Terminator – Run Multiple Terminals in a Single Window

Terminator is a very useful tool for users who needs more than one terminal to work with. It opens up multiple terminals in grids in a single window. If you use the default Terminal, then you have to deal with tabs, which is the most common default method, which Terminator also supports. But switching terminal tabs to track each commands progress is not very productive and easy, that is where Terminator comes at rescue. Since, Terminator opens multiple instances of the terminal in a single window, it becomes easier and quicker to work, track progress of commands that are running on different terminals as they are all visible in the main Terminator window.

Features:

  • Arrange terminals in a grid
  • Tabs
  • Drag and drop re-ordering of terminals
  • Lots of keyboard shortcuts
  • Config file to override gnome-terminal settings
  • Simultaneous typing to arbitrary groups of terminals

How to install Terminator?

You can install terminator through the command line or by using the Ubuntu Software Center. To install using command line type:

sudo apt-get install terminator

To install using Ubuntu Software Center, follow the steps below:

  • To start Ubuntu Software Center, click on Applications > Ubuntu Software Center.
  • After it opens, type Terminator in the search box present on the top right hand corner.
  • Ubuntu Software Center will display Terminator in the found software list. Click on the arrow present beside it.
  • Now click on install.

You can also install Terminator in other Linux Distributions, FreeBSD, Mac OS X. The installation procedure as described from the authors webpage is as follows:

Debian

If you are running Debian sid then you should find the latest version, although it may be slightly behind the current release.

Fedora

To install Terminator in Fedora, run (as root):

yum install terminator

Foresight

To install Terminator in Foresight Linux, you can either use the Add/Remove program (PackageKit), or the following command:

sudo conary update terminator

OpenSuSE

More information about Terminator for OpenSuSE can be found here.

Mandriva

Please visit the author’s page for further details.

RHEL

Please visit the author’s page for further details.

FreeBSD

To install Terminator in FreeBSD, run:

cd /usr/ports/x11/terminator && make install clean
or
portinstall terminator
or
pkg_add -r terminator

See this page for more information.

Mac OS X

To install Terminator on Mac OS X you will need to be using the Fink project, and have it configured to allow unstable software. With those requirements satisfied, in a terminal run:

fink install terminator

As I have tested it in Ubuntu so this article is Ubuntu centric but the functionality of Terminator should be same for other supported operating systems as well. Once the installation is complete, you can run Terminator in Ubuntu from Applications > Accessories > Terminator. In the screenshot below, you can see that I have opened four instances of the terminal with the Terminator and all of them are visible in a single window.

To create a new terminal instance, just right-click on Terminator main window and select Split Horizontally or Split Vertically as you will like the new terminal to appear. You can close an open terminal by right clicking on it from the grid display and selecting Close.

Documentation

Documentation for all of Terminator’s keybindings and config options in man pages is included in the source/packages. See:

man terminator
man terminator_config

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