. Sometimes shortcut is faster than mouse click. The list of shortcuts can be accessed via Setting > Keys.

Shortcut key

*) Note : It seems that these shortcuts is hardcoded. We tried to change some shortcuts but failed.


Terminology is a nice alternative terminal for Linux system. At the article is written, the latest version is version 0.4. This application might not perfect yet. I found it crashed when tried to load wallpaper from another path. But for daily operation, this product is good alternative for terminal application. As usual, we can always type man terminology or terminology --help to explore it more detail.

Pungki Arianto 3:00 am


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  1. This repo doesn't seem to have a build for terminology for ubuntu trusty, even though that release directory is listed.