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Assign a Hotkey to Open a Terminal Window in Ubuntu

Since we spend so much time at the command line in Ubuntu, it sometimes makes it simpler to launch a new terminal window with a shortcut key.

Ubuntu has a built-in utility for assigning shortcut keys. Go to System \ Preferences \ Keyboard Shortcuts:

Scroll down to where it says “Run a terminal”, and click in the Shortcut column. When you see “New accelerator…”, the next keystroke that you use will set the keyboard shortcut.

I assigned Ctrl+Alt+X as mine…. one press of the key combination and up pops a terminal. What a time saver!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/10/06

Comments (13)

  1. Cliff

    Have you ever tried Tilda? It’s in the Ubuntu repositories and it’s an awesome Terminal that you can automatically pull up at the push of a button the default is F2. It’s what I use to have a terminal at my fingertips all the time.

  2. The Geek
  3. James

    Thanks so much, you are a life saver!!!

  4. Ken

    Hi, is it possible to somehow just doubletabs i.e. pressing a hotkey twice quickly as trigger for this (or for anything else for that matter). Some applications and tools on windows like autohotkey let us do that. Would be neat if it was doable on Ubuntu too.

  5. PReDiToR

    Yakuake. Tilda sounds a lot like it, but Yakuake uses the same schema and settings as your ordinary Konsole (openSUSE/KDE 3 here).
    Oh, I see this was mentioned twice in the other linked thread. Never mind =)

  6. Richa

    Thnx a lot………….was really useful

  7. Antonio

    Is there a way to make the terminal in the current directory?

  8. M@

    Don’t know why I hadn’t thought to do this, every other window I open is a terminal. Ctrl + space is mine. Thanks!

    Antonio, you might be thinking of something like this: http://www.gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Terminal+Here?content=73250

  9. tarun

    thank you so much

  10. Erik

    Try Ctrl+Alt+t, its the default in ubuntu 10.04.

  11. John

    I prefer Guake – i just searched and luckily this was posted later for those interested:

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/22283/four-ways-to-get-instant-access-to-a-terminal-in-linux/

  12. Elysium

    @Erik> Yes.. And its there in Ubuntu 10.10 as well. =)

  13. Daniel

    And Also on Ubuntu 11.04

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