Embedding Terminals

Following on from my love of Conky, I’ve been playing around with embedding other applications into the desktop. One of the most useful tricks with this is to embed a terminal that’s always there for a quick command or two.

An easy way to get an embedded terminal is with Screenlets, which can be downloaded and installed through Synaptic if you’re using Ubuntu. The terminal screenlet can be downloaded from the website, and installed within the screenlets manager. It can be set to transparent, with its own colour scheme.

If you’re using screenlets anyway, this may be a good system, but I found it slightly buggy, and since I’m not using another other screenlets, it’s just another program to start up.

Instead, I found this guide on how to embed gnome-terminal windows, if you’re using gnome and Compiz, perfect for us Ubuntu users.

I followed the guide, but hit a problem with specifying the geometry dimensions of my window, as I didn’t like the dimensions the writer had used for his window.

The solution is in a handy little command-line tool, xwininfo. Set up a terminal exactly the size and shape you want your embedded terminal to be. Then type:

xwininfo | grep geometry

This will give you a little mouse pointer. Use it to click on the window you want the information about, in this case our terminal window. It will return the exact size and position, which you can then use for your start-up script.

The result of all this embedding is a desktop that looks like this:

A minimalistic look with Embedded Terminals

A minimalistic look with Embedded Terminals

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