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

Although Ubuntu 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 Ubuntu much more easier 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 Ubuntu. 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 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 Ubuntu 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 Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

Install Guake from the official Ubuntu Repositories

Guake is luckily available on the official Ubuntu Bionic Universe and can be easily installed through the command line. We will be using the Ubuntu command line, the Terminal, in order to install Guake on our system. You can open the Terminal either through the Application Launcher search bar or through the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut.

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

$ sudo apt-get update

Update package list

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

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

$ sudo apt-get install guake

Install guake with apt command

The system might prompt you with a Y/n option to continue the 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

How to 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:

Guake Icon

This is how your Guake terminal looks like by default.

Guake Dropdown Terminal

Here are some important things you can do after you have launched Guake in your current Ubuntu 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
$ quake --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 the current location as the current user’s home folder:

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

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

Quit Guake

You can quite Gauke through the following command:

$ guake -q

Now, the Guake terminal will, of course, not show/hide 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/purge 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 available on your Ubuntu desktop, only an F12 key away!