Do more in the Linux Terminal with Tilix

If you use the terminal in Linux, Tilix is a must install app for improving productivity.

What is Tilix?

Tilix (formerly known as Terminix), is able to split your terminal window into multiple panes. This avoids having to open multiple terminal windows or tabs. All the terminals appear on screen in panes that can be rearranged and split by choosing from the horizontal or vertical options.

This makes working in multiple terminals so much easier because you can see everything at a glance. The other two features I like most is Quake mode (quick use terminal via a shortcut key) and the ability to use community created themes to change the look of Tilix.

Kudos to the developer Bilal Elmoussaoui who has created a highly polished, feature rich app that enhances command line work in the terminal.

Installing Tilix

You can install Tilix on most distros through repos or from the website directly. Here we look at installing Tilix from the Software app in Ubuntu 17.10.

In the Software app click on the search icon and search for tilix:

 


In the results that appear click on the Tilix result and then click to install:

 

 

 

Once installed, click on the launch button and click OK to ignore the configuration issue detected message.


To fix the error, click on the dropdown arrow in the title bar and choose Profiles and then Edit Profile:

 


Now go to the Command tab and tick the Run command as a login shell checkbox:

 

 

Quit the app and the next time you open it, the error will be fixed. The app is installed and now we can customise it with themes.

Using Tilix

 

Splitting Terminals
To add split terminals you can right click in the terminal and choose from the 2 icons to add a terminal vertically or horizontally.

 


The panes can be resized on the fly and added or removed as needed.

 

Quake – Quick access the terminal
With the Quake feature you can set a shortcut key to have Tilix appear at the top of the screen for convenient access.

Click on Activities or press the super key (usually the one with the Windows logo on your keyboard). Search for shortcuts and click on keyboard in the results:

 

 

In the new window scroll all the way down and click on the plus sign to add a new shortcut:

 

 

In the Add Custom Shortcut window add a name for the shortcut and for the command type in tilix with the –quake option. This tells Tilix to open in that mode:

 

 

Click on Set Shortcut… and press the key you want to use as the shortcut key:

 

 

Now click Add and the shortcut is ready to use. Whenever you press that shortcut key, Tilix opens in Quake mode and pressing the shortcut makes it disappear:

 

Customise the look of Tilix

New themes can be added to Tilix by putting them in the ~/.config/tilix/schemes folder.
To see the .config hidden folder, choose the option to Show Hidden Files from the Files menu:

 

 

In the .config folder create a folder named tilix and in it a folder named schemes. Themes can be downloaded from here. Here you can preview the theme and download the theme(s) you like by copying and pasting the command into tilix. The theme file is downloaded to the schemes folder automatically:

 

 


To change the theme, go to Profiles and then Edit Profile menu again from the title dropdown box. In the Color tab, you can see themes available in the Color Scheme dropdown box:

 

There’s lots of themes to choose from so you should be able to find one that works for you.

More info

There’s also a bunch of other features that can save you lots of time if you use the terminal all the time, so I highly recommend you check out Tilix.



3 Comments

  • Hi, this comment is for an older post. I followed your steps on getting Linux Mint on my Samsung Chromebook 3. I’ve come into a problem. My keys aren’t working on Mint. It works fine on ChromeOS. I went to LibreOffice and saw my the f key stuck on a loop, then the o next.
    What did I do wrong?

  • Hi! I am from the Netherlands and I just saw that getting a Chromebook is a great alternative if you use Linux, to still get a descent device. But I really want to have a touch screen and a 360 degree convertible device. I can’t find out which touch screen laptops like this have replaceable ssd’s. Because often I also see on the Internet that it just isn’t possible to replace the ssd because in some models it is on the motherboard or something like that. Also there aren’t that many options for Chromebooks here in the Netherlands, especially if you want it to be 350 degree convertible.
    These are the ones we have:
    – Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C14K (4 GB RAM, 32 GB model and runs on Intel Celeron)
    – Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C11U (4 GB RAM, 64 GB model and runs on Intel Celeron)
    – Acer Chromebook R751TN-C5SH (4 GB RAM, 32 GB model and runs on Intel Celeron)
    – Dell Chromebook 3189 (4 GB RAM, 32 GB model and runs on Intel Celeron)
    – HP Chromebook 11 G1 X360 1TT14EA (4 GB RAM, 32 GB model and runs on Intel Celeron)

    Do you perhaps know which one(s) have easily replaceable ssd’s without any problems in functionality?

    I am going to start Computing Science at the University in September here, so I need a descent, light weighted laptop.
    Since I’ll be using Linux for almost everything (coding, hacking in C and such) and I’ll be writing reports using LaTex I thought to get a Chromebook so it’s cheaper, faster and light to bring with me to Campus. Then I can just get a good desktop at the thrift shop (with warranty for 2 years) with probably just 4 GB RAM and 500 GB to use at home with a nice screen. This way I’ll have a good laptop and a solid desktop. As well as not being afraid I just spend all my money if anything might get broken or such, since Chromebooks are way cheaper.
    If you don’t know the models I stated above, then I’ll probably get the Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C11U (4 GB RAM, 64 GB model and runs on Intel Celeron). But do you think 4 GB RAM will be enough for me to use Linux on it and install the programs a Computer Scientist student needs?
    Or do you think this is a bad idea and I just need to get a laptop with Windows?

    -Sara

    1. Hi Sara,

      When buying a Chromebook, if the hard drive is listed as eMMC dirve, it can’t be replaced. If it is listed as a SSD, it can be replaced.
      If you’re just looking for more storage, I would recommend using an SD card instead because you won’t have to open the Chromebook up, see my post of how to use an SD card for home storage.

      If your University course requires Windows only software, I would recommend one of these normal lightweight 13 inch laptops. They will be more expensive but the purchase will be a good investment in the long run (you can always dual boot Linux with windows on it).

      If you decide on a Chromebook, you should know that non standard features like 360 hinges and touch screens may not work correctly or at all. Good luck with University and work hard 🙂

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