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The 5 Best Drop-down Terminal Apps For Linux

Drop-down terminal apps are very trendy in the Linux community as they allow the user to tap a key and quickly enter any command at an instant. If you’re into the idea of a drop-down style terminal, but unsure what to use, we’ve got the list for you! Here are the five best drop-down terminal apps for Linux!

Note: each of the programs on this list is easily installable and are available on most modern Linux distribution’s software sources.

1. Guake

Guake is a drop-down terminal for Gnome desktop environments on Linux. It takes style inspiration from the drop-down console interfaces in video games like Quake and Unreal Tournament.

Out of all of the drop-down terminal apps on Linux, Guake stands out by being user-friendly, highly customizable and responsive.

Notable Features:

  • Guake has multi-monitor support, and the user can call the terminal window on any screen.
  • The GUI interface lets users open up multiple tabs, which is perfect for those looking to work on many things at a time.
  • Guake supports more than 130 different color schemes and text layouts that users can easily switch to on the fly.
  • Guake has a feature that enables the terminal to launch at startup, so your terminal is always within reach.
  • It can be configured to launch a custom shell, rather than the system default at startup.
  • Guake has “quick-open,” and when enabled lets users quickly open files from the terminal into external applications.
  • Support for custom skins.
  • The Guake terminal emulator can launch and interact with URL links and will start them in an external web browser thanks to the Ctrl + mouse click keyboard combination.
  • The “save terminal content” to a file feature is very handy, and with it, users can quickly output any command-line action to a file for later viewing.

2. Yakuake

Yakuake is another gaming-style terminal emulator that mimics the console interface from old video games. It’s open source and works best on the KDE Plasma desktop environment.

While Quake-style drop-down terminal apps aren’t a new thing on Linux, the Yakuake manages to keep it fresh by adding in dozens of features like command-line notifications, custom themes, and much more!

Notable Features:

  • Yakuake is highly customizable. Users can change everything from the way it displays terminal windows, to the speed of animations and even the keyboard shortcuts.
  • Has a tabbed interface which makes it very easy to keep multiple terminal operations going simultaneously.
  • Users can display multiple terminal windows on the same screen thanks to Yakuake’s “split-screen” feature.
  • Unlike many Linux terminal emulators, Yakuake doesn’t have a limit on reverse scrolling. It’s possible to scroll back to look at previously entered commands infinitely.
  • The software has custom skins and is preloaded with many. It also integrates very well with the overall KDE Plasma desktop environment.
  • Yakuake uses KDE’s Konsole terminal for its terminal emulation on the Linux desktop. Thanks to this, it’s able to offer up some of Konsole’s excellent features, like “open in file manager,” for individual directories, and location bookmarking.

3. Qterminal

Qterminal is the official terminal emulator for the LXQt desktop environment. The program has multiple viewing modes like “split-screen,” and “drop-down.” It is a fork of the QTermWidget and is open source, free software.

Even though Qterminal focuses mainly on LXQt, it remains independent of the operating system, and users can install and use the software on any desktop environment on Linux.

Notable Features:

  • Qterminal has multiple view modes that users can take advantage of to suit their needs, instead of being stuck with just the “drop-down” style.
  • It is possible to change the exact size and dimensions of the drop-down terminal.
  • Qterminal’s “bookmark” feature is handy, and with it, users can create shortcuts to frequently visited locations on their computer.
  • Completely independent from the desktop environment it is made for, so users of other desktops can try it out without needing to install all of the LXQt libraries on the system.
  • Qterminal uses QTermWidget to deliver the command-line experience. Using this widget makes it possible for the program to offer up sophisticated customization features, like a font chooser and console color scheme tweaker.

4. Tilda

The Tilda terminal is a drop-down terminal that follows the design likeness of the console interfaces that many first-person shooters have. It’s very similar to the likes of Guake and Yakuake.

Notable Features:

  • Can be set to run a custom command, rather than the system’s default shell.
  • Tilda’s search feature makes it easy to find commands entered before.
  • Much like a lot of other drop-down style terminals, Tilda has a tabbed interface.
  • The “command-line” feature gives users the ability to interact with the core of the Tilda terminal program, and run it with specific options enabled.
  • Tilda’s window title is changeable, thanks to the “Title” feature.
  • Tilda has excellent support for multiple monitors, and it’s possible to configure what monitor the terminal appears on, rather than being forced to stay on the main screen.

5. Drop Down Terminal Extension For Gnome Shell

Drop Down Terminal is a terminal emulator extension that users can install on the Gnome Shell desktop environment. Despite only being an extension, it packs in useful features like custom scrollbar settings, color schemes and even the ability to launch a custom command at startup.

Notable features:

  • Very customizable, despite being only a Gnome extension. Drop Down Terminal allows for customizing the transparency level, animations, visibility of the scrollbar, size of the drop-down console window, and the hotkey button.
  • Drop Down Terminal can run custom command line arguments, rather than the default shell for the user, thanks to the “Command” feature.


Drop-down terminal apps are freeing. By installing one, you’ll never again have to sit around and wait for your terminal app to open before you enter that critical system command. Instead, you’ll be able to access the Linux command-line at the press of a button!

If you’ve been thinking of swapping to a drop-down terminal, this list is a great place to start!

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