27. Jan 2020

Using Tilix - Part 1 on openSUSE

Douglas DeMaio

Today we present Tilix, a tiling terminal emulator, and share some tips that make this terminal an excellent tool for all users especially system administrators. As a reminder, Tilix (formerly Terminix) is a terminal emulator using libvte and written in D language with a GTK3+ interface. As such, it is therefore specially designed to integrate with GNOME.

Like Terminator, it can be split, which allows you to have many terminals in a single window:

Tilix

It can also be a replacement for Guake, as it also functions as a dropdown terminal (this feature is not available inside of a Wayland session).

Tilix

Sessions

You can have several sessions inside one Tilix window. A session is simply a group of split terminals. The sessions can be displayed as a toggleable side-bar:

Tilix

Or, in more classic way, as tabs. You can set this inside the Preferences (changing this setting requires a restart).

Tilix

Splitting the window

You can easily split the current terminal by using the buttons in the top bar. The current terminal can be split vertically or horizontally. New terminals are always created below or on the right of the active terminal.

Synchronize input

Tilix allow us to set some terminals of a session in sync. This means that all you type in a terminal is sent as well to all the other synced terminals. This is particularly useful when you are connected to several remote hosts and want to send them the same commands.

Tilix

Search for text

Via the magnifying glass icon, you can search for text inside all the text outputed in the currently active terminal.

Tilix

Protect terminals from mistakes

When working a lot with terminal emulators, with a lot of them open, it is easy to start typing in the wrong one. Tilix allows you to set a terminal in read only so that nothing you type in will have effect (no sequences will be sent).

Tilix

Advanced clipboard management

Tilix offers us interesting copy and paste options. They are to be activated in the preferences:

Tilix

Advanced paste dialog

You can configure a shortcut to display it or choose to always display it. This dialog allows for example to configure the number of spaces in the tabulations when pasting:

Tilix

Tilix has a functionality that warns you when pasting a potentially dangerous command (to be executed with sudo for example). This is useful when you follow a tutorial from the Web without thinking but only works when the command is followed by a line break, which will lead to its immediate execution:

Warning in case of dangerous paste:

Tilix

This concludes our presentation of Tilix. In next week’s article, we will go deeper and explore its advanced features. Spoiler: there is a lot of them ! Stay tuned.

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