#261 gnome-terminal -> gnome-console
Opened a year ago by catanzaro. Modified 5 months 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

a year 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

a year 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.

GNOME Console has been packaged for five months by @ignatenkobrain: https://src.fedoraproject.org/rpms/gnome-console

The author of the app is appearing here as "Zander Brown" and the GitLab link is still https://gitlab.gnome.org/ZanderBrown/KGX. Also, Console appears as kgx in System Monitor.

Ah, nevermind. It isn't yet a stable release.

The WG discussed this issue during yesterday's meeting.

Since the packaging is done, the main outstanding issue is the functionality gaps we previously identified. We also saw that gnome-console didn't have a 42.0 stable release.

I'm going to look into the former issue, and @catanzaro is going to look into the latter.

Metadata Update from @aday:
- Issue untagged with: pending-action
- Issue assigned to aday

6 months ago

There is a Console 42.1 release available now (there was a mistake with releasing 42.0).

We agreed that Console isn't ready yet. Changing the milestone to F38 so we can evaluate it further then.

Metadata Update from @aday:
- Issue set to the milestone: Fedora 38 (was: Fedora 37)

5 months ago

I'm just a user here.

I'd like to comment that other than switching over to GTK4, I'm just not sure what the point is with replacing GNOME Terminal. It works fine for me and it doesn't seem to be advantageous to completely strip down a program that basically only advanced users are going to interact with much with "bash and tabs and that's all".

On top of the loss of all of the useful features (How many are being planned for adding back?), I'm unsure as to how GNOME Console could actually use more memory than GNOME Terminal while not really doing all that much.

Just lobbing another program in that doesn't do what I need it to and making me go through the package repository seeing if anyone makes a terminal emulator that works doesn't seem germane to the notion that the operating system should be useful out of the box. Terminal emulators are more complex than a simple text editor because they really need to be.

I installed Console and was amused that there doesn't even seem to be a way to run a custom shell (fish) without using chsh, much less making it look like I want it to (green screen), much less all of the things that otaylor mentioned 7 months ago which don't appear to have changed much.

If the only "cool" things it does are things that come from GTK4 or colored header bars, or a marginally improved find button, it may make more sense to just graft these on to Terminal and call it good.

I'm actually browsing replacement Terminals now so I know what to use if Console actually lands like this.

Can you create specific feature requests on the upstream issue tracker, please? I don't think Console is landing for F37, but it's almost certainly coming in the F38-F40 timeframe. Console is inherently simpler than Terminal, but should have all the basics needed to be useful.

I'm actually browsing replacement Terminals now so I know what to use if Console actually lands like this.

To be clear, GNOME Terminal is not going to be removed from Fedora. We'll probably drop Fedora's downstream patches, and it won't be installed by default in the future, but it won't disappear.

Console appears as "kgx" in System Monitor. Won't that be a problem?

No, it is not expected for project codenames and binary names to match the public user-facing name of the application.

I was toying around with Console some more and it seems it actually breaks some applications, like ELinks. The right click menu on ELinks (0.15.1) doesn't work. Console intercepts it and shows its own menu.

I should certainly hope this gets addressed.

@baronhk Please try to file an issue to the upstream here: https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/console/-/issues

Login to comment on this ticket.

Metadata
Attachments 1
Attached a year ago View Comment