Wednesday, January 30, 2013

[HOW TO] Use Xfce4 Terminal as a Quake-like console

Since version 0.6, Xfce4 Terminal provides a option to use it as a drop-down console, just like Guake and Tilda.


Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x is installed when Xfce is upgraded to 4.12. So if you're running Xubuntu 12.10, all you need is add the Xfce 4.12 PPA. Xubuntu 12.04 users have to add Xfce 4.10 first and only then add the Xfce 4.12 PPA. But do not worry, installation is as simple as navigating to this page and coping and pasting the command written on the Install section on a terminal window. The command will add Xfce 4.10 PPA if you're running Xubuntu 12.04 and will upgrade Xfce and its related programs (Xfce4 Terminal, Thunar, etc).


Xfce4 Terminal drop-down feature is available as a command line option: xfce4-terminal --drop-down.

You can assign a keyboard shortcut for summoning the terminal (Settings Manager > Keyboard > Application Keyboard Shortcuts). The command bellow will add F4 as the key to summon the terminal; you can edit it to use any other key.

xfconf-query -c xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts -p /commands/custom/F4 -n -t string -s "xfce4-terminal --drop-down"

Once running, the terminal can also be summoned using the icon on the panel. Right-clicking this icon gives access the drop-down preferences where settings can be adjusted:


How To Use Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x As A Drop-Down Console (Guake-style) | Web Upd8


  1. Thanks for posting this Wilson. Have you encountered any issues with this? Oddly, now when I hit the key combo to open the dropdown terminal it keeps opening new instances, so I end up with multiple terminal icons in my notification bar. Any ideas? I have scoured the mailing list, but I seem to be the only person encountering this issue.

    1. That happens to me if I hit the key while the desktop is still loading. If behaves properly otherwise.

  2. is it possible to use the same shortcut to hide it?

    1. F4 shows the terminal. Hit F4 again to hide it.

    2. I bound the shortcut to F12. When I hit F12 a second time, the window border goes away but not the window. Any ideas? I am using Ubuntu 14.04 (standard Unity interface).