‘Final Term’: A Promising Terminal Emulator for GNU/Linux

It is true that almost all the major desktop environments come with a terminal emulator of their own. Yet, in terms of features (especially), they all look pretty much the same and there is always room for improvements too, is it not ?

‘Final Term’, in that sense, is a new terminal emulator (still in development) that comes with few unique features of its own, some of which, can definitely come in real hand for some users.

Here are some of its features …

'Final Term' running on Ubuntu 13.04

*. ‘Text aware menus’

Most terminal emulators have the ability to recognize certain types of input/outputs, such as recognizing URLs from texts and let the users open them in their web browser. Plus, there are others like ‘Terminology‘ that can recognize file paths & lets you open them by clicking on them.

Although ‘Final Terms’ does not have the latter function, it does let you copy/move/delete & few other files (and folders) related tasks, as shown below.

'Text aware menus' in 'Final Term'

Not only that, if you rely on ‘ps’ command a lot, then ‘Final Term’ has the ability to recognize PIDs (process IDs) from other numbers and when you click on a PID, it gives a menu that lets you do things like terminating it, copying the PID to clipboard, search for that PID using the ‘-lf’ arguments and changing priorities as well.

PID related features in 'Final Term'

*. Automatic command completion

Automatic command completion - 'Final Term'

By based on your previously entered commands, ‘Final Term’ has the ability to automatically complete commands, as you type them. Very handy!.

*. Automatic notifications for ‘long running commands

Automatic notifications on the completion of long running commands - 'Final Term'

‘Final Term’ also has the ability to notify (through the ‘indicator messages’ in ‘Unity’) once a long running commands such as ‘apt-get update’ finishes running. However, I do not know for sure if it works on commands other than ‘apt-get’ though.

*. Hide text outputs

Content 'folding' buttons feature on 'Final Term'

When running multiple commands, it is pretty common for the terminal window to get filled with texts. Though one can use the ‘clear’ command to clean it up, you can also use the small buttons around the left-border in ‘Final Term’ for showing/hiding certain areas of the text output.

That said, to be honest, I find them to be a bit of a distraction.

*. Built-in Drop-down support

'Final Term' running on  drop-down mode
What’s up! ?, says ‘Final Term’ 😉 …

You can also make ‘Final Term’ hide itself by pressing the ‘F12’ key. If you press it again, then it opens up in a drop-down style. I’m sure some will that to be pretty neat too.

*. Smooth animations

According to the developers, ‘Final Term’ uses hardware-acceleration for its window rendering, so everything should look more crisp and smooth. It seems to be true because I noticed the automatic scroll downing when running commands such as ‘apt-get update’, to be quite smooth.

*. Easy configuration

‘Final Term’ comes with a simple ‘Preferences’ window that lets you change the default Size, Fonts, Color Themes & Opacity (as shown in the first screenshot).

However …

As I mentioned in the beginning, please remember that it is still in active development and so, some major features are missing. For instance, there is no way to ‘copy’ & ‘paste’ texts freely, although copying URL, file & folder names are possible.

But even if you copy something, there is no way to ‘paste’ them onto the terminal window.

I also could not scroll down while reading ‘man pages’. And while trying to change the opacity, the window kept resizing, automatically. So hopefully, future releases will address these problems.

That said, if you want to try it out, then you can install it on Ubuntu 13.04, 13.10, 12.10 & 12.04 LTS by using its PPA. For that, please use the below commands.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:versable/finalterm-daily

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install finalterm

Please visit this official ‘Final Term’ web page for more information.

1 thought on “‘Final Term’: A Promising Terminal Emulator for GNU/Linux”

  1. o ) No Paste functionality to copy / paste SH code
    o ) Low Gravity vertical scrolling can become annoing, no turn off feature.
    o ) No Tabs (Huge Turnoff)
    o ) Cant set Background Image
    o ) No way to Minimize Commands except by scrolling up then clicking the arrow in the left gutter.

    Those flaws said, I will try again in the future & hope to see these things fixed as the core concept is really cool.

    If I had to create a terminal I would make it like “Ctrl + Shift + P” in Sublime Text, where a user could type keywords associated with common Unix Commands “Copy”, “Move”, “Install Package”, “Set Permissions on File / Directory”, “List Files & Directories”, “Terminal Browser”, “Text Editor”, “Elevate to Root”, etc…

    These keywords would provide invaluable functionality and greatly simplify the unix terminal to non UNIX Admins.

    .02

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