‘Terminology’ is a Visually Enhanced ‘Terminal Emulator’

‘Why should using the Terminal be boring?’, says the developers of ‘Terminology’, a visually enhanced ‘Terminal emulator’ that comes with few fascinating features that no one really expects to be implemented into the ‘Terminal’.

In ‘Terminology’, once you’ve got the full path of a file, you can open that file directly, by using the mouse!. It also uses few built in beautiful looking visuals bells (such as the one that highlights click-able files, a 3D looking blinking cursor etc) for enhancing the user interactions.

For a few chosen file types, it can even displays them in an embedded window as well (supports videos, images and PDF. PDF files failed to open though). For other files, once clicked, it will open them using the assigned program (in their original window).



It has an embedded ‘Options’ window that lets you customize it by changing the font, theme, background image (not yet implemented and is only available via a command-line argument), video playback (supports Xine, Gstreamer and VLC for the embedded playback) etc.

Also features a visual bell that lightens the Terminal window in Red while displaying some errors as shown below.


According to the developers, it uses less system resources when compared to other Terminal emulators, supports controlling via touch screens, optional Open GL rendering and many more. You can read about all of its features from this page.

For installing ‘Terminology’ in Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal, 12.04 Precise Pangolin, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and 11.04 Natty Narwhal please enter the below commands in your Terminal window (we are using the ‘the ‘enlightenment-svn’ PPA‘).

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:hannes-janetzek/enlightenment-svn

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install terminology

Then search for ‘terminology’ in the Dash for opening it. Once opened, right-click anywhere in its window, for its other options.


I can’t open files from it?

As said before, you have to get the full path of a file before you can open them in ‘Terminology’. There are few ways that you can do this. But the easiest way is to use the ‘find’ or the ‘locate’ commands.

An example …

Let’s say I wanted to get the list of the files inside a certain folder, including their full path, then I’ll use the below command.

find /your-folder-location

Simply replace ‘your-folder-location’ with the location of your folder.

Say that I have a folder named ‘temp’ in my ‘Home’ that holds few files. Then to get a list of their full name and the path, I’ll use the below command.

find ~/temp

The ‘~’ argument automatically imports the user directory path so I don’t have to type it manually (‘/home/gayan’ in this case).

Anyway, after entering the command, as you saw in the first screenshot, it shows all of its files and their full path. And whenever I move my mouse pointer over an item, it underlines it, indicating that by clicking on it, I can open that file.


1. Well, ‘Terminology’ has this limitation, where you cannot open a file this way if it has a space in its name (as shown below).

I don’t know if its ‘Terminology’s or command-line’s fault because ‘Terminology’ uses a command called ‘xdg-open’ for that and it though it does support opening files that have spaces in their names (after manually adding ” to the file name), ‘Terminology’ can’t.

As you can see, I wanted to open a file called ‘/home/gayan/temp/recorded audio.mp3’ but ‘Terminology’ only picked up the name before the ‘space’ …

2. You cannot copy and paste text fields using the keyboard and I’m not that happy with how the mouse is being used for that either.

For example, after selecting a text, for copying, you have to right click (anywhere, even on top of that text) and it will open a window to your right with four buttons. Then from that, you have to use the ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ (afterward) buttons.

3. Once added its icon into the ‘Application Launcher’ and minimized, I couldn’t use that icon for maximizing. What happens when I click on its icon on the ‘Application Launcher’ is that, it open a new window instead.

4. Doesn’t seem to support the overlay scrollbars and sometimes it got stuck after entering the ‘Options’ window too.

Few closing words …

Nevertheless, it is still very new and under active development so one should expect issues like these. And if the developers can fix its current issues (I don’t know if the first one has something to do with how the command-line is designed), then this definitely looks like a winner to me!.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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