I changed my default python version to python3 on Linux Mint follows:

dhruva@DhruvaG2000:~$ sudo update-alternatives --config python
There are 2 choices for the alternative python (providing /usr/bin/python).

  Selection    Path                Priority   Status
  0            /usr/bin/python3     10        auto mode
  1            /usr/bin/python2.7   1         manual mode
* 2            /usr/bin/python3     10        manual mode

Press <enter> to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 2


And after this hitting ctr+alt+T just doesn't do anything, and when I type terminator I get this error:

  File "/usr/bin/terminator", line 123
    except (KeyError,ValueError), ex:
SyntaxError: invalid syntax
Error in sys.excepthook:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/apport_python_hook.py", line 145, in apport_excepthook
    os.O_WRONLY | os.O_CREAT | os.O_EXCL, 0o640), 'wb') as f:
FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '/var/crash/_usr_share_terminator_terminator.1000.crash'

Original exception was:
  File "/usr/bin/terminator", line 123
    except (KeyError,ValueError), ex:
SyntaxError: invalid syntax
  • What was the original setting? Was it set to /usr/bin/python2.7 or to /usr/bin/python3?
    – terdon
    Commented Jun 3, 2020 at 8:49
  • Originally it was python2.7
    – dg_linux
    Commented Jun 3, 2020 at 8:50

2 Answers 2


Just change it back. Python 2 and 3 are not compatible. By making that change, you have set your default python to be python3 and the system expects python to run a python 2 version. The file you have at /usr/bin/terminator is a python2 script and you can't run it with python3.

So just run the exact same command and change it back. If you can't open a terminal to run the command, try one of:

  1. Open another terminal. Either gnome-terminal or xterm are likely available on your system.

  2. Press Alt+F2 and in the dialog that appears write /usr/bin/python2.7 /usr/bin/terminator.

  3. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to drop to a tty, log in, and run sudo update-alternatives --config python there. You can then come back to the GUI with Ctrl+F7 (or maybe F8, you might need to try a few F keys).

  • Okay I will revert to python2..
    – dg_linux
    Commented Jun 3, 2020 at 8:55

Had this same issue. I'm running Linux Mint 19.3 (same issue with 19.1). The error is coming from terminator wanting to use Python2.* while /usr/bin/python points to python 3.*

After uninstalling, purging and reinstalling terminator with no luck I found two solutions.

  1. Open up /usr/bin/terminator and edit the first line #!/usr/bin/python2 This will make sure that terminator uses python2 version instead of whatever other python version your using.

  2. use update-alternatives to set your default python version to python2

Personally I went for option 1, as that allows me to run my other programs as normal with python 3.

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