I was recently asked why I haven’t mentioned anything about Yakuake on CubicleNate.com so I decided to take the time and cover some of its features, what I did to modify it a smidge and why I use it. For starters, I don’t think the terminal is a “power user” function. I truly believe it is an every-day user tool that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. There is a great discussion thread here on the Destination Linux Discourse forum about this subject.
It is my belief that the terminal should be an integrated part of every desktop. I believe a person should know to use the terminal to better understand how their computer works, even if they are not “into computers,” basic understanding of the computers workings with the ability to speak its language doesn’t have any drawbacks. If anything, it empowers you to know more and do more with these incredibly powerful tools.
Bottom Line Up Front: Yakuake is a great way to integrate the terminal into your desktop in such a way that keeps access to the most powerful tool just a keystroke away. Yakuake isn’t the only terminal emulator I use but it is that one I use most often due to how incredibly convenient it is.
Normally I like to give the graphical method of installation along with the terminal based but since this is about a terminal emulator, I think you can handle terminal only instruction.
Using Konsole or some other terminal emulator you may have enter this:
sudo zypper in yakuake
That’s all there is to it. You are all set to run Yakuake
Yakuake is the first terminal emulator I have ever known to give you greet you with a welcome and immediately ask you for your preference as well as a suggestion for a shortcut. The suggest key to activate the drop-down action of the Yakuake terminal emulator is F12. I left this as my option as it seems to work well for me.
The smooth drop down action of terminal emulator invokes a kind of enthusiasm about the desktop. It just looks so cool to see the thing smoothly drop downward as it fades in. It’s a subtle effect that truly enhances the user experience.
Yakuake is built from the tooling of Konsole so any of the profiles or specific customization you have made are all available in Yakuake. Having the same “bones” is fantastically convenient because I do have a few little tweaks I have made in Konsole that just carry over into Yakuake. It is worthy of a smile of satisfaction.
The default theme is too light for me. It’s fine if you are running Breeze or Breeze Twilight as your color scheme but since I go with my openSUSE Breeze Dark theme, I much prefer something darker. The theme to download and install is “Perfect Dark Plasma”. This theme looks perfect for Breeze Dark themes and the like. The buttons and what not match what you see on the window decorations of Konsole,
To Pin or Not to Pin
The default behavior for me when using Yakuake is to not pin the drop-down. On some instances I will pin it downward but for the most part, I will drop down Yakuake, enter my command or start some process and click away from it. The way I see it, I will invoke the shortcut when I am ready for it. The situation I have used to keep it present if I am copy and pasting a list of commands I have stored elsewhere.
This makes me think… maybe I should write up some bash scripts to do these things more automatically, hmm…
How I Use It
When I want to run an update on my openSUSE Tumbleweed system. As much as I like Tumbleweed, there isn’t a graphical way to update the system properly. Discover doesn’t handle Tumbleweed updates appropriately.
Network interrogation, Pinging another system, quickly logging into something, connect to a specific Tmux session for just a bit to check on a thing, log into other computers to perform
zypper dup on each system. To take that one step further, the Session tabs I fancy in Konsole are right there in Yakuake. I can easily jump between tabs and have a whole myriad of tasks or nerdy information right at my fingertips. Rather than perform updates sequentially on various systems can log into each one on their own tab, perform the updates all the while monitor the status of each system with bpytop as the updates proceed. It is actually because of Yakuake that I have been playing with more and more terminal applications. The unmitigated freedoms this provides is incontestable.
Another thing I do, probably more often than what is reasonable for a person that spends much of his life in his basement “cubicle”, checking the weather quickly with wttr. The ease of executing that command to get specific weather information in the terminal is the cat’s meow.
What I Like
Yakuake is a terminal that is but a key stroke away form doing a quick thing. You can even have a series of quick things available to you with the same tabs you have available to you in Konsole. Using just the keyboard you can add tabs and easily switch to them.
The drop down effect just looks cool and is a quick action that gives me access to a whole world of terminal tools to accomplish a large variety of [generally quick] tasks.
The look and appearance is very configurable. You can change the skin theme, the width or height of the terminal and how you would like to make the terminal appear and retract. Sure, it may be a terminal but it is certainly one of the most exciting terminal applications I’ve used.
What I Don’t Like
The default skin didn’t exactly match my desktop environment that is an easy fix but to find this Perfect Breeze Dark took a while to find. I do wish it would have been one of the built in options. This could be an openSUSE thing for all I know.
I have this strong belief that the terminal is a place for anyone to enjoy their computer. Though, I realize it isn’t for everyone, I do believe it has the potential to be. With a little time, care and patience, the terminal can be a comfortable, non-intimidating world of computer fun for all to enjoy.