Guake Makes Your Terminal Fun

Guake terminal in action

One of the neat things about writing a book about Linux is that it has “forced” me to try out some software I haven’t otherwise gotten around to trying.

I recently finished up a chapter on customizing the terminal, and it includes a section on alternative terminals. This was the chance for me to spend some time with Guake, the roll-down terminal based upon the beloved first-person shooter’s windowshade menu.

There isn’t much to Guake. It’s a terminal. But it’s bound to the F12 key (which you can change) and it rolls down instantly. While I’m sure this has a cost in terms of CPU usage, I haven’t noticed anything. Instead it’s just a fun and fast way to get a terminal and then get rid of it. It has a nice tabbing display, but I rarely have multiple terminals open.

The only issue I had with it was that my top Xfce taskbar was blocking the top of Guake. It was easy to fix by going into the config and setting the window to open a little bit lower on my screen.

I did it by editing /usr/lib/guake/guake.py and changing

window_rect.y = 0 

to

window_rect.y = 30

(thanks to AskUbuntu for the tip)!

I’m not sure I’d call Guake practical. It doesn’t solve any problem for me that the default terminal doesn’t. It just makes me smile every time I summon it and then roll it back up.

UPDATE A commenter points out this is already baked into Xfce Terminal!