Maximize Your Terminal Usage with Terminator

Terminator is a simple program that allows you to load multiple terminals and arrange them in grid. It is useful when you need to access to various terminals at the same time.

Some of the feature in Terminator includes:

  • Arrange terminals in grid
  • multiple tabs
  • drag and drop reordering of terminal
  • keyboard shortcuts
  • config file to override gnome-terminal setting

To install terminator, simply type the following command in your terminal:

Go to “Applications -> Accessories -> Terminator”

To split terminator horizontal, right click and select “Split Horizontally”.

split terminator horizontally

Similarly, to split terminator vertically, select “Split Vertically”.

split terminator vertically

You can also drag and drop the terminal to rearrange them or to resize them to your liking.

Terminator multiple grid

Customizing the Terminator

There are many things that you can personalize in Terminator. You can set the font type, font size, background color, transparency level, background images, and many others options. You can also define custom shortcut key for easier and faster handling of the application.


terminator transparent background

Go to your “Home” folder. Press Ctrl + H to display the hidden files.

Click on the “.config” folder. If the “terminator” folder does not exist, create a new folder and name it “terminator”.

Open your text editor (gedit). Save the new file with the name “config” (without any extension) in the “/home/.config/terminator” folder.

To personalize terminator, simply paste the option to the “config” file and set its respective value. For example, if you want to set the background to display image, paste the following code and set the respective value for each option:

Setting custom shortcut key

The default shortcut key for Terminator follows that of the Gnome Terminal. If you want to overwrite the default setting and define your own shortcut key, insert the placeholder to the “config” file, follow by the respective shortcut key command. For example, to change the split horizontal shortcut key to Ctrl + Shift + H,

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. Just a quick point, the separator in the config file for keyboard shortcuts is:


    not the two word version in the example above.

    Enjoy :)

  2. Nice :) Some of my friends might like this – Personally I already use a window manager that works with application windows like this does with terminals so I basically get these features with any apps.

      1. Currently Ion but I’m in fact planning on moving to Awesome – seems more advanced and better documented for extending the functionality via Lua scripting :) Since I moved from cascading window managers (last I used was fluxbox, before that Enlightenment DR16) to tiling WM Ion I have not wanted to go back – and while some programs have problems running correctly under tiling WM Ion and awesome also do have support for floating windows so no real problems there at all :)

        Very effective, fast and minimalizes the need to swap hand between mouse and keyboard. For same reason I use a plugins named LoL (for of HaH, Hit a Hint) and keyconfig with firefox to enable browsing web via keyboard easily and fast. I’m trying to set my system to work as much as possible via keyboard (with the exception of tasks that are actually better done via mouse).

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