Is there a terminal or terminal emulator, or maybe a shell, that would display the latest line always on top, and the remaining lines in ascending timestamps? Just like a normal terminal only upside down.

It bothers me that as I work on the commandline, the most significant area I need to pay attention to is always on the bottom of my screen, thus forcing me to always have my head tilted down. And I work a lot on the terminal (multiple hours a day).

The normal way is that the oldest line is always on the top of the screen, and the newest line (that I'm working on) is on the bottom. What I need would be reverse - the oldest line is on the bottom, the newest line would be on top.

I tried googling and searching stackexchange, but the only thing I can find is top-down terminals like tilda or guake, which is not what I'm looking for.

  • Terminals are traditionally top to down Anyway you can do what you want with a very tricky PS1 prompt_command, but it will cause unexpectable display glitches. (or write a new terminal emulator, of course) Every command line utilies designed for this top to down behaviour, so deal with it. Place the terminal window at the top of your desktop then you shouldn't to look down always. – Ipor Sircer Nov 21 '16 at 11:12
  • While this is the sort of thing that would be possible to write, it would also do things like reversing file contents/command output, etc. Do you really want to be reading source code backwards? – Muzer Nov 21 '16 at 11:39
  • 1
    Thank you for the suggestions. I thought the output of commands/programs would show up normally. So no need to patch everything. Only that for example when you say "ls" it would list files normally but then later the new command line with cursor would be on top of the listing. – Piotr Kempa Nov 21 '16 at 11:55

Interesting question... As a dirty workaround, you can install terminator with

sudo apt-get install terminator

Then open two tiled consoles with Ctrl + Shift + O

On the top left icon, expand the menu and sellect "Broadcast all". Now resize the top terminal to be one line high. The commands you write in the top terminal will be broadcasted to the rest of terminals. This way, you will always write on the top line and the results will appear in the bottom terminal.

This is not very useful because you will have to move your eyes from top to bottom all the time. But maybe someone can point how to automatically run "clear" before any command you type. This would make it a bit easier to read.


This is a very late answer, but Demoshell is along the lines what you're looking for. It's not very full featured (as of this writing) but may work for you:

pip3 install demoshell


  • I think this is not the same, this shell is clearing the screen before printing the next command instead of appending the output at the top – Pere Joan Martorell Mar 17 at 8:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.