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GNOME Terminal 3.28.x lands in Fedora

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The following screenshots don’t have the correct colours. Their colour channels got inverted because of this bug.

Brave testers of pre-release Fedora builds might have noticed the absence of updates to GNOME Terminal and VTE during the Fedora 28 development cycle. That’s no longer the case. Kalev submitted gnome-terminal-3.28.1 as part of the larger GNOME 3.28.1 mega-update, and it will make its way into the repositories in time for the Fedora 28 release early next month.

The recent lull in the default Fedora Workstation terminal was not due to the lack of development effort, though. The recent GNOME 3.28 release had a relatively large number of changes in both GNOME Terminal and VTE, and it took some time to update the Fedora-specific patches to work with the new upstream version.

Here are some highlights from the past six months.

Unified preferences dialog

The global and profile preferences were merged into a single preferences dialog. I am very fond of this unified dialog because I have a hard time remembering whether a setting is global or not.

gnome-terminal-3.28-preferences

Text settings

The profile-specific settings UI has seen some changes. The bulk of these are in the “Text” tab, which used to be known as “General” in the past.

It’s now possible to adjust the vertical and horizontal spacing between the characters rendered by the terminal for the benefit of those with visual impairments. The blinking of the cursor can be more easily tweaked because the setting is now exposed in the UI. Some people are distracted by a prominently flashing cursor block in the terminal, but still want their thin cursors to flash elsewhere for the sake of discoverability. This should help with that.

gnome-terminal-3.28-preferences-text

Last but not the least, it’s nice to see the profile ID occupy a less prominent position in the UI.

Colours and bold text

There are some subtle improvements to the foreground colour selection for bold text. As a result, the “allow bold text” setting has been deprecated and replaced with “show bold text in bright colors” in the “Colors” tab. Various inconsistencies in the Tango palette were also resolved.

Port to GAction and GMenu

The most significant non-UI change was the port to GAction and GMenuModel. GNOME Terminal no longer uses the deprecated GtkAction and GtkUIManager classes.

Blinking text

VTE now supports blinking text. Try this:

  $ tput blink; echo "blinking text"; tput sgr0


If you don’t like it, then there’s a setting to turn it off.

Overline and undercurl

Similar to underline and strikethrough, VTE now supports overline and undercurl. These can be interesting for spell checkers and software development tools.

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Written by Debarshi Ray

16 April, 2018 at 16:18

Posted in Fedora, GNOME, GTK+, Terminal, VTE

Emojis in VTE

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It’s been one of those weeks when gnome-terminal and vte keep stumbling on some really weird edge cases, so it was a happy moment when I saw this on Fedora 27 Workstation.

Emoji rendered in gnome-terminal

Written by Debarshi Ray

5 March, 2018 at 16:28

Posted in Fedora, GNOME, GTK+, Terminal, VTE

Custom terminal titles are back in Fedora

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Almost four years ago, in GNOME 3.12, the ability to have custom terminal titles was removed from gnome-terminal. As is wont to happen, users who dealt with scores of similar looking terminal tabs and windows were quick to express their grief at this loss.

Thankfully, a year ago, Christian partly restored it by bringing back the --title command line option. It helped, but it still wasn’t enough.

Anyway, the good news is that custom terminal titles have been restored in their entirety since Fedora 25.

I must point out that this is a downstream patch carried by Fedora. 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.

Written by Debarshi Ray

27 February, 2017 at 20:36

Posted in Fedora, GNOME, Terminal

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