#261 gnome-terminal -> gnome-console
Opened 5 months ago by catanzaro. Modified 6 days ago

Hi, similar to gedit -> gnome-text-editor, upstream GNOME will be replacing gnome-terminal with gnome-console (formerly King's Cross) in GNOME 42. We probably want to make this change in F36. Upstream ticket


Thanks for raising this, @catanzaro . I'll put it on the agenda as soon as there's opportunity.

I tried out Console again to see where it is at, and it's (intentionally?) very minimal. The complete set of settings is:

  • Dark mode / light mode
  • A scale factor

The features that I'm aware of that are new and different from terminal are:

  • Switching the headbar to red when running as root
  • Switching the headbar to purple when ssh'ing to a remote
  • A slight and non-removable transparency by default

I'd be supportive of switching to Console, even if some users would find it was missing an essential setting, if it had some significant features to surprise and delight, but I'm not sure that it's hitting that bar.

What users do we we to expect to benefit from a transition to Console for F36?

Dark mode / light mode
A scale factor

I'm a little confused on these two points. According to the issue tracker, these are done, and I've seen screenshots of the same version that I have here, with those features. Yet I don't see them.

The scale factor is the zoom setting in the hamburger menu.

I don't see the option for dark mode vs. light mode.

In a build from latest git, the Dark vs. Light mode switcher are black and white circles in the hamburger menu. (Seems to have been added about a month ago.)

kgx-screenshot.png

What about tabs in the new console?

What about tabs in the new console?

Tabs are there and the tab bar slides out with a nice animation.

Does the proposed replacement support multiple terminal profiles? I use those to manage my Toolboxes on Silverblue.

Does the proposed replacement support multiple terminal profiles? I use those to manage my Toolboxes on Silverblue.

Certainly not. You would need to install GNOME Terminal for that.

We seem to have consensus to do this among the WG members who were present at today's meeting. Might want to check again with the full WG after the holidays, but sticking with gnome-terminal (which we have to patch downstream) when upstream has moved on to gnome-console (which would not require Fedora patches) seems like it would be unusual.

We would need to patch glib to launch gnome-console if installed. This would have to be a downstream patch (background) but it would be a one-liner that is easy to rebase.

I'm a -1 to switching to gnome-console. I don't see a story about how this improves things for Fedora users, which leaves only the negative story about how we removed features people were using. I don't want us talking it up in the Fedora 36 release materials, if established users try it out, wonder what they are missing, and switch back.

I don't see a story about how this improves things for Fedora users

I think the story, as far as upstream is concerned, is that Console is more polished and has less clunky historical baggage. The specific things you could point to there are:

  • A better find UI (no dialog that obscures the content beneath)
  • The new tab widget instead of GtkNoteBook
  • Visual polish like overlaid scrollbars, window size indicator, coloured header bars

So maybe the question is less whether there is a user story, and more whether it is compelling enough?

how we removed features people were using

The main omission I've heard mentioned is profiles. Are there any others...?

In addition to profiles, some of the features that I'd expect to hear complaints about include:

  • Custom font [*] (can work around with Tweaks)
  • Pick between predefined color schemes [*]
  • Custom color schemes
  • Pick between predefined color palettes [*]
  • Make a custom color palette
  • Customize shortcuts
  • Disable terminal bell [*] (I could work around with ~/.inputrc)

[*] I personally use these options.

I'm not saying that we need to (or even want to) get to "nobody complaints about anything" but we really need to give people something to latch onto as positive benefits - and for something with that basically just a grid of characters with a thin interface around it - are going to care that much about UI polish?

Custom font [*] (can work around with Tweaks)
Pick between predefined color schemes [*]
Custom color schemes
Pick between predefined color palettes [*]
Make a custom color palette
Customize shortcuts
Disable terminal bell [*] (I could work around with ~/.inputrc)

I don't see issues upstream for a bunch of these, and I can reach out to see about the prospect of adding them. The new text editor has settings for custom fonts and colour schemes so there's a precedent for some of them.

we really need to give people something to latch onto as positive benefits ... are going to care that much about UI polish?

I do think that some users will welcome the new app. What proportion of users that will be, I'm less sure! I do think that there's value in having a more polished, forward-looking terminal - it sends a good message.

More features might help, though of course the question then becomes which features? Adding functionality that isn't relevant to the people we want to win over isn't going to help. And we need to be realistic about what can be achieved.

This discussion is very much about how users will react. Trying to do some research and get some initial feedback might be a good step.

Any suggestions how to install GNOME Console in Fedora 35?

Any suggestions how to install GNOME Console in Fedora 35?

There is a copr for the current stable version here: https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/exalm/kgx/. This version predates the rename kgx -> gnome-console.

I understand the current development version has a few enhancements like light/dark theme switcher that are not available in this copr.

I've been using Console/kgx/King's Cross for a week and am very close to preferring it over Terminal. The two things I'm missing to give it a +1 for installation by default:

  • scrollback is too small and can't be configured;
  • selection above/below the visible area, i.e. using scrollback/forward to select more text than fits in the viewable portion, cannot be copy/pasted. It fails to copy any amount of the selected text.

scrollback is too small and can't be configured;

An infinite scrollback option would be nice. I use this on iTerm on macOS and it comes in really handy.

agrees with @otaylor would not switch to gnome-console/kgx as standard right now as its missing a lot of features and settings, also it comes from Posh Mobile GNOME, so would say keep gnome-terminal for now until gnome-console has more needed features

scrollback limit is too short https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/console/-/issues/108

The selection copy/paste issue I mentioned, I can't reproduce today! I'll file a bug once I have a reproducer or at least if it's clearly transient and not just user error.

There is a --set-scrollback option to increase the limit, but like I mention in the bug 1000 lines seems short as a default for typical usage in Fedora. Terminal also has a short scrollback by default. I'm not sure which is less discoverable, Terminal's UI for changing the scrollback, or the cli flag for Console. But at this point I'm more on-board making Console the default than not.

Upstream issues:
- Less limited (or infinite) scrollback: https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/console/-/issues/108
- Common preferences (color, font, bell): https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/console/-/issues/105
- Toolbox integration: https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/console/-/issues/42

This issue was discussed at yesterday's WG meeting. General conclusion was that, before we switch the default terminal to gnome-console, we'd like to see:

  • some of the most obvious gaps between console and gnome-terminal closed
  • more in the way of unique features/selling points in console
  • some communications around console - what its goals are, why it's a good default, why it doesn't have profiles, where we're going with the experience

This translates to a plan as follows:

  1. pursue upstream changes in line with what we'd like to see (see the previous comment)
  2. get console available for testing in Fedora
  3. after 2, do a magazine post about console (and possible gnome-text-editor too)
  4. hopefully make the switch from gnome-terminal to gnome-console for f37

All this is open to revision depending on how things go, of course.

Metadata Update from @aday:
- Issue untagged with: meeting-request

4 months ago

I think that @ngompa agreed to package gnome-console... - setting pending-action for that.

Metadata Update from @aday:
- Issue set to the milestone: Fedora 37
- Issue tagged with: pending-action

4 months ago

Hi @jadahl, is it good enough to submit to upstream?

It's "submitted"ish here: https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/console/-/issues/27 but I'm not sure how the maintainer wants it to look schema wise and how it'd be configured.

I think that @ngompa agreed to package gnome-console... - setting pending-action for that.

Reminder: would be cool to see this packaged, even if it won't be default in F36.

Looks like there's been no progress on any of the priority issues we identified. I suppose that while we identified issues that we'd like to see fixed, we didn't actually find developers to do the fixing, with the exception of the color profile work that Jonas is handling.

BTW, Christian Persch has requested that we drop our gnome-terminal and vte patches if we switch from gnome-terminal -> gnome-console. That seems reasonable to me.

As it stands, it's unlikely that we'll switch to GNOME Console anytime soon.

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