Friday, November 30, 2012

Software Spotlight - Guake Terminal

I'm hoping this is the first of a series, to be honest.  It's an idea that popped into my head this morning and I just went with it.  But, without further ado, let's talk Guake.

Guake is a command terminal for Linux, much like the standard terminal you can find in Linux Mint.  What makes this one so special is that it's unobtrusive - the standard terminal will always be present in some form, whether that's on-screen or minimized to your taskbar, or on another workspace.  Guake is also always present once launched, but the difference is that Guake will hide in the notification area, and only come out when you call it with the (default) F12 key.  It also has workspace immunity, so it will appear on your screen regardless of which workspace you are currently using.
You can see it here in action on my second monitor**, currently running a python-script for automated GPU temperature monitoring and fan-speed control (script by lfrisken on

And like the standard Terminal, you have the option of having several different Tabs running different processes - Guake, however, displays these on the bottom.

The other nice thing about Guake is that it is very customizable.  In the Appearance settings alone, you can set transparency - I have mine around 20-25% - and background colour, font colour, set up a background image, change font types and sizes, as well as pre-defined palettes, which I haven't yet tried.
On top of which, keyboard short-cuts are also customizable.  For instance when Guake starts for the first time you can summon it using the F12 key, set it to full-screen with F11, and so on.  However since Blender also uses the F12 key for rendering images (therefore a pretty important key) I've changed this to the "~" key, between "Esc" and "Tab".  I find this more intuitive, but you really can set it up with whatever key combination you like.

There are also several other options, most of which are more technical so I haven't yet figured out what they do.  Putting all that aside, however, I can definitely recommend Guake to any fellow Linux users.  It's quick, unobtrusive, and quite customizable.  I thought I liked the standard Terminal quite a bit, but Guake has overtaken it :)

** The only slight issue with Guake at the moment is that you can't choose which monitor it appears on.  It simply sets itself up on what it considers the primary monitor, which in my case is, oddly enough, my second screen.  If I remember correctly this is something in development and should be available some time in the future.  It doesn't really affect it negatively in my opinion.

No comments:

Post a Comment