After struggling with a number of consoles, all of which claimed to provide the drop-down “Quake” experience, I found Yeah Console, which does exactly what it promises, nothing more, nothing less. I was pleasantly surprised, even though the installation details are not what one could call smooth sailing. If you want to grab the console, you’ll have to pop over to this page
While waiting for the release of Guake for Hardy Heron, I came across Tilda, which is another nifty console, that is less of a killer app, than a good excuse to play around with an alternative to the default. Good work people, keep up the pressure on Canonical, to develop even better terminals.
Instructions for setting up YeahConsole
First, it needs to run every time you log in. So, go to System > Preferences > Session, select Startup Programs, click Add, and add a new command, name “YeahConsole”, command “yeahconsole”. Next, it looks a bit rubbish when you start it up. Here’s how bare-bones yeahconsole is: you configure it with X resources. Party like it’s 1989! I had to go look up how to do this; for the more tender in years among us, X resources were a sort of central configuration for all your apps, round about the same time that humanity was fighting off sabre-toothed tigers and wondering whether that hot flamey thing in the corner could actually be useful. On Ubuntu, you need to edit (actually, you probably need to create) a file called
.Xresources in your home folder*. In that file, you put the configuration for yeahconsole, like this:
The toggleKey one is the important one: it sets which key you use to summon the terminal. I like F2, myself, but pick whatever. What all this stuff means is documented in the man page (
man yeahconsole), apart from which font to use. This is the faceName and faceSize options above, and here you have to delve a bit (I told you this was old-fashioned; I started writing a yeahconsole-properties configuration utility that did all this for you, but couldn’t be bothered). In a terminal, run
fc-list. This lists all the TrueType fonts that you can use in an xterm. Choose one, and put it in faceName above. Now, simply start yeahconsole for the first time (press Alt+F2, type
yeahconsole), and then press F2 (or your key of choice). Pow, a dropdown terminal, like Tilda, but one that won’t keep crashing and make you cry. One other thing: if you hit Ctrl-D to log out by mistake, it’ll close yeahconsole (tilda did this too), and that’s really irritating. To fix this, put the following in a file called
bashloop in your home folder:
while true; do bash; done
and change your Startup Programs command above to be
yeahconsole -e /home/username/bashloop. Now Ctrl-D won’t close yeahconsole.