Installing Terminator on Ubuntu

Terminator is a very powerful terminal alternative.  Terminator is available on several different Linux platforms.  Terminator allows you to have multiple terminal sessions in the same terminal window.  You can also group these terminal sessions, and broadcast your commands to each session simultaneously. 

Let’s walk through a quick through of the installation on ubuntu

Add the ppa repository to your system:

Next, do a ‘sudo apt-get update’ and you’ll be ready to install terminator.

Install Terminator:

sudo apt-get install terminator

The first thing I do with a new Terminator install is to turn on infinite scrollback.  This is an awesome feature that I’m not sure everyone uses, because it is not enabled by default.  

Right click anywhere within Terminator and navigate to:  Preferences > Profiles > Scrolling

Click on the checkbox for infinite scrollback

After you have that checked, as long as you are working in that terminator session, you can endlessly scroll back to see the output of your commands, or to read some ridiculously long log file output.  

Split screens:

This is where Terminator starts to differentiate itself from a regular terminal.  You can easily split screens horizontally, vertically, rearrange them and open new tabs.  Here are a few of my favorite screen splitting short cuts:

Ctrl + Shift + e – split the terminal Vertically

Ctrl + Shift + o – split the terminal Horizontally

Ctrl + Shift + t – opens a new tab in the same terminal

Ctrl + Shift + i – opens a new terminator session

Grouping and Broadcasting:

Once you have your terminator split up into several different session, Terminator’s most powerful feature can be utilized.

You can broadcast your commands to each Terminator terminal session, typing your commands once to control all of these sessions.  You could use this to run the same command on multiple systems at the same time, without needing to copy paste into each terminal, or worrying about doing one system slightly differently than another.

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