Embedded terminal

  11 years ago


By the end of this tutorial, you will have a terminal window embedded into your desktop. Which is precisely as cool as you think it is!

You can click on any of the images in this tutorial to get a better look.

Target audience



You have a reasonably well specified computer running Compiz and an inner geek just begging to get out.

Create a terminal profile

Open a terminal window and click on Edit -> Profile. Then click the New button. Call your profile desktop-term and click Create.

In the General tab untick "Show menubar by default"

In the Title and command tab set the Ititial title to your profile name and change the dropdown to Keep initial title.

In the background tab, select Transparent background and move the shade slider to None

In the scrolling tab, set the scrollbar to Disabled.

Click close until you are back at the terminal and then you can close down the terminal.


Compiz settings

Now fire up the compiz settings manager

Under the general options untick Hide skip taskbar windows

Make sure that the Window decoration plugin is enabled and under it's settings change the Decoration windows to (any) & !(title=desktop-term)

Make sure that the Window rules plugin is enabled and under it's settings add "title=desktop-term" to Skip taskbar, Skip pager, Below, Sticky, Non movable windows, Non resizable windows, Non minimizable windows, Non maximizable windows and Non closable windows

Now you can run a terminal using your profile. At this point you will need to experiment with the geometry values in the command to position and size the terminal as you want it. Press Alt + F2 to open the run box and enter

gnome-terminal --window-with-profile=desktop-term --geometry=80x45+250+75 &

Making it permanent

Once you are happy with the size and position of your terminal, you may want to make it permanent. To do this, we need to resort to a small bit of scripting. In your favourite editor create a file called desktop-term.sh and add the following to it:

Change the sleep time to whatever works best for your system and you can copy and paste the gnome terminal command form your run box with the values that work for you.

sleep 25 && gnome-terminal --window-with-profile=desktop-term
--geometry=80x45+250+75 &

Note that the script is only two lines and make sure the script is executable by using your newly embedded terminal to run the command

chmod +x desktop-term.sh

Finally under the control centre go to startup applications and add a new item. Give it a meaningful title and the command /home/YOUR-USER-NAME/path/to/desktop-term.sh and click close.

How cool is that?

hithirdwavedust 10 years ago

This is superb.
Anything that makes the terminal more pervasive and ubiquitous makes the world a prettier place.

Also, every time a terminal opens, a penguin gets it's wings.

blueXrider 11 years ago

Thats cool. Now lets put it on a tty. Say Ctrl+Alt F7

Nice job

kazztan0325 11 years ago

How nice this tutorial is!
Not only its content is unique, but also its formation is excellent.

I think this is a model of tutorial for us.

trollboy 11 years ago

Nope. It's not as cool. It doesn't have that *wow* factor and frankly it's boring.

remoulder 11 years ago

"one "Show desktop" click!" - ok but a panel launcher for terminal surely does the same thing?

trollboy 11 years ago

I like to use the terminal a lot. My other tutorials should show that ;) and having one embedded in my desktop, one "Show desktop" click away is just too cool.

And yes. I am a geek.

My real desktop

remoulder 11 years ago

Nice tutorial even though I fail to see what advantages this would have over a terminal window or why anyone would want it in the desktop. Surely if it's in a fixed position one is always going to be covering it with other windows?