Install Termite Terminal Emulator on Ubuntu 22.04|20.04|18.04|16.04

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How can I Install Termite on Ubuntu 22.04|20.04|18.04|16.04?. Termite has been my favorite Linux terminal emulator since I switched to Arch Linux as my Primary Linux distribution. I run Arch Linux with i3 Window Manager, all my dotfiles are available on my Github Dotfiles repository.

Having been away from the Debian/Ubuntu family for a while, I decided to give Ubuntu Desktop Edition a try on my new home Desktop. Being Ubuntu, termite is not available on default repositories and you’ll have to build it from source.

Termite is a keyboard-centric VTE-based terminal, aimed at use within a window manager with tiling and/or tabbing support. It supports transparency along with both the 256 color and true color (16 million colors) palettes.

Install Termite on Ubuntu 22.04|20.04|18.04|16.04 by using the steps below:

Step 1: Install Development Tools

Install Development Tools in your Ubuntu Workstation using the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install build-essential

Step 2: Install Termite Build Dependencies

Next is to download and install Termite build dependencies on your system.

sudo apt-get install -y git g++ libgtk-3-dev gtk-doc-tools gnutls-bin valac intltool libpcre2-dev libglib3.0-cil-dev libgnutls28-dev libgirepository1.0-dev libxml2-utils gperf

Step 3: Install Enhanced vte terminal widget

VTE is a library (libvte) implementing a terminal emulator widget for GTK+, and a minimal sample application (vte) using that.

Install VTE like below:

cd ~/
git clone
echo export LIBRARY_PATH="/usr/include/gtk-3.0:$LIBRARY_PATH"
cd vte-ng
sudo make install

Step 4: Build and Install termite on Ubuntu 22.04|20.04|18.04|16.04

Once you have VTE library installed, clone termite code and build it.

cd ~/
git clone --recursive
cd termite
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig
sudo mkdir -p /lib/terminfo/x
sudo ln -s /usr/local/share/terminfo/x/xterm-termite /lib/terminfo/x/xterm-termite
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/x-terminal-emulator x-terminal-emulator /usr/local/bin/termite 60

The termite binary should be available under /usr/local/bin/termite

$ which termite

Step 5: Configuring Termite Terminal Emulator

Termite looks for configuration files in:

  • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/termite/config
  • ~/.config/termite/config
  • $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/termite/config
  • /etc/xdg/termite.cfg

To start customizing termite copy the base example file to your home dir first:

mkdir -p ~/.config/termite
cp /etc/xdg/termite/config ~/.config/termite/config
vim ~/.config/termite/config

Below is my termite configuration file, you can paste its contents to yours:

scroll_on_output = false
scroll_on_keystroke = true
audible_bell = false
mouse_autohide = true
allow_bold = true
dynamic_title = true
urgent_on_bell = true
clickable_url = true
cursor_blink = on
#font = Hack 10 

background = #282828
foreground = #ebdbb2
color0  = #282828
color8  = #928374
color1  = #cc241d
color9  = #fb4934
color2  = #98971a
color10 = #b8bb26
color3  = #d79921
color11 = #fabd2f
color4  = #458588
color12 = #83a598
color5  = #b16286
color13 = #d3869b
color6  = #689d6a
color14 = #8ec07c
color7  = #a89984
color15 = #ebdbb2

You can now start termite terminal emulator on Ubuntu 22.04|20.04|18.04|16.04 Desktop from the terminal or Applications launcher.


To test which terminal emulator you’re currently using, use neofetch

sudo apt install -y neofetch

The run neofetch command. You should get termite on the Terminal section.


Common Issues

When Termite is using remote SSH connection sometimes the error occurs: Error opening terminal: xterm-termite. or Open terminal failed: missing or unsuitable terminal: xterm-termite.

To fix the above error, execute this command on the remote system.

export TERM=xterm-color

If your system support 256 color, use:

export TERM=xterm-256color

To make this persistent, put the line in your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc file.

$ vim ~/.bashrc 
# Add line at the end of file
# export TERM="xterm-256color" 
 export TERM=xterm-color

Save the file and exit, the source it.

$ source ~/.bashrc
$ source ~/.zshrc

Usage Cheat Sheet:

  • Copy selected text in insert mode: Ctrl+Shift+c
  • Paste: Ctrl+Shift+v
  • Start scrolling completion: Ctrl+Tab
  • Scroll the screen up or down: Ctrl+Shift+Up / Ctrl+Shift+Down
  • Enter selection-mode: Ctrl+Shift+Space
  • Opening a new tab: Ctrl+Shift+t

If opening a new tab through Ctrl+Shift+t fails with no directory uri set, source /etc/profile.d/

source /etc/profile.d/

Since we built our VTE from source, this will be something like:

source /etc/profile.d/

Many  Termite commands are borrowed from Vim. Enjoy using termite on your Ubuntu 22.04|20.04|18.04|16.04 system.


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