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[caption id=”” align=”alignleft” width=”240” caption=”can i keep the bag? by jek in the box”]can i keep the bag? by jek in the box[/caption]

From the “better than sliced bread” department, I bring you Terminator! No, not that terminator. This Terminator:

Terminator is a program that allows users to set up flexible arrangements of GNOME terminals. It is aimed at those who normally arrange lots of terminals near each other, but don’t want to use a frame based window manager.”

Basically, think about opening a single terminal (console) window and then splitting it down the middle (vertically) to get now two separate and independent terminals… and then splitting the left terminal horizontally, giving you now three terminals… and then… well, you probably get the drift by now.

[caption id=”attachment_915” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Terminator 0.93”]Terminator 0.93[/caption]

But why would you want to split your terminal like this? I can’t speak for everyone but splitting the terminal allows me to be more productive at work and at home, as I can perform several tasks in one single window and see all of them at the same time. For instance, I can package software in one console (upper left), watch my system’s resource (upper right) on another, and keep up with what’s happening on IRC (lower) at the same time!

Wouldn’t you prefer tabs instead? Well, how about both? Terminator can handle both tabs and splits, which can be very useful when you’re working on multiple things that require some level of separation. For instance, you could have several terminals in one tab, and a whole bunch of other terminals on a second tab dedicated to some other activity.

At work I usually have several ssh connections open to several different servers, running some Fabric scripts in one terminal while watching a log or two on other terminals. Sometimes I want to run the same exact command interactively on several different servers. For these scenarios a very nifty trick is the grouping feature which allows you send the same text typed in one terminal to a group of terminals.

For someone who is so addicted to custom keyboard shortcuts as I am, Terminator offers a huge number of actions that can be performed without having to move your hands away from the keyboard. I don’t know about you, but the less I have to use the mouse, the more productive I am! Check out some of the things you can do:

Split terminals Horizontally.
Split terminals Vertically.
Move parent dragbar Right.
Move parent dragbar Left.
Move parent dragbar Up.
Move parent dragbar Down.
Hide/Show Scrollbar.
Search within terminal scrollback
Ctrl+Shift+N or Ctrl+Tab
Move to next terminal within the same tab, use Ctrl+PageDown to move to the next tab. If cycle_term_tab is False, cycle within the same tab will be disabled
Ctrl+Shift+P or Ctrl+Shift+Tab
Move to previous terminal within the same tab, use Ctrl+PageUp to move to the previous tab. If cycle_term_tab is False, cycle within the same tab will be disabled
Move to the terminal above the current one.
Move to the terminal below the current one.
Move to the terminal left of the current one.
Move to the terminal right of the current one.
Copy selected text to clipboard
Paste clipboard text
Close the current terminal.
Quits Terminator
Toggle between showing all terminals and only showing the current one (maximise).
Toggle between showing all terminals and only showing a scaled version of the current one (zoom).
Open new tab
Move to next Tab
Move to previous Tab
Swap tab position with next Tab
Swap tab position with previous Tab
Ctrl+Plus (+)
Increase font size. Note: this may require you to press shift, depending on your keyboard
Ctrl+Minus (-)
Decrease font size. Note: this may require you to press shift, depending on your keyboard
Ctrl+Zero (0)
Restore font size to original setting.
Toggle fullscreen
Reset terminal state
Reset terminal state and clear window
Group all terminals so that any input sent to one of them, goes to all of them.
Remove grouping from all terminals.
Group all terminals in the current tab so input sent to one of them, goes to all terminals in the current tab.
Remove grouping from all terminals in the current tab.
Open a new window (note: unlike in previous releases, this window is part of the same Terminator process)
Spawn a new Terminator process

Want to take it for a spin? Terminator 0.93 was released yesterday and is currently available for several different distributions and can be installed using your system’s package management tool. As always, I made sure that my distribution has it available for our users! :)

Hasta la vista dudes!


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