How can I Install Termite on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 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 18.04 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 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 by using the steps below:

Step 1: Install Development Tools

Install Development Tools in your Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 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
make && sudo make install

Step 4: Build and Install termite on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

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
$ nano ~/.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 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop from the terminal or Applications launcher.

install termite ubuntu 18.04 ubuntu 16.04 02

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.

install termite ubuntu 18.04 ubuntu 16.04 03

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.

$ nano ~/.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


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 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 system.

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