I'm using Gnome 2. I use the terminal several times, and I lose a lot of time going in Applications / Utilities / Terminal to launch the terminal. I am wondering if I can launch the terminal using keyboard shortcuts. I would like to do something similar to CTRL+T.

  • This is not a direct answer to your question, but you may like some quick-starter app such as gnome-do. You can bind that to a shortcut, e.g. meta+space, and then start any application by typing its name. And since I also start a terminal often, all it takes for me is, alt+space+t+enter to start terminator. Yet it also starts any application without having to bind certain tools to specific keys.
    – k0pernikus
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 14:43

6 Answers 6


You should go to Settings / Keyboard / Shortcuts and find the tab labeled shortcuts, then add new shortcut, name your shortcut Launch New Terminal and add the command

gnome-terminal &

After the shortcut is added, highlight the newly-minted custom shortcut and press the unique key combination of your choice.

I personally use: Ctrl+Alt+T

  • that's correct, but I wonder what does the & part do?
    – WesternGun
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 16:54
  • Seems that sometimes gnome-terminal & doesn't work. I put terminal & instead and that worked.
    – VladVin
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 16:20
  • The & is to specify that the command should run in the background. More info here: stackoverflow.com/a/13338895/1324082
    – Zignd
    Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 12:15

Assuming you use Gnome, check out System / Preferences / Keyboard Shortcuts.

Also, you can create a launcher to any application in any panel: either drag and drop an entry from the menu, or right click on an panel and click on Add to panel.


Add Terminal Shortcut in Debian 9 Stretch

  1. Access Keyboard Settings.
    From top right → Down Arrow → Settings Icon → Keyboard
    From top left → Activities Tab → Search for 'shortcut' → Select Keyboard

    Enter Debian Keyboard Shortcut Settings

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Keyboard Shortcuts menu and click the "plus" sign ("+") to add new shortcut.

    Click The Plus Sign To Add New Keyboard Shortcut in Debian 9 Stretch

  3. Add New Shortcut Name: Name (can be anything: "New Shell", "Launch Terminal", etc.)
    Add New Shortcut Command: gnome-terminal

    Edit New Keyboard Shortcut Name & Command

  4. Then click "Edit" and it'll look like the screen freezes. This is your prompt to enter your new command.

    Press and hold the key combination Ctrl+T

The key combination auto-populates in the "New Shortcut" Tab.

Add Custom Keyboard Shortcut Keys in Debian 9 Stretch

5. Click ADD in the top right corner to add your new shortcut to the main keyboard shortcut menu.

Add New Shortcut to Keyboard Shortcut Menu in Debian 9 Stretch

6. Type Ctrl+T (or whatever shortcut combination you entered) and the Terminal/Shell/Command Line pops up; shortcut created.

Shortcut to Launch Terminal from Keyboard in Debian 9 Stretch

References: How to activate Debian hot-keys

  1. Click on terminal icon, go to preference and check the command field and copy it
  2. Go to System > Control Center > Keyboard Shortcuts
  3. Click on add and past the command and choose the shortcut that you want OS : Parrot

In case you already deleted the Terminal shortcut by mistake, else you will find it by default.


While this is not a keyboard shortcut, it works very well for me.

I just dragged my Terminal icon from the Application / Utilities menu to the panel/status line and stuck it there.

Now when I want to open a terminal window, it's a simple click on the icon.

Eclipse and my browser live on there too for easy access.


I'm working on Debian 9. So here is my solution:

Go to /usr/share/applications/, scroll to the bottom, and find there Xfce Terminal. After you find everything copy the full path to it - /usr/share/applications/Xfce Terminal. Go to Settings/Keyboard/Application Shourtcuts, add new shourtcut, paste in to the input for the command the path to Xfce Terminal you copied before, and chose the shourtcut you want - i'm using fn, f2. It's all! I think it helped you!

  • Why is this more clear than the accepted answer by @deviantkarot ??
    – number9
    Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 17:44

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