Guake Drop-Down Terminal for GNOME

Keep a terminal application open all the time? A drop-down terminal such as Guake might suit you better. A drop-down, or Quake-style, terminal stays hidden until you call it up with a key combination.

Guake is easy to configure, supports tabs, and works fine with Compiz desktop effects turned on. I’ve also written before about a similar application, Tilda.

Guake terminal

Guake is a fairly young project and is not available in the Ubuntu repositories yet. Download and install the latest Debian/Ubuntu package from their download page, or click here for the latest 0.3.0 release.

Once Guake is installed, launch it from Applications->Accessories->Guake Terminal. You’ll see a green icon in your notification area. Press F12 to toggle displaying and hiding the terminal.

By default, Guake uses a semi-transparent black background and displays on the top half of your screen. Open a new tab with the button on the right of the bottom toolbar or by pressing Shift-Ctrl-T. Switch between tabs with Ctrl-PageUp and Ctrl-PageDown or using the buttons.

Guake and preferences

Guake is very configurable. Open the preferences by right-clicking in the terminal or notification area icon and selecting Preferences. It’s simple to change the size, position and appearance of the terminal. Use the Keyboard Shortcuts tab to configure key bindings. You can even keep the Guake terminal open behind the preferences window and see your changes live.

To start Guake automatically when you log in to Ubuntu, open System->Preferences->Sessions. Click Add, and create a new item with the command field set to guake.

Archived Comments


Well, I have F12 bound to show desktop, so it had problems binding to that key. When I tried to change it to something else I kept getting Mod2+Whatever, when I was clearly only pressing one key. More than that, though, this doesn’t do dual monitors well, or maybe just not how I would want it to. It would be nice if it would only span the screen your mouse is on, instead of spanning both monitors. This is about as disappointing as Tilda was.


This looks promising. I regularly use Yakuake (, but a native Gnome implementation is welcome.


If you have problems with change the shortcut key. You may have to turn you numlock off. Otherwise you may get Mod2+‘x’ instead of just ‘x’key


I got “dependency not satisfiable – libglib2.0-0.”

Is this good for Hardy only on ubuntu? I’m still using gutsy…

Tux World

it works really well.. I already tried it… Can I ask your permission to post this posting into my blog? It will help more people :D .


That package seems to be available in Gutsy, try installing it manually:

Tux World:
I’m not sure what “post this posting into my blog” means exactly, but feel free to take an excerpt and link back here.


Hmmm … no x86_64 version :(


I wonder why it does not like if I change the shell to tcsh (/usr/bin/tcsh) in the preferences. It doesn’t start a terminal if I use tcsh.


did anyone manage to get real transparency with guake or tilda whe using compiz?


i haven’t any problem with that, just check Transparency option in Right click–>Preferences and give it a value of 30 or so to start trying

good luck!


Thanks Alpahkamp that trick of turning off num lock really works. changing shortcut was driving me mad. thumbs up for you dude :)


Thanks a lot for the num-lock tip! :D


Doesn’t work with zsh and one can’t configure the colors, but promising.


thanks for the num-lock tip!


Thanks Alpahkamp, numlock heads up was appreciated

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