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During the development of a project I had to open multiple tabs in gnome-terminal: some I just used for output streams, others were used for the shell prompt.

Is there a way to automate this task?

For example, I'd like if I could run a script that would automatically open multiple terminals and run certain commands on each of them. The terminals should be displayed vertically or horizontally rather than in tabs (or different windows) along the lines of a grid display.

Terminator does exactly what I want, but I can't work out how to configure it as I want. I don't get the 'Layout' thing

Here's part of my 'config' file:

[layouts]
  [[default]]
    [[[child1]]]
      type = Terminal
      parent = window0
      position = left
   [[[child2]]]
      type = Terminal
      parent = window0
      position = left
   [[[window0]]]
      type = Window
      parent = ""

When I run Terminator, an error is printed saying that there's an incorrect number of children - then Terminator appears normally with a single terminal.

Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong here? I'd be happy to look at other tools as well with the same functionality.

Cross-link from stackoverflow, A very good answer can be found there: http://tinyurl.com/6727z6j

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You need to use VPaned for vertical split or HPaned for horizontal split.

Example config file:

[layouts]
  [[superuser]]
    [[[window]]]
      type = Window
      parent = ""
    [[[pane]]]
      type = VPaned
      parent = window
    [[[terminal0]]]
      type = Terminal
      parent = pane
    [[[terminal1]]]
      type = Terminal
      parent = pane
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