Debarshi's den

Transparent terminals are back in Fedora

with 15 comments

Two years ago, in GNOME 3.8, background transparency was removed from gnome-terminal. Over the years several users expressed their fondness for this feature, leading to much drama, tricky workarounds, and rosy promises.

Anyway, this is now back in Fedora 20 and the GNOME 3.12 COPR. Rawhide will follow soon.

I must point out that this is a downstream patch carried by Fedora, which has been rejected by the upstream gnome-terminal maintainer. If you want, you can ask your distributor to include it. Versions of the patch applicable to different GNOME branches can be found in this Git tree. You will also need a vte that has the fixes for bug 730023 and bug 729884 depending on the branch that you are using.

Be aware that this has exposed a bug in Adwaita where it is not drawing the background of the menubar when transparency is turned on. We are looking into it and hoping to fix it soon.

Written by Debarshi Ray

15 May, 2014 at 16:45

Posted in Fedora, GNOME, Terminal

15 Responses

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  1. This was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back for me. I switched of all our systems to KDE, and never looked back. If I wanted a walled garden, I’d just use a Macintosh.


    15 May, 2014 at 17:09

    • “Walled garden” doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means. The Macintosh’s default Terminal app has had a transparency setting in every version for the past 14 years.

  2. Thanks for this! Why did Christian (?) rejected the patch? It is because the function vte_terminal_set_color_background() will accept GdkRGBA in 0.38, instead of GdkColor? The old function vte_terminal_set_opacity() is removed in 0.37.

    I assume the new function will allow us the set an Alpha-Value in future?

    Peter Weber

    15 May, 2014 at 17:32

  3. This was one of the most annoying things – it is actually a useful feature too !

    Stuart Axon

    15 May, 2014 at 18:10

  4. I’m happy it’s coming back, but sad that because it’s a Fedora-level patch the option won’t be localized. 😦

    Piotr Drąg

    15 May, 2014 at 19:40

  5. […] Debarshi Ray in seinem Blog berichtet, verfügen die Gnome-Terminal Pakete aus dem Gnome 3.12 COPR ab sofort über einen Patch, der das […]

  6. […] Ray recently blogged that the ability to make your gnome-terminal have a transparent background is now enabled again in […]

  7. Why does upstream gnome rejected the patch?


    16 May, 2014 at 07:39

  8. […] dlouhé spory a někteří to zkoušeli různými způsoby obejít. Debarshi Ray o tom všem teď sepsal krátký zápisek do blogu, protože v balíčcích ve Fedoře 20 a COPR repozitáři GNOME 3.12 je nyní aplikovaný patch, […]

  9. […] his blog update Debarshi Ray points out that this downstream patch from Fedora has been rejected by the upstream […]

  10. Why go against gnome team design decision? Why only terminals shall be transparent then? Would you also patch gimp so that it can have transparent windows? Shouldnt transparency be a part of the window manager? I use a terminal daily and actually could not care less if it were transparent or not, and see no added value to bring the transparency issue back on the discussion table…

    Frédéric Boulet

    18 May, 2014 at 17:32

    • I agree; the GNOME team’s design is for an appliance interface, much like Android. If people want flexibility, they should use a desktop that offers it, including transparency for any window. That’s why I use KDE now instead of GNOME.


      18 May, 2014 at 17:37

    • It is a common misconception that the idea to remove the option came from the GNOME designers. It did not.

      Debarshi Ray

      20 May, 2014 at 10:06

    • Reading up in the comments, it is suggested by Peter Weber that the feature was removed to deprecate an old method in anticipation of newer vte_terminal_set_color_background() method which will support alpha.


      27 October, 2014 at 12:06

  11. […] Transparent terminals are back in Fedora […]

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