5 Ways To Open A Terminal Console Window Using Ubuntu


Many users nowadays can do most of the things they want to do within Linux without having to use the Linux terminal but there are still a lot of good reasons to learn how to use it.

The Linux terminal provides access to all of the native Linux commands as well as command line applications that often provide many more features than desktop applications.

Another reason to learn how to use the terminal is because quite often online help guides which help to solve problems with your Linux environment contain Linux terminal commands. The reason for this is that users use a wide array of different desktop environments as well as different Linux distributions. The terminal commands are usually the same or are easier to narrow down than writing full graphical instructions for each and every combination.

When using Ubuntu it is actually easier to install software using the command line than it is to use the graphical software tools available. The apt-get command provides access to every single package in the Ubuntu repositories whereas the graphical tool is often lacking.

Of course you really only need one way to open a terminal window but in this guide, I am going to show you a number of different ways to open one and you can then take your pick as to which one you choose to use.

After you have finished this article you will want to check out this guide which shows how to navigate using the Linux terminal.

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Open A Linux Terminal Using CTRL ALT And T

Open Linux Terminal Using Ubuntu
Open Linux Terminal Using Ubuntu.

I find the easiest way to open a terminal is to use the key combination of CTRL, ALT, and T.

Simply hold all three keys at the same time and a terminal window will open.

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Search Using The Ubuntu Dash

Open Terminal Using The Dash
Open Terminal Using The Dash.

If you prefer a more graphical approach either click the symbol at the top of the Ubuntu launcher or press the super key on your keyboard.

This will bring up the Ubuntu Dash.

Start typing the word "term" into the search box and as you type you will see the terminal icon appear.

In fact, you will actually see three terminal icons:

  • terminal
  • xterm
  • uxterm

You can open any one of these terminal emulators by clicking on its icon.

The terminal generally has more features than xterm and uxterm. uxterm is the same as xterm but with support for unicode characters. 

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Navigate The Ubuntu Dash

Navigate The Ubuntu Dash
Navigate The Ubuntu Dash.

 A more long-winded way of opening a terminal window is to navigate the Ubuntu Dash instead of using the search bar.

Click on the top icon on the launcher or press the super key to bring up the Dash.

Now click on the "A" icon in the bottom of the Dash to bring up the Applications view.

You can now scroll down until you find the terminal icon and click it to open it.

You could also filter the results by clicking on the filter option. After doing so click on the "system" category.

You will now see all of the applications which belong in the system category. One of these icons will be for the terminal. To open the terminal click on the icon.

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Use The Run Command

Open A Terminal Using The Run Command
Open A Terminal Using The Run Command.

 Another relatively quick way to open a terminal is to use the run command option.

To open the run command window press the ALT and F2 keys at the same time.

To open the terminal type gnome-terminal into the command window. An icon will appear. Click on the icon to start the application or simply press return.

You have to enter gnome-terminal because that is the full name of the terminal application.

You can also type xterm for the xterm application or uxterm for the uxterm application.

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Use CTRL ALT And A Function Key

Use CTRL ALT and F1 To Open A Terminal
Use CTRL ALT and F1 To Open A Terminal.

All the methods thus far have opened a terminal emulator within the graphical environment.

There may be times, however, where you want to switch to a terminal which isn't linked to the current graphical session. Generally, you will want to do this when installing certain graphics drivers or doing anything that may be messing with your graphical setup.

To switch to another terminal press CTRL, ALT, and F1.

You will need to login as you are essentially starting a new session.

You can also use CTRL, ALT and F2, CTRL ALT and F3 and all the way up to CTRL ALT and F6.

To get back to your graphical desktop press CTRL ALT and F7.

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