Change or set Ubuntu Gnome Terminal Emulator

A terminal emulator is an application that is used to execute Bash commands, work with files, communicate with other computers, perform administrative tasks and configurations, etc., all in text form. It uses the command line so that Unix users of all shades can enjoy it. It gives you the feeling of a real physical emulator equipped with a keyboard and monitor. You can install and use multiple emulator terminals on Ubuntu.

Ubuntu also allows you to set the standard terminal emulator according to your needs and wishes. In this tutorial, we will learn how to do this.

We will execute the commands below in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver).

Open the default terminal emulator on your Ubuntu by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T.

The standard terminal on our machine is the Gnome Terminal.

Change Terminal Emulator from Gnome Terminal to Xterm

Run the following command:

$ sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator

Change x-terminal-emulator

Tip: You can also copy this command from the tutorial by selecting and copying it through Ctrl+C and then pasting it in the Terminal by right-clicking at the cursor location, and then clicking Paste from the menu.

Changing the terminal emulator requires you to be a superuser. Enter the password and press enter.

The output will display the available terminal emulators on your system. Remember that the output can vary on your system depending on the alternatives you have installed.

Enter the number associated with your choice from the available list and click enter.

Choose new termianl emulator

We are entering selection number 5 that corresponds to xterm, the new default terminal emulator we want to set. The following output will confirm the changes we have made:

Change terminal emulator to xterm

Now when you press Ctrl+Alt+T (or type x-terminal-emulator in your already open terminal emulator) , your new terminal emulator will open as your default choice. In our case we will see the xterm terminal emulator open as follows:

Xterm is now the default terminal emulator for Gnome on Ubuntu

You can now use this new terminal emulator as your default choice. We have seen that in Ubuntu, this process is as easy as running a single command.

How to set the Gnome Default Terminal Emulator on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn