Sunday, September 14, 2014

Terminology: The Terminal Emulator With Bling

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If memory serves, it was +Greg Kroah-Hartman who last December enthused on Google Plus about Terminology, the terminal emulator component of Enlightenment.  It was just released at version 0.4.0 by one very talented, industrious Samsung developer, Daniel Juyung Seo.

I took a look at it, put it away and all was forgotten.  The other day, I was looking around for new software and decided to revisit the state of Terminal Emulators.

Incidentally, Solarized Theme will be part of Fedora 21 and I remember trying it at some point.  But didn't recall how.  To my surprise, Terminology includes a number of themes, one of which is Solarized, so, I decided to install it.  Yes, one can install Terminology separate from Enlightenment and it won't pull in a lot of dependencies -- just what it needs.

Okay so, I thought lets see what this puppy can do.  Five minutes later it was installed and shown on my Fedora 20 LXDE menu under System Tools.

It's quite pleasant in terms of aesthetics and given it is an Enlightenment component, that is to be expected.  But there's nothing keeping one from using it with another Desktop UI and many do just that.

Those partial to certain emulators like Gnome-terminal, Konsole, will prefer one over another, especially if doing development work and dwelling in a character-based shell.

What is especially nice about Terminology is that selecting a theme, such as Solarized, makes doing other things at the terminal prompt most pleasant and easy on the eyes, including other ncurses-based applications like vim, nano, htop.  And the entire window is bit-mapped scalable which means it can be as small or large as needed just by moving the lower-left screen corner.


  • Most escapes supported by xterm, rxvt etc. work
  • Xterm 256 color escapes work
  • Backgrounds (bitmap, scalable/vector, animated gif, videos)
  • Transparency
  • Bitmap and scalable fonts supported
  • Themes for the layout and design
  • URL, file path and email address detection and link-handling
  • Inline display of link content
  • Multiple copy and paste selections and buffer support
  • Works in X11
  • Works in Wayland
  • Works directly in the linux framebuffer (fbcon)
  • Can be finger/touch controlled
  • Scan scale by UI scaling factors
  • Can render using OpenGL or OpenGL-ES2 (not a requirement - just an option)
  • Can display inlined media content (images, video, documents)
  • Can do multiple "tabs"
  • Can do splitting into multiple panes
  • Block text selection
  • Drag and drop of text selections and links
  • Can stream media from URLs
  • Tab switcher has live thumbnail content
  • Single process, multiple windows/terminals support
  • Fast (gives urxvt a run for its money)
  • Themable visual bell
  • Compress backscroll
  • Text reflow on resize
  • Color palette selection


I am including below a few screen shots I took of Terminology running on Fedora 20 LXDE.

Terminology with Solarized theme shown in split-screen mode

Terminology with Solarized theme running ncurses-based htop

Terminology settings screen with Themes selected


As mentioned, it took all of 5 minutes to install Terminology on Fedora 20 with this command from the lxterminal:

$sudo yum install terminology

Then, I went straight to the terminal window, right-click, settings and selected my personal favorite font Droid Sans Monospace 12 point, and, of course, Terminology's Solarized ('Dark') theme.

Bayam!  Sweet relief.  My eyes feel so much better now.

Go get some relief.  Now. 

Terminology.  The terminal emulator with bling.  -- Dietrich


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