Use Multiple Terminals in Raspberry Pi

Want to use multiple Terminals within a single window on the Raspberry Pi? You’ll need the Terminator, then.

Having multiple Terminals open at once isn’t just for looking cool, it’s a fantastic utility that will help with your efficiency. And it also looks pretty cool.

The Terminator (not the cyborg killing machine from the future) tool can do just that, split a Terminal into sections that each operate on their own. By repeatedly splitting the screens horizontally and vertically, you’re able to create a grid pattern of differing sized Terminals to work in. some for running Python code, another for installing more packages, maybe some for running cacafire? It’s up to you.

Installing Terminator

To install Terminator on your Raspberry Pi, drop into a Terminal and enter:

sudo apt-get install terminator

Accept the installation if asked, and once it’s installed you can either fire it up via the currently open Terminal with terminator, or you can find the app installed in the System Tools section in the main menu.

Splitting Terminals

With the Terminator window open, right-click inside the pane and choose to either split horizontally or vertically. Then do the same with the remaining split panes until you have four, or more, individual Terminal windows open.

You can of course take this to the extreme, but you’ll soon find that any more than six will begin to be somewhat counterproductive, and far too small to see what you’re doing. You can also use the shortcut keys Ctrl+Shift+e to split vertically, and Ctrl+Shift+o to split horizontally.

terminator pi

Each Terminal pane can then be left-clicked on, and you can enter your commands as you would normally. You can click inside one of the panes and select Maximize to expand the chosen window, and Restore all Terminals to return to the previous view; Ctrl+Shift+x will do the same.

I’ll Be Back

The Terminator setup and layout can be saved by clicking Preferences, followed by selecting Layouts in the top menu options. From there, click Add and you’ll see the setup of your Terminator windows listed in the middle pane. Click the Save button to store the setup.

Options

Digging deeper into the Preferences you’ll notice options for Profiles, colours, backgrounds, fonts and more. There are Plug-ins available, and the Keybindings can be altered as well. In essence, there’s enough here to satisfy most Terminal users.

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David Hayward

David has spent most of his life tinkering with technology, from the ZX Spectrum, getting his hands on a Fujitsu VPP5000/100 supercomputer, and coding on an overheating Raspberry Pi. He's written for the likes of Micro Mart, Den of Geek, and countless retro sites and publications, covering reviews, creating code and bench testing the latest tech. He also has a huge collection of cables.

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