Yakuake — yet another pop-up terminal

[ Monday, 13 October 2008, Adrianot ]

Meet Yakuake, another pop-up terminal program. Contrary to Tilda (which I have covered recently), the Yakuake is the renowned and appreciated one. It supports many features – like tabs – which serve not only as eye candy.

Why do we need this kind of program?

There are many reasons. One of them might be that we need to use the console on Linux. Some of us do it rarely; others do more things than they would ever do using a GUI. Here comes the possibility to use it in-a-flash; no need to wait a second till a terminal emulator fires up (one second might not be too much, but why not speed things up ?)

Other case might be, that rarely does anybody wish to turn their task bar into a non informative heap of junk…starting one terminal emulator program could raise the blood pressure already – not to mention, that we use several of them at the same time (say, one of them runs the installation program; another one runs connection monitoring – both of them are busy, so we employ another window for other errands). A terminal emulator like Yakuake enables us to use many of them at the same time.

As the program can be found in repositories of most distributions, there won’t be a problem in installing it.

We can choose the 2.8.1 version (supporting KDE3) or 2.9.3 (supporting KDE4) – but there is of course no problem in installing it under the GNOME environment, with Debian-alikes:

sudo apt-get install yakuake

or, with KDE4:

sudo apt-get install yakuake-kde4

Fedora’s case would be yum install yakuake.
Distributions also by default place the installed program into the Applications --> System Tools --> Yakuake menu.

First of all, when launched, we will be informed that to show/hide Yakuake we need to press F12, and depending on the version installed we will see one of the above (left side: 2.8.1, right side: 2.9.3). Now every time we press F12, the Yakuake window will pop-up, where we can make use of our console, and the subsequent pressing of this key will hide it. This feature is really handy, tough nothing innovative (Other programs like this behave similarly) – nevertheless, the tabs (sessions) are worth mentioning.

To create a new tab, we click the plus sign on the lower-left corner, and to close the current tab, we click the minus sign on the lower-right corner, or a cross sign of the Yakuake main window title bar, selecting “Close session” subsequently. The tabs are handy, because we don’t need to dump our task bar or the workspace with new windows, to make use of a few at the same time. I personally use this feature to ping some hosts on one window, and manage something else on another one.

Version 2.9.3 has the feature of setting the way the tabs are enumerated – find it under the “Tabs” tab on the menu.

Other handy feature is that we don’t need to set the Yakuake’s window size when the resolution changes. The program does it by itself. This is not just an ordinary improvement, but comes in handy when some full-screen application (like a game) crashes and leaves us with a smaller resolution – we cannot then use the System --> Preferences menu, because we won’t see the whole tool bar – but we still can use the console.

The menu bar in both versions, featuring practically the same functions, looks substantially different. Using 2.8.1 (and older) versions, if we press the right mouse button on our Yakuake window, we can select the “Settings” menu. The 2.9.3 version (And all newer ones supposedly), after pressing the RMB, we need to select “Edit current profile,” where we see a menu similar to the one that Tilda has – a separate tabbed menu [[window]?].

The Menu allows us to set the look and feel. In 2.8.1 : Settings--->Schema, in 2.9.3 this option resides in the Appearance tab. Aside from the look-and-feel we can change the text size (either by selecting Settings --> Font --> Shrink/Enlarge Font or using a slider in the Appearance tab).

Another option worth knowing is the number of lines of history saved (we can review them with a scroll bar, which can be set to appear on the left side, on the right, or not at all). This number is 1000 by default, but I recommend you to set this 10 times bigger if you use console extensively.

There are also the options to configure the character encoding, the keyboard, and others. They are sufficient enough, tough there are many I couldn’t find (or just didn’t notice) – like the transparency or option to change the window size to own taste. Most of the ones we need are there anyway (less the transparency).

The Bottom Bar

The last “feature” I wish to present is the bottom bar.

The first button located there (the cross sign) allows us to close the program (it is maybe obvious – but I’ve had some troubles finding it out, that Tilda can be closed with Alt+F4 shortcut), the second button from the right allows us to set some more options – key combinations, the size-to-resolution ratio, set the theme and others too.

The third button (“Stay open when focus moved”) allows us whether we want Yakuake to hide when we switch to another window.

The last action to perform is to make the program start when the system is started. In GNOME, we need to go to System --> Preferences --> Sessions menu and in the Startup programs tab, we click Add, after that we enter some meaningful name (Guess it’s best to put Yakuake there) and the path (obtained with whereis yakuake in a console) /usr/bin/yakuake with 2.8.1 version, or /usr/lib/kde4/bin/yakuake with 2.9.3, or just yakuake.

Now after logging on to our Linux desktop, we will get a message on the upper-left corner, that Yakuake is ready to use after pressing F12.

P.S. FYI: If Yakuake is not the active window, but is visible (the “Stay Open When Focus Moved” option is enabled). We only need to press F12 to make it to focus again – this will not cause it to fold, but to receive focus instead. So if we wish to fold it away whenever it is not focused to – we press F12 two times (focusing on it first time, folding away the second time).

The keystroke shortcuts

Below is a list of handy shortcuts to make Yakuake even more handy to use (thanks luk):

  • Shift+Alt+arrows — changes the window size
  • Ctrl+Shift+N — creates a new tab
  • Shift+ (left,right) — navigates the tabs
  • Ctrl+Shift+(left,right) — change tab order
  • Ctrl+Shift+F — full screen
  • Ctrl+Alt+S — rename current tab
  • Shift+LMB — mark and copy
  • Ctrl+Shift+L — split window vertically
  • Ctrl+Shit+T — split window horizontally

Translated-by : el_es, Proof-rad by Nazar Rusli

About the Author


I'm a young man, a student. At home I'm using Ubuntu Linux and I'm trying to help Linux newbies on my blog. You can check out some of my tutorials at UbuntuTw (more...)

New AdTaily ads!

Are you a film buff?

film buffs community, movie recommendations and reviews

RSS: Comments

You can follow the comments to this article through a special channel RSS 2.0 .

Related articles: CLI

 more »

PolishLinux Top Content

Become our fan on Facebook!

PolishLinux.org on Facebook

Follow PolishLinux on Twitter!

Follow polishlinux on Twitter

Google Ads