Guake is a drop-down terminal emulator for Gnome Desktop Environment, written mostly in Python (PyGTK) and released under GPLv2+ License. The designing of Guake was inspired by a console in computer game Quake which slides down from the top of the screen, when some predefined keys were pressed.


Guake carries the legacy of similar application Yakuake and Tilda, into single GTK-based application, the best of both worlds. This has been written from scratch and usages virtual console. It was initially released in the year 2008. The current stable release is 0.8.5.

Why Guake?

There are several features of Guake that makes it stand different from other terminal emulator in ease, use, feel and customization. Also, for those who keep switching between other GUI application and some terminal emulator Guake will prove to be a handy tool, that is already loaded in memory and can be invoked and revoked with some keys. This not only increases efficiency for a Linuxer by reducing the number of open applications, but also helps you keep Desktop clean.

Features of Guake

  1. Simple and easy – If you have worked on some Terminal emulator earlier, you will find it way easier to handle and manage Guake Terminal Emulator.
  2. Elegant – Guake smoothly integrates with Gnome in such a way that it feels like a native application for Gnome. With compiz, transparency and animation can be configured as per preferences.
  3. Multimonitor – Guake supports multi monitor feature which means a terminal can be open where the focus/mouse is as well as on a dedicated screen.
  4. Support for shortcuts/Hotkeys – It is designed to work lightning fast. Thanks to support for shortcuts/Hotkeys. Add on, hotkeys can be customized as per user needs.
  5. Multi Tabs – Run several tabs simultaneously and switch between them using custom shortcuts. The tabs get name automatically from the running command and can be customized further.
  6. Quick Open – Further adding to your efficiency, Guake makes it possible to open a file for editing directly from the command-line in your favorite editor. If your editor supports, you can scroll to the very specific line and column.
  7. Autoconfigure – Start Guake at login and define configuration for Tabs with the script.
  8. Plenty of Color Palettes – 130+ color palettes are provided by Guake. You may like to visualize them before selecting one.
  9. Lightweight
  10. Save terminal content to file
  11. Open URL into your browser
  12. Extremely Configurable


Guake is available in the repo of most of the standard Linux distributions. To install Guake, all you need to do is to ask your package manager to install it.

Install Guake in RedHat 7/6 and CentOS 7/6

Install Guake on Fedora 19 and above

Install Guake in Debian/Ubuntu/Mint

Download and Install Guake from source

Configure Guake

Guake can be configured in GUI from Guake Preference, which can be found in installed applications.


Under the Hood General

  1. Enable Flash terminal on the bell, Play system alert sound on bell, Increase Main Window Height and set Prompt on close tab to Always.
  2. 2

    Under the Hood Appearance

  3. I changed Built-in schemes from Tango to Homebrew. You may set as per your preference. Also, you may see the demo just below Color palette.
  4. 3

    Under the Hood Quick Open

  5. I enabled quick Open when Ctrl+clicking and Quick open in the current terminal.
  6. 4

    Under the Hood keyboard shortcuts

  7. I preferred going with the defaults. You may change it as per your preference.


If you happen to mess up with the settings, you may reset it at Compatibility > Reset Compatibility Options to Defaults


Launch Guake from system menu/installed apps. On successful launch, you would see a notification from GNOME (if enabled), as


  1. Show/Hide Guake. Press F12 (may be you need to press it with Fn key for now and the rest of the tutorial to follow).
  2. screenshot-from-2016-09-22-06-55-02

  3. Show/Hide Full screen. Press F11.
  4. screenshot-from-2016-09-22-06-57-25

  5. To Quit terminal press Ctrl+Shift+Q
  6. screenshot-from-2016-09-22-07-02-12

  7. To open a new tab, press Ctrl+Shift+T
  8. Goto next tab – Ctrl+Page Down
  9. Goto Previous tab – Ctrl+Page Up


I have been using Guake since a very long time. It has increased my productivity to a larger extent. I don’t need to leave my keyboard to use the terminal (which I do very often). The project is very handy for developers and system admin as it reduced the overall execution time. Installation and using is pretty straight forward. One demerit that I can think of is the unavailability of saving session feature (still in the pipe). But yeah, this is just version 0.8.5, lets see what the future beholds.

That’s all for now. If you liked the post share it. Do let us know your feedback in the comments below. Stay tuned to JoinTux.


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