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Guake, your always-on terminal

Do you often find yourself inside a terminal?

Or do you tire at the speed a terminal window opens?

Running Guake is faster than launching a new terminal with a keyboard short-cut because the program is already loaded into memory, and so can be useful to people who frequently find themselves opening and closing terminals. Like most of the time when visiting this site! 😀


Guake is a drop-down terminal for GNOME Desktop Environment. Like similar terminals, it is invoked with a single keystroke, and hidden by pressing the same keystroke again. Its design was inspired from consoles in computer games such as Quake which slide down from the top of the screen when a key is pressed, and slide back up when the key is pressed again. Guake has been written from scratch apparently, and has a mixture of other similar programs, but this on is especially for GTK environments.

Guake is already available on different Linux distributions. So a simple execution of the following command in your usual terminal (oh the irony).

apt-get install guake

Close your terminal (say bye bye to it forever if you like Guake). Now for simplicity, just press Alt-F2 which is the “run application” requester that you will sometimes run into on here (Tinuz probably will use that more since he is currently using Unity). Then type in the first few letters of “Guake”, your Ubuntu should already know what you are looking for and complete the word.. Press return, and you will be presented with your first Guake terminal, isn’t that beautiful!.. have a look at what mine looks like while I type this..

You will see that it can take up a considerable portion of the desktop, you can easily drag the little gadget up and down to suit. You can right click for the menu, which includes your all important preferences. You will see Audacious playing some Amiga MODs there and some random icons, nothing important.

There is quite a substantial array of settings you can play around with, but generally default is fine. So remember to press F12 to display and hide your Guake terminal. So a last look at the terminal.

The transparency is quite pretty, and it is updated in real-time, so anything going on behind you will see. The font I am using is the Ubuntu mono font, which is still in production. You can use as many tabs as it can display. The most useful part of Guake, is that is always in memory, and should auto-load on boot-up. I have gotten used to flicking my pinky over F12, you will too possibly.

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