5 tips to decorate the Terminal interface on Linux

Terminal is a command line window on Linux, where you can type executable commands like CMD on Windows. Even now, Windows has its own Terminal called Windows Terminal. When you change the theme of the distribution, the terminal will also be changed automatically. But that doesn’t mean you can’t further customize the terminal.

Many of you ask me how to customize Terminal as beautiful as me, what font do I use, etc. So, in this article, I will show you how to decorate your Terminal in the most beautiful way to celebrate Tet Please. For visualization, you can refer to the comparison image below:

5 tips to decorate the Terminal interface on Linux

Linux Terminal Decoration

This tutorial uses the GNOME Terminal on the Pop! _OS to customize and decorate the interface of Terminal. However, most customizations can also be applied to the Terminal of other distros.

For most elements like colors, transparency, and fonts, you can use the GUI to adjust it without requiring any special commands to be entered.

Open Terminal in the top right corner, tap the menu icon with 3 dashes. Here, click on “Preferences” as shown below:

Linux Terminal Decoration

This is where you will find all the settings to change the look and feel of the terminal.

Note before doing: It is recommended to create a new Profile before configuring Terminal

I recommend creating a new profile to customize. Why? Because this way your changes will not affect the main terminal configuration. Suppose you make some changes wrong and can’t go back to default? At this point, separate profiles will save you.

As you can see, I have my own profiles for taking screenshots and creating videos.

It is recommended to create a new Profile before configuring Terminal

You can easily change the terminal configuration profile and open the terminal with the new profile.

create terminal profile

Tip 1: Use Dark/Light theme in Terminal

When you change the system theme, the terminal theme will also be changed. Alternatively, you can switch between dark or light theme, if you don’t want to change the system theme.

When you come in General, you will see options to change the theme and other settings.

Using Dark/Light theme in Terminal

Tip 2: Change the font and size

Select the Profile you want to customize. You’ll now be able to customize the look and feel of your Terminal’s text, font size, style, spacing, cursor shape, and even audio transitions.

As for the font, you can only change Font available on your system. If you want an off-system font, download and install the font on Linux first.

One more thing! Use fonts monospaced otherwise fonts may overlap and the text will not be displayed clearly. I suggest you to use Share Tech Mono (open source) or Larabiefont (not open source).

In the Text tab, select Custom font, then change the font and size of the font (if necessary).

Change font and size

Tip 3: Change the palette and transparency

In addition to font and spacing, you can also access the “Colors” tab and change the color of the Terminal text and background. You can also adjust the transparency to make the terminal look more eye-catching.

As you can see, you can change the color scheme from the previous profile or customize it yourself.

Change palette and transparency

If you want to enable transparency like I did, you can click on the option “Use transparent background“.

You can also choose to use a color from your system theme, if you want to install a color similar to your theme.

5 tips to decorate the Terminal interface on Linux 7

Tip 4: Customize bash prompt variables

Normally you will see your username along with the hostname (your distro) as a bash command prompt when launching terminal without any changes.

For example, it would be “ankushdas@pop-os:~ $” in the case of below. However, I changed the server name to “itsfoss, so now it looks like:

Customize bash prompt variables

To change the hostname, you use the command:

hostname CUSTOM_NAME

However, this will only apply to current sessions. So when you reboot it will go back to default. To permanently change the hostname, you need to enter the command:

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname CUSTOM_NAME

Similarly, you can also change your username, but it requires some additional configuration including removing all existing processes associated with the active username, so It’s a bit complicated, so it won’t be covered in this article.

Tip 5: Change the font and color of the bash prompt

You can also adjust the font and color of the bash prompt (ankushdas@itsfoss:~ $) with the command. But I do not advise newbies to do this.

You will need to use an environment variable PS1 to control what is being displayed as a reminder. For example, when you type:

echo $PS1

Then the result in my case will be:

[e]0;u@h: wa]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}[33[01;32m]u@h[33[00m]:[33[01;34m]w[33[00m]$

We need to focus on the first part of the result:

[e]0;u@h: wa]$

Here, you need to know the following:

  • e is a special character that denotes the beginning of a color sequence
  • u indicates the username followed by the @ symbol
  • H denotes the hostname of the system
  • w denotes the base directory
  • a indicates active directory
  • $ indicates non-root user

The results in your case may be different, but the variables will be the same, so you need to follow the commands mentioned below depending on your results.

Before you do, keep these things in mind:

  • Text formatting codes: 0 for normal text, first for bold, 3 for italics and 4 for underline
  • Background color range: 40-47
  • Color range for text color: 30-37

You just need to enter the following command to change the color and font. See color chart here.

PS1="e[41;3;32m[u@h:wa$]"

And this is the result:

add linux command line console color

If you look closely at the above command, you will see /e will help us to specify a color sequence.

In the above command, I specified the background color first, then the text style, then the font color, and then “m”.

Here, “m” denotes the end of the color sequence.

So all you have to fill in is this:

41;3;32

The rest of the command will stay the same, you just need to assign different numbers to change the background color, text style and text color.

Note that it’s in no particular order, you can assign text style first, background color next and text color at the end as “3; 41;32″, the command will become:

PS1="e[3;41;32m[u@h:wa$]"

change color terminal linux

As you may have noticed, the colors will be the same regardless of the order. So just memorize the color codes to customize and experiment until you like it.

The above command that I entered will temporarily customize the bash prompt for the current session. If you close the session, it will return to default.

So to make the change permanent you need to add it to the file .bashrc (this is a configuration file that gets executed every time you log into a session).

bashrc linux

You can access the file with the command:

nano ~/.bashrc

Unless you’re sure what you’re doing, don’t change anything. And, just to rollback the settings, you should keep a backup copy of the PS1 environment variable to another file.

Even if you need the default font and color, you can still edit the file again .bashrc and restore the PS1 environment variable.

Above is how to decorate your Terminal to welcome Tet, please upload pictures of your Terminal for everyone to admire.

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