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multi-gnome-terminal is back to life.

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Submitted by msameer on Mon, 18/02/2008 - 11:46am

OK. This is the beauty of FOSS. The project has been dead upstream for a while now. It survived until it was removed from lenny.

Now me and 2 other users decided to adapt it. port it or rewrite it in gtk2.

We are having a discussion about the whole situation.

To anyone still using multi-gnome-terminal: Please share with us the features you were actually using. These are the ones more likely to be implemented and no new features will probably be added, maybe help us coding and/or testing or participate in the discussions.


Submitted by i5513 (not verified) on Mon, 18/02/2008 - 1:08pm

Did you try "terminator" ?

Is there any feature for using multi-gnome-terminal.

I would like gnome-terminal had screen features by default ( including vertical split )

Thank you

Submitted by msameer on Mon, 18/02/2008 - 3:29pm

Terminator only implements vertical and horizontal splitting. I don't use it.

Gnome terminal is slow. It won't color the tabs for you to notice the terminal state (Changed/Changing).

Submitted by anzan (not verified) on Mon, 18/02/2008 - 3:26pm

Thank you for your work on this.

I could do without the animation for the tooltips and a smaller font size on the menu.

If transparency were on option, that would be nice.

Submitted by msameer on Mon, 18/02/2008 - 3:42pm

What animated tooltips ? You'd rather post your opinion to the list if possible. It can get lost here ;-)

Submitted by Blip (not verified) on Mon, 18/02/2008 - 6:14pm

The shadow under characters when using transparent background.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/02/2008 - 6:38pm

msameer: if you find gnome-terminal slow, disable font anti-aliasing. That's the only thing that is slow with it. It has been proven that it is, in fact, faster than rxvt and xterm.
Note that screen features are on the gnome-terminal todo list, and tab colors could be implemented quite easily.

Submitted by msameer on Mon, 18/02/2008 - 7:16pm

VTE Vs. ZVT again. VTE is slower. Maybe I can try without anti-aliasing. How can it be done ? I thought that GDK_USE_XFT is not there anymore ? ;-)

Submitted by Tony P. (not verified) on Thu, 21/02/2008 - 3:14pm

I have been using MGT forever on Gentoo X64. I haven't found a term that competes. As far as features I would like to see:

1. GNU Screen incorporation where you can detach and
reattach any session on a menu. I don't like in Konsole
and Gnome Terminal that when you detach a session or tab,
it moves it to a new window.

2. To use transparency you have ot disable Compositing in
xorg.conf. It took me forever to figure that one out.

I am not an experienced programmer unfortunately but I have been meaning to look at the code and see if I can decipher it. I would be willing to help test the application.


Submitted by Darren Shu (not verified) on Sun, 24/02/2008 - 4:37pm

I use the changing colored tabs and hot keys for the tabs.

What is useful is to have a tail on a log file in one window and the other window has some a test script. When the color changes, I know that something was added to the log file and I can switch to the tab by hitting ctrl+[tab#]

Submitted by PS (not verified) on Mon, 03/03/2008 - 11:51am

spell checking is the most desirable feature I want to see in terminal. Single place for spell checking to all text program - email, editors, irc clients, etc.
Terminal should underline misspelled words in the same way as finding URL on mouse over.
Of course no correction is possible/required. Line should be red and thin (may be waved). And it must be way to disable this feature from menu.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/03/2008 - 2:49pm

I used to love mgt. But once gnome-terminal got tabs, the fact that it's installed by default was enough to win me over. I still install mgt, but rarely run it. Features which I used were:
- By far, tabs.
- Also, the ability to reorganise tabs right and left.
- When moving between tabs (eg Shift-Left and Shift-Right), its ability to wrap around from tab 1 to (say) Tab 12.
- And the ability to customised key bindings.
- And the ability to hide the menu-bar/button-bar.
- The default behaviour of colourising the tab red when the output was actively changing and blue when it had changed was good and useful. Conveys additional information without taking more screen real estate.
- I don't actually like the position of the "X" for closing tab on gnome-terminal (that's what Ctrl-D is for).
- mgt's fonts was also good as it allowed me to cramp lots of text into the window. For some reason, modern fonts are hard to read at small point sizes.
- The ability to bond terminal was occasionally used. For example, when I'm logged onto multiple machines (eg serial consoles) and wanted type the same command into 20 machines.

If I had to complain about mgt:
- If there're a lot of tabs, I want the tabs to shrink in size rather than displaying the arrows. But this isn't a big issue.
- gnome-terminal has a full screen mode which is cool.
- If you could make it faster and use less memory, then yay. But then it might be kinda hard if people use all those features...
- Oh yeah (also a failing of gnome-terminal). There're still occasions when I fire up xterm because the emulation of mgt of VT100s isn't quite right.

Now that I think about it, mgt still beats gnome-terminal in every practical way... I'm going to start using it again (maybe it'll annoy me and I'll have more useful feedback). Sure, it looks kinda crappy, but hey I'm using a bloody terminal... :-)

Cheers and have fun improving mgt

Submitted by Flavio Visentin (not verified) on Sun, 16/03/2008 - 12:31pm

Thanks God!!!
I love MGT and I cannot work without it. Now that it's no more installable in Lenny I feel lost.
I tried to find someone interested in carrying on the development, but noone seemed interested 'til now.

The main features I use of MGT that are not available on other terminal are:
1) Vertical and Horizontal splitting
2) Bonding terminals (all or only some)
3) tabs changing colour on output (red when scrolling and blue when finished)
4) toolbar for opening new terminals

I cannot help with the development (I'm a sysadmin), but I can help with testing, maybe packaging and with few money if needed.

Submitted by Jim (not verified) on Tue, 18/03/2008 - 6:34am

My primary complaint about gnome-terminal and many other terminal emulators is their failure to allow me to use the Alt-b and Alt-f keys for moving backward and forward a word at a time. Almost all shells allow this behavior, yet most terminal emulators intercept these keys for menu drop-downs.

Multi-gnome-terminal, however, behaves as it should!, which is one of the reasons I use it. Here are the other features I use in multi-gnome-terminal, and I'll recap what I've just stated as a list item as well:

  • Thankfully it does not intercept any of the following keys, which I use in my shells (tcsh and bash) all the time:
    • Alt-b
    • Alt-f
    • Ctrl-k
    • Ctrl-a
    • Ctrl-e
    • Ctrl-b
    • Ctrl-f
    • Ctrl-u
  • Until the last Debian upgrade, I used the transparent background.
  • I display the tabs associated with each terminal I have open.
  • I label each tab I have open.
  • I only use one terminal window, but I will have several tabs open in it at once.
  • I have dozens of aliases set to easily allow me to log in to other machines -- the aliases will create and label a new tab, and inside the new tab I'll ssh into the remote machine, eg:
    • tcsh: alias aurora 'multi-gnome-terminal --use-factory -T -c "ssh jsl@aurora" -n aurora'
    • bash: alias aurora='multi-gnome-terminal --use-factory -T -c "ssh jsl@aurora" -n aurora'
  • I go back and forth between each tab using Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, etc.
  • I use the "scrollback lines" feature (tab buffer size), and I usually set it fairly high, like 4096 lines.
  • I keep the scrollbar on the right.
  • I hide the toolbar.
  • I love the "terminal is changing" and "terminal changed" colors -- they convey a lot of information when I'm bouncing back and forth between tabs.
  • I have never used the horizontal/vertical split features.

That's the bulk of it...

Submitted by Nate G (not verified) on Wed, 19/03/2008 - 10:04pm

To me,
MGT's selectable tab bonding is it's most useful feature.
No other terminal emulator seems to have this feature.

Also, scripts like this, also make MGT invaluable.

for SYSTEM in `cat /home/$USERNAME/SystemList/$1`
multi-gnome-terminal --add-tab --tname=$SYSTEM --tcommand="ssh $USERNAME@$SYSTEM

I use it to launch hundreds of terminals at once, bond the tabs together and the result is what I type goes to each system.

Submitted by riccardo (not verified) on Thu, 08/05/2008 - 2:39pm

i'm very interesting about it. I have many cisco router and i want to log-in in ssh session automatically with multi-gnome-terminal and a list of server address. Is it possible ? i'm not very able with script

Submitted by Dieter_be (not verified) on Fri, 11/04/2008 - 10:43pm

Totally agreed with Nate G : input bonding rocks for administering many servers. Adding tabs at runtime by using for loops etc is - obviously - a must :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 13/04/2008 - 4:47pm

just wanted to encourage you to continue.... mgt makes me keep a custom overlay just for the gtk1 stuff so I can continue to run it. I'd love to help with testing once something is released.

The features I use the most are:
horizontal splits
tab renaming
tab colour changing on terminal state (not sure the real name for this)

Submitted by Ahmed Faissl (not verified) on Sun, 13/04/2008 - 11:14pm

Hi Sameer.. I remember some of our IRQ chatting when I asked you about ArabbRuneberginkatu 17ix, and you told me it's just died.. and another dialog in the EGLug when somebody asked you about the 5th Linux instfest and you told him it's just canceled..
My point is: If the cancellation of of the 5th instfest seems just impossible -because ANY other instfest will be the 5th..!!- then the assumption of the death of any project in the FOSS is also impossible.. because any one may take the code and just fix it and work on it..
In the FOSS.. dead projs can be resurrected.. just as you said..!
so, we can look once more of what we thought it is dead, and try to resurrect it, without reinventing the wheel of course..!
see you soon..

by the way.. this ASCII verification thing is pretty pretty hard to read and pass.. I've submitted the comment 10 times and I think I've entered it correctly -case matched- in 5 of them at least..

Submitted by Ahmed Faissl (not verified) on Tue, 15/04/2008 - 5:37pm

and I just remembered this quote from The cathedral and the bazaar:
5. When you lose interest in a program, your last duty to it is to hand it off to a competent successor. (Eric S. Raymond)

Submitted by Piotr Romanus (not verified) on Fri, 18/04/2008 - 2:35pm

I have been using MGT for quite a few years. I like it very much and almost never use gnome-terminal. The most useful features:
- vertical/horizontal splits
- tab text color change on output
- custom key bindings

I would be willing to help but don't have any experience with GTK (doing embeded programming). If nothing else I can certainly help with testing.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/04/2008 - 6:14pm

Yes! More than happy to see someone busy with this. I have been depending on MGT for years and just yesterday was struggling to switch to konsole, and grumpy about it.

I love:
* tabs on the left/right, rather than just gnome-terminal's and konsole's top/bottom
* the colorisation everyone else has mentioned

I hate:
* the gtk1 fonts (this has been what prompted me to look beyond mgt)

Thanks for your work. Will be watching with much interest.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 20/04/2008 - 9:55am

vertical/horizontal splits are absolutely brilliant. please keep it.

Submitted by Mark Garcia (not verified) on Sun, 20/04/2008 - 8:02pm

There is alot of mention regarding the horizontal/vertical splits. I wanted to emphasize MGT's ability to:

  • resize the panes within the window
  • split exisiting panes

I also found that MGT failed to compile after moving to openSuSE 10.2 from SuSE 9.3 due to several historical dependency changes over releases, which I've tried to work around, but didn't have the time to root every 'new' compile issue that came up.


Submitted by Miguel González... (not verified) on Wed, 30/04/2008 - 12:34pm

The thing I miss most compared to gnome-terminal is terminal change notification.

Submitted by Hugues Magnan (not verified) on Fri, 02/05/2008 - 9:02pm

First of all, thank a lot for trying to revive the best terminal emulator ever. There is a lot of cool features that i can't find in any other terminal emulator that MGT used to have.

1 - Vertical tabs. I like tabs, lot of them. Sometimes i am connected to up to 80+ servers and the horizontal tabs in other terminal emulators don't cut it. You either get a scroll bar or the tabs are shrunk and the tiles disapears. With vertical tabs you can see the full terminal titles and it makes the navigation much easier for me. The only thing that the original MGT missed regarding vertical tabs was the ability to reduce the tab area when your terminal titles get too long but at least you had vertical tabs.

2 - Custom key bindings. Customization is always good. This includes keys to move between tabs and to move the tabs themselves.

3 - Colored tabs when a terminal has been updated.

4 - Terminal bounding. When working on several identical machines this is a must have.

MGT was great and i forgot a lot of his features but those are the things i can't seem to replicate in any other emulator.

Submitted by beza1e1 (not verified) on Mon, 19/05/2008 - 1:41pm

I made my own.

Submitted by carmen25lips (not verified) on Fri, 30/05/2008 - 4:07pm

For some reason, the cut and paste doesn't work all the time with some linux applications. It works fine with Konsole but doesn't work with EditPlus using wine.

Anyone has a workaround for this?

Submitted by Eyck (not verified) on Fri, 13/06/2008 - 9:49am

The most usefull feature is ability to save and restore tabs.

Submitted by Jopa (not verified) on Sun, 22/06/2008 - 2:28pm

I love MGT and use it very intensively. Features that are important to me:

  • The default font is very small and very readable. I get 52 lines on 800px minus WM overhead. Try that with any competitor.
  • Tabs. It's just so perfectly done. Shift-arrows to switch (wrapping around!), Ctrl-Shift-arrows to move them around, custom shortcuts to create new tabs with different settings/commands.
  • Splitting. It's very handy to compare stuff on different machines.
  • Keyboard shortcuts. I never use any of the toolbars/menubars (just the tabs), to me they're a waste of screen estate. I get away with this thanks to the great keyboard support.

As long as I don't have any time to help you guys or work on a MGT package myself, I keep holding any Debian upgrades that dare to try and remove MGT from any of my systems.
Thanks ahead for any work on MGT or a decent successor.

Submitted by Dan (not verified) on Tue, 24/06/2008 - 6:17pm

I *love* multi-gnome-terminal and cant live without it. I really hope you guys resurrect this!! The feature that's absolutely essential to me is the side-tabs. No other term seems to have them, and with one tab for each of my 25-30 servers its really easy to have them listed down the side. If I try to put them on top its alot more cumbersome to use. Thats by far the most important feature. I saw others mentioned it as well, but I figured i'd give my $.02 as well.

Other neat things are the split windows functions, and the "bind to all" which allows you to send one command to all the term windows. Obviously its dangerous, but the few times ive needed it it was *very* handy.

Submitted by Jacob Angel (not verified) on Thu, 17/07/2008 - 10:29am

Like the others above, I use the side-tabs all the time and the input bonding is also important. Thanks for keeping MGT alive.

Submitted by Benny (not verified) on Tue, 19/08/2008 - 2:01pm

Yes, Need input bonding in gnome. None of the other terminals that I have used in gnome do this. Why not???

Submitted by Anthony Pelaez (not verified) on Sat, 23/08/2008 - 6:01am

I see that there are alot of features that are wanted for MGT. It seems to be dead unfortunately. I am going to offer $1,000 to anyone who will get MGT running in GTK2 along with the features that are requested in this thread. I mean all of the features. I know that it can be done. I guess this is just an incentive. I really like this term more so than any other and I have for quite a few years now. I still use it to this date. Unfortunately I don't have the time to figure out how to do it myself. If interested email me.


Submitted by Aaron (not verified) on Mon, 25/08/2008 - 7:42pm

I mostly use the tabbed terminal part, the tab notification stuff, split terms, input bonding as well.

Submitted by Jack (not verified) on Mon, 25/08/2008 - 11:15pm

I'm a big fan of the tabbed terminal. @ Anthony I'm really glad to see someone trying to get it running in GTK2 maybe we can have some use for it now!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/11/2008 - 9:40pm

Now that Ubuntu Intrepid is out, I'm wondering if there's any progress on resurrecting MGT. When I made the jump to Hardy it was slightly painful getting mgt to run, and I expect it can only be worse this upgrade.

Still keeping hope alive for the gtk2 version...

Submitted by vch on Tue, 09/12/2008 - 10:21am

These are the features that I use:
- vertical and horizontal splitting
- configurable key shortcuts for: changing focus on mini-screen, direct change tab, open/splitH/splitV, change screen name
- on mini-screen: page down, page up, find
- real-time change in tab color
- ctrl+F5 for refresh
- terminals bound: do the same thing em multiple machines
- resize panes
- copy&paste with mouse

I'm willing to give 20$ per year

Submitted by MrBiTs (not verified) on Wed, 24/12/2008 - 11:27am

Hi, Sameer

I was searching for a gnome-terminal replacement just right now, because some features I found in Konsole that I didn't found in any other terminal emulator. I can tell:

- I need to be able to change tab orientation ( top, bottom, left, right );
- I need a tool to allow me to have pre-configure sessions


Submitted by Dr. Kenneth Noi... (not verified) on Tue, 30/06/2009 - 7:55pm

The key showstopper for me with Terminator is that you can't save your bloody settings from right-click menu!! That is wee-todd-ed.

BTW, looks like MGT site isn't serving source anymore, and I can't get the f--ker to build in Ubuntu 9.04 (though I did get it to build in Fedora 10 Rawhide with some coaxing)..

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