Gnome Terminal is a terminal emulator for the GNOME desktop environment. Gnome terminal allows users to execute commands using a real shell while remaining on their graphical desktop.

With this application you can do the following:

  • Switch to 'root' and issue commands
  • Change file permissions
  • SSH, Telnet, FTP, etc. to other system remote shells.
  • Restart system services
  • Manage applications
  • Create/Run scripts
  • Run system utilities
  • Launch Graphical tools
  • Check network connections

Basic Usage

Basic Usage

Gnome Terminal is similar to the xterm terminal emulator, and has a nearly identical feature set.

(For a larger image, click on the following (click here)

You can access this application in the following ways:

  • Computer ▸ More Applications ▸ Accessories section ▸ Terminal.
  • Right Click on your system's Desktop ▸ Open Terminal
  • From the command line, type: 'gnome-terminal &' to start another terminal session.

Switching to Administrator

Switching to Administrator

Many times in order to execute administrative commands, users must first switch to 'root' :

  1. Right click the desktop, and on the shortcut menu, click Open Terminal. (or locate the Terminal icon from the menu)
  2. Type su - and press Enter.
    su -
    Password: ******
  3. Enter the root password to gain administrator access.

Example Usage

Example Usage

The following is a brief list of commands which can be executed from within the gnome terminal session.

Command Description Example
df -h shows disk usage,

in this example the main partition ( / ) is consuming 15G (40%) of space with 23G available
df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted
/dev/Vol00 39G 15G 23G 40% /
/dev/sda2 92M 18M 69M 21% /boot
/sbin/swapon -s Shows swap size, and amount used,

in this example the swap is 4GB with 0 of it in use
Filename         Type         Size    Used
/dev/LogVol01 partition 4095992 0
/sbin/ifconfig shows ip address information

in this example tun0 (AT&T) has an ipaddress of assigned to this system
tun0 inet addr:  Mask:ffffff
RX bytes:11060372 (10.5 MiB)
TX bytes:2669921 (2.5 MiB)
reboot Reboots the system
System is rebooting ..
vncserver start a remote shared desktop
Give password to access desktops.
Password: ******
Verify: ******
New 'x.x.x.x:1 (root)' desktop
ssh host.ibm.com connect remotely to another system over ssh
ssh lnx45.ibm.com
quickm@lnx45.ibm.com's password: ******
Welcome to LNX45
ping www.host.com Test the network connection

in this example, we have a successful connection to the Internet
ping www.google.com
PING www.google.com (
64 bytes from time=72 ms
64 bytes from time=71 ms
64 bytes from time=74 ms
ps -e
ps -ef
List processes and their IDs

in this example, we have obtained the Process ID (PID) for the Firefox web browser
ps -e | grep firefox
4562 ? 00:01:06 firefox
kill -9
Terminate a process from the command line

in this example we kill the process ID 4562. If this process does not terminate on it's own use the -9 option to force it. Use 'ps -e' to check if it still exists.
kill 4562

kill -9 4562
killall Terminate all instances of a process by it's name

in this example we terminate all of the firefox process(es)
killall firefox

Use locate command to find files using a cached list. to update the cached list, as root type updatedb

in this example we search for a file
locate TheLostAges.*
grep to narrow searches grep can be used to narrow a search

in this example, grep is used to only show results in the ibm_user's home folder only by showing results which contain the word 'ibm_user' in it

notice that the two files in /tmp did not print to the screen
locate TheLostAges.* | grep ibm_user
rpm -qa

rpm -qa | grep
rpm is the RHEL\SuSE\etc. (RPM based) package manager command

in this example rpm -qa is being confirm vnc packages are installed. If the packages were not installed the command would have returned nothing.
rpm -qa | grep vnc
rpm -Uvh

yum install
working off of the previous example, rpm can also be used to install a package if it is located on your system. Similarly, yum install is an easier way of installing packages

in this example, instead of downloading a package and installing it with rpm -Uvh vnc*.rpm , use yum to install vnc.
yum install vnc*
yum update

Using yum to update works off of the IBM Software shopper, to launch the graphical updater, type yumex.

in this example yum update installs all of the updates from the command line
yum -y update

Further Information

Further Reading and Information

For more information regarding gnome-terminal , please refer to the following external website:


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