In addition to the traditional features of Gnome Terminal, Multi Gnome Terminal adds many enhancements and extensions:
Multiple terminals may be opened within the same Window.
Each terminal Window is "Tabbed" for easy navigation.
The terminal Window may be "split" vertically and/or horizontally. And also unsplit, or the split terminal can be moved to its own "Tab", or even another Window.
Terminals may be "bonded" so that the input of a command in one terminal is echoed to all the "bonded" terminals.
Terminals may be moved from one Multi Gnome Terminal Window to another.
Notification that an inactive terminal buffer has changed, or is in the process of changing, via colors on Tab labels.
Extensive keyboard shortcuts for most Multi Gnome Terminal features, and configurable key bindings for these features and other uses.
Shading, tinting and psuedo-transparency of the Multi Gnome Terminal Window background.
Configurable "Commands" for initializing new terminals, accessible from within the Multi Gnome Terminal GUI interface, or as command line options.
Adds a Toolbar and Buttonbar, which can be disabled like the other GUI components. The Toolbar can be repositioned too.
Search the scrollback buffer.
Font "shadowing" for better contrast on transparent or pixmapped backgrounds.
Improved terminal emulation capabilities, including support for VT52.
Greatly improved support for launching URLs direct from the terminal Window, including launching text applications in a Tab or a split terminal.
Bold text fonts can be a different font and/or a different color (NEW v1.5.2).
A very flexible command line for creating new Windows, Tabs, and splits.
Adjustable contrast and gamma correction for background images (NEW v1.5.2).
Improved "Class" (preference profiles) handling, including Window and Tab based Classes (NEW v1.6.0).
Pseudo-graphics characters (box characters, like xterm) (NEW v1.6.0).
Unrelenting, fire-breathing, dripping wet sex appeal.
This section will address possible configuration and usage issues that might arise from upgrading from an older Multi Gnome Terminal version. There are always new features. See the NEWS file file for a list of what's new with each release, and major bug fixes. And you can read the ChangeLog, if you want all the agonizing, gory details.
v1.6.1 is a bugfix release. See v1.6.0 below for configuration changes from earlier versions.
Window and Tab Classes: Previously, all "Classes" (i.e. configuration profiles), were scoped such that all Tabs for a particular Window shared the same Class configuration preferences. Configuration preferences are now divided such that there are two Class categories, allowing for more flexible configuration schemes. The result is: Tab Classes and Window classes. This means that each Tab can have its own distinct colors, fonts, backgrounds, etc., and that any one Window can conceivably have any number of distinctly different Tab configurations. Some of the immediate ramifications:
Any previously defined Classes, will become "tclasses" (Tab Classes) after upgrading from v1.5.x. This is significantly new behavior. As a result, any start-up Tabs will have lost their Class associations, and will have to be re-defined. Edit Commands also now has options for setting both Window Classes and Tab Classes for start-up Tabs. You can specify both, if need be.
The corresponding command line options are now --tclass to specify a Tab only Class (new behavior!) And --wclass to specify a Window only Class. --tclass behavior is notably different now.
In previous versions, the Preferences Window contained all important Multi Gnome Terminal configuration. This has been split into two Windows now, and two corresponding menu selections -- Tab Preferences and Win Preferences. Each selection contains only those preferences that apply to the Class scoping in question, i.e. Tab Preferences contains all attributes, and only those attributes, that can be specified per Tab.
See the Terminal Configuration Classes Section for details on Multi Gnome Terminal Classes.
Default New Term Menu Selections: These are the items at the top of the New Term menu, such as Shell and mc. These can be disabled now. See the Edit Commands Section for details.
mgt-helper: There is now an "-x" option that allows running compound shell commands from Edit Commands. Example:
mgt-helper -x ls -l |less && echo Say good bye, computer. ; echo Good bye ; sleep 3
Many small configuration and usage improvements as well. There is also a man page, and docmentation now for mgt-helper.
Edit Commands: The Window is now tabbed and re-ogranized, giving more room for those of us with a qazillion commands to deal with. Tip: You can re-order the New Term menu by dragging entries with the mouse and re-locating them within the list.
New in this documentation: The Keybindings section has been re-written to correct some significant omissions, better highlight key features, and to correct one glaring error. Please read, or re-read, as the case may be.
Y3K Compliancy: A third generation Toklass class-B Time Runner bot recently took Multi Gnome Terminal to the year 3,000, and not surprisingly, Multi Gnome Terminal passed all tests with flying colors. And was subsequently certified by the United Bot Federation (UBF) for use at all Federation operational levels.
mgt-helper: mgt-helper is a shell script that is now bundled with Multi Gnome Terminal to help improve interaction of Multi Gnome Terminal with the shell environment. It essentially a collection of subroutines that add supplemental functionality that would be difficult to accomplish from within Multi Gnome Terminal alone. For the time being, the best reference for this script, are the comments in the script itself. Some highlights:
Did you ever wish you had a separate bash history file (up arrow key from prompt), for specific Tabs? Now you can. Find your custom terminals in Edit Commands, and change the command definition to: mgt-helper -h <some_id>, where "some_id" is some unique string of your chosing. Save and apply changes. This will start a bash shell now with a custom bash history file.
You can now use Multi Gnome Terminal with GNOME URL handlers. This means you can configure GNOME to launch a text based app in its own Tab (or split Tab) for http, ftp, mailto, and file type URLs. So, for instance, if you CTRL-MiddleMouse click on a highlighted HTTP URL in the terminal window, you can launch a text browser that will launch in its own Tab. You will need to set this up in GNOME under Document Handlers. Or, edit your ~/.gnome/Gnome file. See mgt-helper --usage for syntax, and the file itself for further configuration. Other applications will still use GUI defaults (set your preferred GUI defaults in ~/.mgt-helper.rc). Note: This only works on Linux!
Note: this script is a work in progress, and is not well tested. The various options are independent of each other, and should be invoked individually.
Keybindings: There are several new Actions available for Keybindings: "New Terminal Menu", "Right Click Menu" (i.e. the pop-up control menu), "Selection mode off" (shortcut is pop-up modifier key + MiddleMouse), and "Terminal Help" (User Guide).
GNOME Sessions: You can now save your Multi Gnome Terminal layout (Windows, Tabs, paths, etc), when exiting GNOME, if GNOME is configured to "save" the current configuration.
Keybindings: There are a number of new Actions available for use with Keybindings to reflect the new features, such as splitting. These are available from the dropdown list at the top of the Window. But these will not be reflected in the currently defined list of Keybindings for anyone upgrading from 1.4.x, and consequently unavailable for immediate use. In fact, any old keybindings that have been superceded may not work as expected. The solution is to delete the outdated keybindings, and replace them with one of the new ones.
Command Line Options: There are many new command line options for creating new Tabs, Windows, splits, etc. See the Command Line Options Section for more on this (new ones are near the end of the list).
New Term Menu (formerly the New Tab menu): Each selection from the New Term menu, will open a sub-menu so as to easily incorporate the splitting feaures. But, this requires a little more mouse movement to open new Tabs.
If this is inconvenient, consider that anything you do repetitively can be accomplished by other means. And often with less effort. For instance, with Keybindings, any action, such as opening a new Tab, is potentially one key stroke away. Also, bash aliases and the new command line options, could conceivably do the same with a one letter alias. See the Command Examples Section in Appendix A. Also, you can easily define various custom Classes to reflect various working habits so that starting Multi Gnome Terminal, puts you into exactly the configuration you want for that particular occasion. Any of these methods are arguably "easier" than the two mouse clicks required for the old menu system (one click to open menu, one to select option).
The menus are primarily for inexperienced users that have not yet had time to learn the more "advanced" features. Or, for features that one does not use often.
Launch URLs: The shortcut for direct launching of URLs (i.e. to bypass the Pop-up menu), is now CTRL-MiddleMouse.