A couple of years of using various Linux distros have shown me a lot of new stuff. Some interesting user interfaces, some new package managers but one place where I haven’t seen many inventions is the terminal. It has always been the same old shell that comes by default. Even though it is one of the most used things, I haven’t seen much of a variation with it.
But recently I came across Terminus - A terminal for the modern age. So I decided to give it a try. First of all, let us look at its installation and availability on various systems.
Alert - Terminus is still in alpha and is quite unstable for usage in production environments.
Terminus is available directly as a package for Debian, red hat, mac os, and even Windows systems. The source code is available to download so you can build it for your system as well. You can download the binaries and source code from GitHub page.
The First Launch
The first launch was not very quick for me and it took a few seconds to start up. Once the app started, The following screen came up.
The UI does feel very modern and there was some issue with my font, but the app looks a lot better on your desktop than in the screenshot above.
Some Interesting Features
Needless to say, Terminus has been built from the ground up so that the terminal can be given features that have becomes important today. The first thing that you should have a look at is the settings' menu. It can be called by simply clicking the gear icon on the toolbar.
Primarily grouped into 4, the settings' menu is where the magic happens. Terminus is highly configurable and the biggest proof is the options for Custom CSS. You can do whatever manual CSS styling you wish to see in the app from the settings' menu.
Moving on, next we have the hotkeys. The hotkeys are basically shortcuts for your Terminus app. They are also highly configurable allowing any combination of choice.
Note - You cannot change the shortcut to open a new Terminus window from the desktop. That is only possible from your system’s shortcut settings.
The Plugin Manager is home to plugins that can be installed to your Terminus installation.
Some of these are pre-installed and a lot more can be downloaded. These plugins are not much in number as of now but we can expect a lot of developers contributing to third-party plugins for Terminus soon.
Finally, we have the settings related to the terminal that allows fine grain control over various aspects of the in terminal experience.
You can modify your color theme, change your font, define the binary executable that Terminus should use and even set the default directory from where you wish to work.
My Personal Thoughts on Terminus
I have passively been using terminus for a few days along with my default terminal app. What I have realized is that terminus is trying to become the Visual Studio Code of terminal apps. It has a plugins market, is available cross-platform etc. However, It is not as sophisticated as a Linux user might expect it to be. The crashes are too often. Changing settings requires a restart, and is not automated and you have to manually do that.
There are a few more things that may repel users. But I feel these things are pretty common. I have really liked the animations used for various window actions like opening a new terminal tab or closing it. These small UI things may not seem important to some of you but it does give contribute towards a great user experience.
Terminus is a really new and refreshing visit to the old terminal. It is available on most major platforms like Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is important to note that Terminus is still in alpha and has many bugs that need fixing. If you are a developer interested in contributing to Terminux, you can visit the GitHub repo here.
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