I am using Ubuntu 10.04 with Gnome. When I start a Gnome-terminal (a frequent occurance) if I do it by clicking an icon on a panel (that has as the command: gnome-terminal) it takes a while—think multiple seconds on many occasions.

If, however, I start it by typing gnome-terminal in another terminal it starts immediately.

I am unsure how to investigate what is causing the slowdown, any suggestions? That is, I am very interested in how to solve this, but even more interested in how to investigate this effectively.

Note 1: the behavior is not limited to starting gnome-terminal.

Note 2: there are some other behaviors (other than starting programs) that are slower than I think they should be. These are varied and I don't have a good description.

  • I issues like this with KDE starting to become slow. I switched to another window manager (dwm). Just an idea.
    – n0pe
    Aug 31, 2011 at 15:32
  • 1
    I would try to create a new user and check if the behavior is the same.
    – klapaucius
    Sep 1, 2011 at 13:23
  • @klapaucius I tried a new user, but that one has the same effect. Since there are no other answers, seems like I'll have to go the reinstall route. :-( I have no idea how to approach this otherwise.
    – kasterma
    Sep 6, 2011 at 17:59
  • 1
    share your bashrc , e.g ~/.bashrc , ~/.bash_profile please
    – daisy
    Jun 1, 2012 at 7:51
  • did you try by doing alt + f2 and the typping gnome-terminal? that should be faster than using an icon.
    – maniat1k
    Jul 31, 2012 at 11:16

2 Answers 2


This may be because when you run gnome-terminal out of gnome-terminal all the libraries and other code needed to run the program are already in memory. If the terminal program is not already running then libraries will have to be fetched from disk - which can take some time. Does the slow down occur if you launch a new instance of the terminal program from the icon when you have another instance running already?

  • 1
    It did keep happening launching duplicate copies as well. Since then I have repaved the system and the problem did not recur; I never figured out why it acted the way it did, and now I never will.
    – kasterma
    Dec 27, 2011 at 6:44

When you start gnome-terminal from the icon panel it gets your initial login environment. When you start gnome-terminal from another terminal it inherits the environment settings that that terminal has, including the ones that took the ones that took multiple seconds to initialize when that gnome-terminal started.


  1. looking at what the env command returns and see what environment variables are being initialized and that are being inherited by processes started from that environment
  2. temporarily move your .bashrc / .bash_profile files to some other name and see whether something in their execution is taking a long time.
  • 1
    By default gnome-terminal do not start a login shell, and there is no env relation between different terminals.
    – enzotib
    Mar 2, 2012 at 18:03

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