With terminal emulators like gnome-terminal, it is possible to change settings programmatically, from the command line using dconf and gconf.

But I have trouble finding a similar mechanism for xfce4-terminal.

Specifically, how to select colors or a theme (or preset as it is called in the preferences menu).

I tried finding a corresponding option using xfconf-query but there doesn't seem to be one.

2 Answers 2


My changes to RJ-Adam's answer were rejected, thus I give correcting answer:

User specific configuration can be set in


Which commonly resolves to:


Edit that and so xfce4-terminal picks up the changes immediately, if it is running.

You could use sed -i or gawk -i inplace to programmably edit the file and consequently change the settings

See XDG Base Directory Specification for more about which and how configuration settings are read especially concerning system wide configuration which is the base.


According to the Xfce docs, xfce4-terminal stores its configuration file here:


Which commonly resolves to:


This is the location of the configuration file that includes the preferences which control the look and feel of Terminal

More information about the configuration options can be found at https://docs.xfce.org/apps/terminal/advanced. Or by running man xfce4-terminal on your system.

The file and its directory are created when you change some settings using the GUI interface, so you probably don't have them on your fresh installation.  If none is there, Terminal uses the default settings.


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