09 January 2010

YaKuake - Instant terminal for KDE

YaKuake is for you if you ever wished for summoning a customizable terminal with a single keypress. Being in KDE extragear, it is most likely contained in your repositories. To check it out, install the yakuake package and start it from the K Menu.

Once it is started, press F12 to show/hide the Yakuake terminal. Nice and practical, isn't it? What makes this application even better is that it supports splitting the view, as well as detaching of inline shells into separate tabs, which is similar in behavior to the console-based screen, tmux or dvtm window managers.

All functionality is (also) accessible via keyboard shortcuts. To split the view horizontally/vertically, press CTRL-SHIFT-T and CTRL-SHIFT-L, respectively. Create a new tab with CTRL-SHIFT-N. You can close shells using CTRL-SHIFT-R, or by logging out of that shell using CTRL-D or the exit command.

Navigation is straightforward. You can cycle through the shells within a split view using CTRL-SHIFT-Up/Down, and go through tabs with SHIFT-Left/Right. CTRL-SHIFT-Left/Right lets you move a tab to another position.

As with every shell related application, I consider it crucial to customize the settings to my likings and requirements for a streamlined workflow. You might want to increase YaKuake's height to make better use of your screen estate. I also set the application to not stay open when it loses focus, so I can click somewhere and have it out of the way. I also activate the "highlight terminals when they are activated" thing, which is very useful in splitscreen. You can access the settings by clicking the little down arrow on the right of YaKuake's "bottom bar".

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