How to change terminal theme / behavior?

by Rahul Gandhi   Last Updated August 15, 2015 18:01 PM

Like Excel / .Net / Java can terminal also be a user friendly ?

In current scenario it's single colour window single font and working with merely zero GUI, limited people who are aware about commands and their uses of terminal can work in terminal for others it's just an application

Example which can help user to build more interest in using terminal as more as he can :

  1. Look and feel of Terminal
  2. GUI control
  3. instead of writing more commands pick and drag option auto fill the command option should be there
  4. list of commands which user can write whenever he type anything on terminal any alphabet or any numeric a / b / c / ... / z
  5. brief summary about each command should also comes there for him to understand to get more information on that command
  6. a person should have an option to view the entire help section in new window

As as user who use computer for nearly 16- 18 hours a day and work on all bits and pieces available i work, but I don't know the coding.. like the idea of ask Ubuntu so chalking down my thoughts here... thanks!

Answers 3

CLI Companion is what you might be looking for!

If you just want it to look prettier, then Terminology will give you all the eye candy you want.

March 02, 2014 07:03 AM

Yes and no. Yes: You can install a different terminal emulator. The "terminal" itself is the thing you get when pressing ctrl+alt+shift+Fx (actually not right either, those are virtual terminals). You can get a fancier terminal emulator with - transparency - diverse options - color themes - shortcuts - tabs - etc. Also you can change the font. Yiu can change the shell:The shell in Ubuntu is pretty standard. Get eg. zsh with oh-my-zsh and powerline - Just google, this can look awesome!Thkse shells often give you options like tab-completion, colored output, statusses in the prompt and syntax-highlighting.

No, you can't:The terminal is just a prompt where you can access all installed CLI programs AT ONCE.If one is installed it is automatically sourced.Additionally it can combine commands, ie. "pipe", "filter" etc. and pass output of one program into the input of another.All those tools you use there, ls, cd, etc. are actually programs. Imagine this as a GUI: Imagine, every button, checkbox, etc. is single program.If you install another, another checkbox/button/ w/e will appear.And now do 'ls /usr/bin'. And see how much it is - and it ain't all. All those in a GUI? You need to also handle all the arguments etc. In the end you would come up with a VERY cluttered GUI which is VERY unhandy to use and actually won't help a user - as the way the shell works does not change. This is also the reason it is so powerful - it is an interactive script interpreter, and extensible script language able to call whole programs, no matter in which language. The trick here is to use text. The shall does not get values or objects returned but the "API" is plain text. This is what it makes kinda "slow" but also overly extensible.

You are typing in the terminal? No, you are scripting! A GUI like this would fail like all the programming languages that try to be GUI-only.

Another approach, however, might be successful: Make only mostly used programs into a GUI or make a script-library GUI interface for most-used stuff. Beg the programmers to ALSO create a GUI ;-) But: They won't do (mostly). Also because the shell will almost always work. For a GUI you need graphics.

July 08, 2015 22:55 PM

  1. There are different Terminal emulators (the windows) and different shells (the thing that does the work) and they can be configured or changed. Maybe you'll like the Zsh-shell more than the Bash which is default.

  2. Terminal are made for Text In- and output. i don't think there is a need of a GUI. There are GUI-applications, which can be used as alternative to shell commands

  3. There is possibility for Copy&Paste in Terminal emulators and many shells offer auto-complete with the TAB-key

  4. many shells offer auto-complete with the TAB-key

  5. most commands offer a simple help with command --help. For more information there are manpages: man command

  6. You can open the help section in a different window or look it up on the internet with your browser

I know the shell is hard at the beginning, but there are much more possibilities than with most GUI-applications. If you like to do more with the shell, there are wikis who explain step for step how to use it

Paul Götzinger
Paul Götzinger
August 15, 2015 14:26 PM

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