What's your favorite Linux terminal emulator?

What's your favorite Linux terminal emulator?

Help us pick the best Linux terminal emulator by completing our poll.

computer screen
Image by : 

Subscribe now

Get the highlights in your inbox every week.

Which terminal emulator do you prefer?

Sysadmins are among the heaviest users of terminal emulators, software programs that emulate a hardware terminal such as the VT100. But everyone who uses Linux regularly probably knows their way around a term application.

Most terminal emulators are graphical programs that run on any Linux graphical desktop environment, like KDE, Cinnamon, LXDE, GNOME, and others, and can emulate several different types of hardware terminals.

There are many terminal emulators available for Linux. The first one, Xterm, was developed in 1984 by Thomas Dickey. Xterm is still maintained and packaged as part of many modern Linux distributions. Other popular terminal emulators include Konsole, Tilix, RXVT, GNOME terminal, Terminator, Xfce4-terminal, and LXTerminal; each has interesting features that appeal to specific groups of users. For example, some can open multiple tabs or terminals in a single window. Others have just the minimum set of features required and are typically used when small size and efficiency are called for.

I use three terminal emulators consistently, switching between them depending on the features I need—or sometimes just because they are there. Sometimes I just want a change.

I scoured the internet and easily discovered more than 40 terminal emulators that cover the Linux, Windows, and Mac environments. I even found one list claiming the 36 best terminal emulators. I am sure that there are more out there, and some of the ones I found are obsolete or have very limited usage.

With so many to choose from, I started wondering about Opensource.com readers’ favorite terminal emulators. I pared down the list by eliminating ones that were unsupported or obsolete. I haven’t used the vast majority of them, but I will probably try some now that I know they exist.

What is your favorite terminal emulator? Let us know in the poll above. And please leave a comment letting us know why you prefer the one you chose—or if your favorite isn’t listed, choose “Other” and let us know about it in the comment section. 

About the author

David Both - David Both is an Open Source Software and GNU/Linux advocate, trainer, writer, and speaker who lives in Raleigh North Carolina. He is a strong proponent of and evangelist for the "Linux Philosophy." David has been in the IT industry for nearly 50 years. He has taught RHCE classes for Red Hat and has worked at MCI Worldcom, Cisco, and the State of North Carolina. He has been working with Linux and Open Source Software for over 20 years. David prefers to purchase the components and build his...