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How To Change Default Terminal to Tilix Using Shortcut on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 20

In this article, we will guide you through the process of changing your default terminal to Tilix and setting a shortcut to open it on Ubuntu. This process involves using the terminal and executing a few commands. We’ll explain each step in detail to ensure you have a clear understanding of the process.

Quick Answer

To change the default terminal to Tilix and set a shortcut to open it on Ubuntu, you can use the sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator command to select Tilix as the default terminal, and then set the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut in the system settings to open Tilix.

What is Tilix?

Tilix is an advanced GTK3 tiling terminal emulator that follows the Gnome Human Interface Guidelines. It offers a lot of features that can improve your productivity. If you frequently work with the terminal, you might find Tilix to be a great tool.

Installing Tilix

Before we proceed to change the default terminal, let’s ensure that Tilix is installed on your system. If it’s not, you can install it by running the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install tilix

In this command, sudo is used to execute the command with root permissions. apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and install is the command to install a new package. tilix is the name of the package we want to install.

Changing the Default Terminal

After installing Tilix, you can set it as your default terminal by running the command:

sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator

In this command, update-alternatives is a tool that maintains symbolic links determining default commands. The --config option allows you to manually select the alternatives for a program. x-terminal-emulator is a generic name for the terminal emulator, which is often a symbolic link to the actual terminal application.

After running the command, you’ll see a list of terminal applications installed on your system. Each option will have a corresponding number. Type the number that corresponds to Tilix and press Enter.

Setting the Shortcut

Now, we’ll set the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut to open Tilix. This shortcut is generally used to open the terminal in Ubuntu.

  1. Open the System Settings and navigate to the Keyboard section.
  2. Look for the Launch terminal shortcut in the list and click on it.
  3. When it prompts you to enter a new shortcut, press Ctrl+Alt+T.
  4. Click on the Apply button to save the changes.

Now, whenever you press Ctrl+Alt+T, Tilix should open as your default terminal.


Changing the default terminal to Tilix can improve your productivity and make your terminal work more enjoyable. With the steps provided in this article, you can easily set Tilix as your default terminal and use a shortcut to open it. Happy coding!

For more in-depth information about Tilix and its features, you can refer to the official Tilix documentation.

Can I use Tilix on operating systems other than Ubuntu?

Yes, Tilix is not limited to Ubuntu. It can be installed on other Linux distributions as well, such as Fedora, Arch Linux, and Debian.

Can I customize the appearance of Tilix?

Yes, Tilix offers a range of customization options. You can change the color scheme, font, cursor shape, and many other visual aspects of the terminal. You can access these settings by going to the Tilix Preferences menu.

Can I split the Tilix terminal window into multiple panes?

Yes, Tilix supports tiling, which allows you to split the terminal window into multiple panes. You can easily split the window vertically or horizontally, and resize the panes as needed. This can be done through the Tilix menu or by using keyboard shortcuts.

How can I create and manage Tilix profiles?

Tilix allows you to create and manage profiles, which are configurations that define the appearance and behavior of the terminal. You can create new profiles, duplicate existing ones, and customize each profile according to your preferences. The profile management options can be found in the Tilix Preferences menu.

Is it possible to use Tilix with multiple tabs?

Yes, Tilix supports multiple tabs, allowing you to have several terminal sessions open within the same window. You can easily create new tabs, switch between them, and organize them according to your needs. Tilix provides both keyboard shortcuts and menu options for managing tabs.

Can I use Tilix with different shell environments?

Yes, Tilix can be used with different shell environments. By default, Tilix uses the default shell defined in your system. However, you can change the shell for a specific Tilix profile if you prefer to use a different shell, such as Bash, Zsh, or Fish.

Does Tilix have a search functionality within the terminal?

Yes, Tilix provides a search functionality within the terminal. You can search for specific text within the terminal output by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+F. This can be useful for quickly finding and navigating through large amounts of terminal output.

Can I use Tilix to run commands in multiple terminal windows simultaneously?

Yes, Tilix supports running commands simultaneously in multiple terminal windows. You can open new windows and execute commands independently in each window. This can be useful for multitasking and running different commands or processes side by side.

Is it possible to save and restore terminal sessions in Tilix?

Yes, Tilix allows you to save and restore terminal sessions. You can save the current state of all open terminals, including their working directories, command history, and scrollback buffer. This feature can be accessed through the Tilix menu, allowing you to easily resume your work from where you left off.

Can I use Tilix with keyboard shortcuts for improved efficiency?

Yes, Tilix offers a wide range of keyboard shortcuts to enhance your productivity. You can use shortcuts for common actions such as opening new tabs, splitting the terminal window, navigating between tabs, and more. Tilix also allows you to customize these shortcuts according to your preferences.

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