Terminator: Nice tool – huge potential

I’m quite pleased and impressed with Terminator, a tool to allow splitting a single window into multiple terminal windows.

I’m pleased with the existence of Terminator for a few reasons, the first of which is that it almost fits the bill of something I’ve been looking for for a while. In my day-to-day work I often find myself having to monitor a system by tailing a few log files at once. The way I’ve achieved this so far was by writing a script to open up multiple GNOME Terminal windows, each tailing a different log file, and position them around the desktop using the “–geometry” parameter, however, the whole construct, being built out of several unrelated windows is difficult to move around the desktop, minimize, and takes way too much space in the task bar.

Another reason for me to be pleased with Terminator is the fact that it is implemented with Python, this gives me the hope that while currently Terminator lacks a few features I need in order to use if for my purpose, I may be able to add those features in a timely manner.

What are the features that, in my opinion, Terminator lacks you ask? the mandatory features without which I cannot accomplish my goals are as follows:

  1. Have a set of command-line switches to allow for Terminator to be invoked from scripts with a predefined geometry and set of frames.
  2. Have a command line switch similar to GNOME Terminal’s “-e” switch but extended to allow specifying a command to execute in each of the opened frames.

The following features, while not mandatory for my goals, would be nice to have and can make my life easier:

  1. Have Terminator support GNOME Terminal’s profiles as well as the “–window-with-profile” command-line option, this can be used in place of the”-e” option I mentioned above, and will actually resemble more closely they way my scripts currently work.
  2. Have some kind of Terminator profiles which include information about the way the window is split and what is to be placed inside each split portion (A “regular” terminal? A certain command? A GNOME Terminal profile? Another Terminator profile?).
  3. Have Terminator support tabs, in my view one can have Terminator present multiple tabs, each of which may show a differently split set of terminals, this kind of feature would rock, allowing me to monitor multiple systems with considerably less desktop clutter.
  4. Configurable key bindings, or at the very least make them similar to the windows splitting key bindings of Vim, Emacs or most suitably IMHO screen.

One thought on “Terminator: Nice tool – huge potential

  1. For your non-mandatory goals… 3 and 4 are done, 1 should work (-p lets you choose a GNOME Terminal profile).

    2 is going to happen, but there is no fixed timeframe.

    For your mandatory goals… 1 is partially done in that we support –geometry for the Terminator window.
    2 is unlikely to appear, I’d prefer that to be part of the profile/layout saving stuff.

    Thanks for your comments!

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