I work a lot in the terminal, and much like text editors, I like to have a few on hand to keep things interesting. There is probably no lamer way to keep things “interesting” but whatever. I usually scan the Crunchbang and Arch forums to see what the trendy apps are, and while they are usually a great source, they seemed to miss is a very solid terminal, Guake. Guake is modeled after the popular KDE drop-down terminal Yakuake, which apparently is modeled after something in the game Quake. I played that game, and I don’t remember any drop-down menus, but whatever. While a drop-down terminal doesn’t sound like a must have, after playing with Yakuake for a few hours, I was convinced that it was worthwhile. But that was on a virtualbox where I didn’t have to infest my system with any KDE crap. After looking around for GTK based drop-down terminals I found two: Guake and Tilda. I ran my standard heuristic to decide which one I should install: if one has both a cleaner looking webpage that seems to be actively updated AND has less dependencies (relative to what I already have installed) then that’s the winner. Guake won both tests, and thus was installed. Guake has some really nice features that make it better than Yakuake in my opinion.

The first is a tray icon. Since this app pretty much runs in the background, it’s very nice to know when its running. You can also quit it from the tray icon, as well as access the preferences menu.

The second is that it feels like Terminator, my default terminal, which makes using it that much more seamless. It also has keyboard shortcuts, so you can make it feel however you like.

It does get a little intrusive, installing both an icon in the “Preferences” menu as well as setting itself to autostart when logging in. There is also not ability to split the screen, as there is in Terminator, which is probably my favorite feature of Terminator. But these two things aside, Guake is a very nice terminal application, and fits in very nicely into the rest of my Lubuntu configuration. Anyone looking for a nice GTK terminal compliment to Terminator should give Guake a chance.