Ubuntu's Focal Fossa logo from its desktop background.

If you’re using Ubuntu Linux, you’ll often see articles recommend you run commands. To do this, you need to type these commands into a Terminal window. Here are several ways to open one—including a quick keyboard shortcut

The tips in this article were tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. They should apply to other Linux distributions using the GNOME desktop environment, too.

Warning: Be careful about running commands you find online. Ensure they’re from a trustworthy source and that you understand what you’re running.

Use a Keyboard Shortcut to Open a Terminal

To quickly open a Terminal window at any time, press Ctrl+Alt+T. A graphical GNOME Terminal window will pop right up.

A Terminal window on a Ubuntu desktop.

Launch a Terminal Window From the Dash

You’ll find the Terminal application included with your other installed applications. To find them, click the “Show Applications” button at the bottom-left corner of your screen, on the “dash” bar.

The "Show Applications" button at the bottom-left corner of a Ubuntu desktop.

Type “Terminal” and press Enter to find and launch the Terminal shortcut. You can also locate the Terminal icon in the list of all applications that appears here and click it.

Launch a Terminal window from Ubuntu's dash.

Run a Command to Open a Terminal

You can also press Alt+F2 to open the Run a Command dialog. Type gnome-terminal here and press Enter to launch a terminal window.

Running a command to open a terminal in GNOME's Run a Command dialog.

You can run many other commands from the Alt+F2 window, too. You won’t see any information as you would when running the command in a normal window, however. The Run dialog is useful for situations like this where you just want to run an application—for example, you could press Alt+F2, type  firefox , and press “Enter to launch a Firefox browser window.

RELATED: 8 Deadly Commands You Should Never Run on Linux

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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