Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can I change the transparency of the Terminal windows in Ubuntu with a command line?

I already know about the profile method but want a command so that I can quickly swap between transparent and opaque.

share|improve this question

migrated from Nov 15 '11 at 21:03

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Which terminal are you using? – sarnold Nov 15 '11 at 0:18
Is this really off topic? I use terminal for building and running and the command I'm looking is like an API request :) – Kurru Nov 15 '11 at 0:25
@sarnold: GNOME Terminal 2.30.2 – Kurru Nov 15 '11 at 0:26
I discovered the Unix stackexchange and cross-posted. Got a response that works :)… – Kurru Nov 15 '11 at 19:01

According to the manpage for gnome-terminal, what you want to do does not appear to be directly achievable.

   gnome-terminal — is a terminal emulation application.

   gnome-terminal  [-e,  --command=STRING]   [-x, --execute ]  [--window-with-profile=PROFILENAME]  [--tab-with-profile=PRO‐
   FILENAME]    [--window-with-profile-internal-id=PROFILEID]    [--tab-with-profile-internal-id=PROFILEID]    [--role=ROLE]
   [--show-menubar]   [--hide-menubar]   [--geometry=GEOMETRY]   [--disable-factory]  [-t, --title=TITLE]  [--working-direc‐
   tory=DIRNAME]  [--usage]  [-?, --help]

However, you might be able to achieve something similar to your goal via creating a couple of different profiles and then using either the --window-with-profile or --tab-with-profile options. Combined with aliases in your .*rc file, and you could be good to go.

share|improve this answer
Is there a command to close the current terminal window? Those commands open a new instance of terminal – Kurru Nov 15 '11 at 18:55
exit should close your current term window... – Mike Nov 15 '11 at 19:03
Note that the gnome-terminal(1) manpage was written by someone else because the GNOME team doesn't "do" documentation. The manpage just vaguely says something like "supports all VT102 and VT220 escape codes", but I fully expect it doesn't support all those codes and I fully expect they introduced new codes, too -- one of which might swap transparency on the fly. But just maybe. (The GNOME team is also known for removing configurable options whenever they think they can.) – sarnold Nov 15 '11 at 23:35
In the cross-posted question there is an answer showing how to swap opacity / transparency -- showing that once again you cannot count on the lack of documentation to mean something is or isn't possible with the GNOME software. – sarnold Nov 15 '11 at 23:38
What a giant ball of fail. sigh – Mike Jan 31 '12 at 21:26

The following link contains an answer for this question that I got from the unix board :)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.