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Panta rhei and Gnome Terminal is under design!

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This is the Gnome Terminal in Gnome 1.x. Thirteen years later things remain the same, at least at first sight. How a Gnome Terminal could be in the short future?

Menu bar is removed and probably goes in Application Menu or in a Gear Menu (that button on top left?). On the left sidebar we can see two sessions for one tab, which is very nice to have.

Gnome Terminal in full screen.Much better than is current state (F11). However Drop Down Terminal does it better.  Of course these mockups are unlikely to happen, but the desire for a change is here.



  • Fast & easy to use Terminal
  • Interaction with other Apps and the Gnome Desktop


  • easy to modify with addons etc.

Objectives and goals are not yet defined  but addons in Gnome Terminal? Wow!


This is the Pantheon Terminal of Elementary OS and the similarities with the previous mockups are obvious.  How does a Terminal without Menus feels? Much better!

JeromeBarnett says:

Because the terminal, extensive use of it anyways, is the realm of power users, I think that we should streamline/beautify as much as possible without neglecting the NEED for power features to allow more productive use of this application.

Essentially I’d like to see the basic features from Terminator done with GTK+3 and some GNOME flair

  • Split panes to view multiple terminal sessions at once
    • Maybe with arbitrary maximum # of splits to keep things sane (i.e. 2 columns of 4 rows of terminals)
  • Currently selected pane/terminal would be highlighted in some way
  • App menu would have options for:
    • New tab
    • Split horizontally
    • Split vertically
    • Close (selected)
    • Preferences
    • Quit
  • Option to show titlebar on top of each split terminal or only the top titlebar reflecting the selected terminal

You can read all the discussion in Gnome Live!

Terminal in Gnome Live! 

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  • Michael Mistretta

    Pantheon Terminal looks much sleeker than that mock up. However I’ve tried Pantheon Terminal and found it rather incomplete at this time.. I think tabs + gear icon + appmenu would make a complete terminal application.

    Not a huge fan of the Gnome mock up.. those vertical tabs are just down right awkward..

    • alex285

      I think these on the left side bar aren’t tabs, but a double session inside one tab. That is my guess.

      • Michael Mistretta

        The mock up really diverges from the design concepts put forth in the new Nautilus/Epiphany.

        Pantheon Terminal seems to be on the right track but I believe it lacks an AppMenu (I’d have to check) and a gear icon. I like the stream lined design approach that they are trying to take core Gnome applications to.. but the current mock up.. I have to say “No”.

  • foobar

    Gnome Terminals Menu is optional by the way. I personally wouldn’t mind to have it unchanged expect no chrome on full screen.

    • Michael Mistretta

      The Gnome Terminal menu is optional however it does not appear to save after you close your session. I would personally move the current menu to the AppMenu, add a gear icon for additional options/features and tabs..

      • Brandon Watkins

        It does save if you go to profile preferences and uncheck “show menubar by default for new terminals”…

        • Michael Mistretta

          Ah, awesome I did not know that. Thank you!

  • Marcos V.F.

    the “tools button” needs to stay on the right side, as the Epiphany, Nautilus, and other software designed for Gnome. Leave the tools button on the left would be a crime in terms of design.

    • Gnuku Son

      I think the opposite. They should do the gear button that way for epiphany etc…, such that when you maximize the window you only have the possibility to go to the global menu for all the options, like on the 3rd picture here. All the options should always be at only one place. I have so much trouble every time to guess where the options are.

      • Michael Mistretta

        Menu Bar (File, Edit, View, Help, Quit) should go to AppMenu.. everything else should go to the Gear Menu.. stuff like New Tab, Preferences, ect.. I am excited for the stream lined approach to these applications the Gnome team is taking and I would like to see a *consistent* UI.. so really none of these mock ups cut it except Pantheon which is a step in the right direction.

        I also agree with the full screen mode, it should work the same as Nautilus and Epiphany.. however I see no clear way to Minimize in when Maximized.. that SHOULD be placed in the AppMenu at least because right now it’s a bit confusing.. also dragging the top panel to pull the window out of Maximize is also rather confusing.. I think it can be done better.

        • Marcos V.F.

          I think the gear button not need be redundant with the same options AppMenu. The AppMenu is the right way to go because it works well for all sizes of monitors.

          I just think using the tabs vertically is not a good way forward. Difficult to read the tabs. The Pantheon-Terminal is a great reference, including feature: copy and paste with the keyboard actually works in the pantheon-terminal, and this should be increased in gnome terminal too. I think if they did something like the pantheon-terminal, but with the button to add new tab on the right, would be perfect.

          And I got used to not using maximize / minimize. Lately I’m using the extension Maximus and think everything is ok. However, if these options become available in AppMenu be an excellent way to go, no doubt.

          I’m hoping the best for the Gnome team, since they are really creating something new every day but, despite various criticisms, I am adapting very well.


  • Brandon Watkins

    Vertical tabs are the single worse UI design every created, If gnome terminal ever looked like those first mockups I’d immediately uninstall it.

    • foobar

      Don’t worry. The wiki is pretty much a whishlist written by random users. Same goes for the design proposal.

  • Eduard Gotwig

    wow my ideas make a good discussion :D^^ I wrote the mockup guy to do the mockup :-)

  • Jon McCann

    Alex has great enthusiasm for GNOME design. Which is great. However, often posts here jump the gun. The mockups posted to the wiki page were not done in cooperation with the GNOME design team or the GNOME Terminal maintainer. We hope to continue to discuss the proposals posted there, once we have gotten GNOME 3.6 out the door. I have asked the author to move the mockups from that wiki page to a proposals subpage.

    We hope to have more to announce next cycle.

    Stay tuned. :)

    • alex285

      Hello McCann,
      I know that these mockups aren’t by UX Team (and I am saying its unlikely to happen) but there are on Terminal Design Page. I didn’t know that anyone could post there without a previous discussion with UX in IRC or something. Sorry :)