8 Best Terminal Apps for Linux Productivity Boost

By | January 4, 2022

Tired of the old and boring terminal apps that come pre-installed on Linux? Check out these eight terminal apps that will improve your workflow.

The terminal is the core of the Linux operating system. Many users prefer to use GUI applications to manage their system. If you’re tired of the command line look and want a change, you should check out other apps for a customized terminal.

In that case, here are some of the best terminal apps to enhance your Linux experience. There are tons of terminal emulators out there, and some of them let you use multigrid for multitasking, which in turn increases your productivity.

Speaking of aesthetics, you can never go wrong with the Terminator. Terminator is built on top of GNOME to make workflows easier for multitaskers. And if you are a multitasker, this terminal emulator is the right choice for you.

This allows you to easily manage multiple tasks while simultaneously rearranging terminal windows. Along with support for multiple tabs, the multi-grid structure allows users to organize tabs in both vertical and horizontal modes. For customization, the settings are under the dialog box Preferences general.

You can change the background and foreground text colors, fonts, custom layouts, and more as part of the customization. Terminator also lets you share your preferences as a template in the form of a “profile”.

To install Terminator on a Debian-based distro, type the following command:

sudo apt-get install terminator

if you face any problem while installing it, try adding the Terminator repository to your system first.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome-terminator
sudo apt-get update

Terminology is one of the best terminal emulators which gives a cool look to the command line. The terminology has a chance and an ending because it is based on the EFL (Library of the Enlightenment Foundation).

As part of the customization, you can change the font and change the background. Speaking of backgrounds, you can even set a video as the background for the command line.

Terminology comes with a tab-switch to keep up with your multitasking. It also detects and highlights text such as URLs, emails, and even file paths, and makes copying text easier. For additional customization, you can use the Elementor toolkit to change the appearance of the terminal to your liking.

To install Terminator on Ubuntu and Debian:

sudo apt-get install terminology

If you are a fan of vintage style, get ready for a cool retro look on your terminal. Cool Retro Term gives you the old school look of cathode ray monitors from the past. You get the same neon-style character display with a flashing yellow cursor—it blinks when you run a command.

This terminal emulator is lightweight and doesn’t consume your resources at all. You can also customize this terminal with additional settings to change its appearance according to your preferences. You can even opt for the retro Apple II look (all caps display)—you’ll love it.

Apart from that, you can also add some screen jitter to replicate a complete retro look. You must try it at least once.

To install Cool Retro Term, run the following command:

sudo apt install cool-retro-term

Guake is another terminal application for Linux that lets you run commands instantly. This is one of the best Linux terminal emulators if you are running the GNOME desktop environment.

For instant commands, you just need to press one button, and you will be presented with a dropdown terminal. Guake takes inspiration from Quake and as such includes a lot of customization features.

It offers a beautiful color scheme and several styling options to customize the command line. You can also run multiple windows and then reset the focus window color to highlight them.

There are several keyboard shortcuts like F11 to display full screen and F12 to lower the window. Similar to Guake, you can find other options like Yakuake for KDE and GTK-based Tilda.

To install Guake on Ubuntu, type the following command:

sudo apt install guake

GNOME Terminal comes preinstalled with the GNOME desktop environment. A light background with some green and white text looks okay at first glance. You can install it using the package manager on your machine if you are using some other desktop environment.

Setting aside the usual settings, you can see a lot of customization features here which include custom cursors, font styles, and more. Apart from that, you can also adjust the window to full screen or split screen mode. GNOME terminal can detect URLs, email addresses, and more automatically.

To install GNOME Terminal on a Debian-based distribution:

sudo apt install gnome-terminal

It is one of the oldest and best terminal emulators out there. While rxvt-unicode doesn’t have great graphics or tricks, a solid foundation supports its development. You will not notice any lags or hiccups during your workflow.

You can see the usual customization features like font options, multiple color schemes, and Unicode support. Rxvt-unicode also runs in daemon mode, so resource consumption is minimal. If you want a stable emulator that has customizations, definitely use rxvt-unicode.

To install this terminal emulator on Ubuntu and Debian:

sudo apt-get install -y rxvt-unicode

Alacritty is one of the best cross-platform terminal emulators that uses the power of your GPU. You can increase productivity by using the GPU to optimize your workflow. It’s a simple terminal and you won’t find many features hanging there. But yes, you do get colored emojis.

To install Alacritty, you have to go through a lengthy process. And as a result, you will probably stick with your current terminal. Also, since it is a GPU hog, you may not have enough resources left to run your PC to its full potential.

You can install Alacritty on your system using snap:

sudo snap install alacritty --classic

Tilda is another terminal emulator which is GTK based and comes with unlimited windows. Like Guake, you can also launch a dropdown terminal by simply pressing the F12 key.

It is highly configurable, and at the same time, there are a lot of features to look at. There’s a catch here. Currently, Tilda is only compatible with Xorg-based desktops, so you won’t be able to run it on Ubuntu.

To install Tilda, type the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt install tilda

Choosing the Best Terminal App for Yourself

Linux users have many options to choose from considering the sheer number of applications available on the internet. You can select the terminal emulator that best suits your needs from the list.