Although Debian users these days get to perform various operations through programs having high-end GUIs, there are multiple reasons to use the Linux command line called the Terminal. Through Terminal, you can access many powerful native Linux commands as well as the empowering command-line features of many desktop applications. You can install software to your Debian much more easily through the Command Line, than the graphical installation alternative. You might have seen that many online-help guides will tell you how to resolve a problem through the Command Line. No matter which desktop environment you are using or which version of Linux you are on, the Terminal commands are usually the same.

If you are a true command line-savvy person like me, you might find that the Terminal application is mostly open on your Debian. Even if it’s not, you might find it a hassle to open the Terminal again and again for frequent use. If that’s the case, we would recommend you a drop-down console called Guake. Guake is a top-down terminal for Gnome (in the style of Yakuake for KDE, Tilda or the terminal used in Quake).

In this article, we will describe how to install Guake on your Debian through the command line. We will also describe how to perform some basic functions on Guake through the keyboard. We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 Buster system.

Install Guake through the official Debian Repositories

Guake is luckily available on the official Debian Stable Main repository and can be easily installed through the command line. We will be using the Debian command line, the Terminal, in order to install Guake on our system. You can open the Terminal bu first accessing the Application Launcher search bar by hitting the Super(Windows) key and then searching for Terminal as follows:

Open Debian Terminal .

The next step is to update your system’s repository index through the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update

Update Package lists

Please note that only an authorized user can add, remove and configure software on Debian.

Now, enter the following command as sudo in order to install Guake to your Debian:

$ sudo apt-get install guake

Install Guake

The system might prompt you with a Y/n option to continue installation. Enter Y and then hit enter; Guake will then be installed on your system.

You can check the version number of Guake and also verify that it is indeed installed on your system through the following command:

$ guake --version

Check Guake version

In order to check how you can use Guake through the Terminal, you can get help on it through the following command:

$ guake --help

For a more detailed manpage, you can make use of the following command:

$ man guake

Launch and Use Guake

Guake can be launched both through the UI and the command line. Run the following command in your Terminal to launch the application:

$ guake

Or else, you can enter relevant keywords in the Application Launcher search as follows to get to the Guake Terminal:

Launch Guake

This is how your Guake terminal looks like by default.

Guake Dropdown Terminal Application

Here are some important things you can do after you have launched Guake in your current Debian session:

Show/Hide Guake:

Hit the F12 key in order to show/hide the terminal.

Alternatively, you can use the following commands in order to show and hide the Guake terminal:

$ guake --show
$ guake --hide

Open New tab:

You can open a new tab in Guake by using the following command syntax:

$ guake -n [/path/to/folder]

For example, the following command will open the tab with current location as the current user’s home folder:

$ guake -n /usr/[username]/home

This is the default location where your Terminal opens in Debian.

Quit Guake:

You can quit Gauke through the following command:

$ guake -q

Now, the Guake terminal will, of course, not open through the f12 key.

Open Guake Preferences:

The Guake Preferences UI lets you control the appearance and behavior of your Quake terminal to a great deal. Use the following command in order to view the Guake Preferences:

$ guake -p

Guake preferences

Remove Guake

If you ever want to remove Guake, you can do so through the command line using the following command:

$ sudo apt-get remove guake

In order to remove the tool with all the configurations you might have made, use the following command as sudo:

$ sudo apt-get purge guake

With Guake, you always have a Terminal always available on your Debian desktop, only an F12 key away!

Install and Use Guake – A drop-down Terminal Emulator for Debian 10