2. Usage Overview

2.1. Shells

Multi Gnome Terminal starts a "shell" environment (command line interpreter). UNIX shells can significantly extend the capabilities of the usual command line prompt. For example, the bash shell (which is the default shell for most Linux distributions) provides command completion (try entering beginning of a command or file name and press Tab key), a history buffer (you can recall previously entered commands by pressing Up arrow key), and much more. For complete documentation, see the manual pages for the appropriate shells.

Multi Gnome Terminal further extends the traditional command line interface by allowing potentially many shells to co-exist within the same Window simultaneously.

2.2. Multiple Terminals

The most prominent innovation of Multi Gnome Terminal is the ability to run multiple terminals within the same X Window. Each terminal constitutes a fully functional shell environment and is represented in the GUI by a Tab.

The terminal window can also be split horizontally and vertically, can be moved from one Multi Gnome Terminal Window to another, and can be "bonded" to other terminal windows.

Navigation between opened terminals is easily done either via the Tabs, or keyboard shortcuts, which are configurable.

Tabs can be initialized in various ways, and saved such that new Multi Gnome Terminal Windows are opened with a user specified configuration, or with the previous state saved, or a combination. See the Tabs Section for details.

2.3. Commands

Multi Gnome Terminal "Commands" are shell commands to initialize new terminals. These can be something simple to just start a new interactive shell. Or can do more interesting things, such as change to a specified directory on start up, or ssh to a remote host and start a shell there. Or whatever else the imagination may allow ;-)

Multi Gnome Terminal commands are configured from the Edit Commands selection of the Settings menu, and are then easily invoked from the the New Term menu. Or via keyboard shortcuts (see Keybindings Section). See the Edit Commands Section.

2.4. Key Bindings

Keyboard shortcuts are easily configured for various Multi Gnome Terminal functions, any user defined Commands, and various other user preferences and usages. These are configured from the Keybindings selection of the Settings menu. See the Keybindings Section.

2.5. GUI Controls

Multi Gnome Terminal provides various GUI components for navigation, configuration, and control over Multi Gnome Terminal's behavior. In addition to the Menus and Scrollbar from Gnome Terminal, Multi Gnome Terminal adds a Toolbar and a Buttonbar. And of course, the Tabs. See the User Interface section for an explanation of each.

2.6. Classes

Multi Gnome Terminal "Classes" are saved configuration profiles for such things as fonts, colors, backgrounds, Tabs, etc. There are two Class categories: Tab Classes and Window Classes. There can conceivably be many "Class" profiles created for user preferences, which can be invoked as needed. These can be either invoked at program start-up, or changed dynamically from the Menu.

2.7. Launch URLs

Multi Gnome Terminal improves Gnome Terminal's recognition of URL-like strings on the screen. If clicked with CTRL-MiddleMouse, Multi Gnome Terminal will try to open the appropriate application: a web browser, mail client, or file manager (or if no on-screen match, this will reset X selection mode). See the Launching URLs Section for more on this feature, which is greatly enhanced, and can conceivably be customized to a high degree.

2.8. Command Line Options

Multi Gnome Terminal includes a number of useful command line options for creating new Windows, new Tabs, and split Windows. Tabs can even be added to the current Window dynamically. See the Command Line Options Section.

2.9. Emulation

Multi Gnome Terminal is designed to emulate the xterm program provided by the X Consortium and provides improved emulation support over Gnome Terminal. xterm, in turn, is an almost-complete emulation of the DEC VT102 terminal.

Multi Gnome Terminal supports the same extensions to the VT102 that the xterm program provides, through special "escape" sequences. Recent changes to xterm have been been incorporated into Multi Gnome Terminal. This includes emulation of the newer DEC VT220 escape sequences and also, full support for VT52. Multi Gnome Terminal is fully compliant with vttest, a program for testing terminal emulator support.

In simpler terms, this means that Multi Gnome Terminal understands all the commands (escape sequences) used by VT52/VT102/VT220/xterm terminals for things like positioning of the cursor on screen. Therefore, you can run in Multi Gnome Terminal any application that is designed to work inside VT52/VT102/VT220/xterm terminals and all the controls (such as arrows, PageUp/PageDown keys, Tab key, etc) should work as expected.