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mpterm is a terminal for the GNOME desktop environment. It allows a user to have several terminals open at the same time embedded within one window. Only one of the open terminals is visible at a time, but the user the can swap between any of the open terminals with a mouse click, or with a key binding from the keyboard. It allows a user to have several open applications without filling their desktop with several separate terminal windows.

For example, a user can run a 'bash' shell in one terminal, the 'emacs' editor in another, the 'mutt' mail reader in another, the web browser 'lynx' in another, etc. The user can configure mpterm to replace the default applications for particular tasks with their own favorites, as well as choose their own key bindings to launch, and cycle between them.

mpterm is inspired by powershell by Matt Spong, which in turn is based upon gnome-terminal. However, it shares no code with either of these applications since it is written in Python rather than C.

Despite mpterm being in an early state of development, it is fully functional and quite stable.

I have several ideas for the future development of mpterm. In particular, the ability to split a terminal window either vertically, or horizontally. If you have any suggestions, you can email me at e.denny@ic.ac.uk.


Here is a screenshot of mpterm in action.


The most recent version of mpterm is:

To compile mpterm you will need recent versions of all the GNOME packages. You can get these from:

You will also need pygtk, gnome-python - the python wrappers to gtk+, gnome. You can get these from:

Alternatively you may use anonymous CVS to access the latest development sources (with all the usual caveats that it may not work properly or even compile).

    cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.mpterm.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/mpterm login
    cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.mpterm.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/mpterm co mpterm

When prompted for a password for anonymous, simply press the Enter key. Updates from within the module's directory do not need the -d parameter.


The Mpterm User's Guide can be read on-line.

Recent News

August 20 2001 mpterm 0.5:
  • Sessions are now stored and restarted using Gnome Session Management.
  • A few command line options are now available. In particular, mpterm -e COMMAND runs COMMAND rather than the default shell.
  • A right mouse button click on a Task Bar button enables the user to change the Task Button label.
  • Bash, the default shell on startup, can be replaced by another shell by putting it first in the Menu application list.
  • A new User's Guide is accessible from the Help option on the Menu Bar.
  • A new manual page.
  • Several bug fixes.
  • July 17 2001 mpterm 0.4:
  • More keys can now be bound to actions, including key pad keys.
  • The menubar can now be hidden.
  • Popup menu now appears reliably on button press or key binding.
  • Terminal windows focus reliably when opened from the right mouse button.
  • Minor bug fixes.
  • June 11 2001 mpterm 0.3:
  • The preferences dialog has been changed to allow any number of applications to be added to the menu.
  • Numerous bug fixes.
  • Tidied up the build process.
  • April 11 2001 mpterm 0.2:
  • The initial release.
  • The permanent location for this page is http://mpterm.sourceforge.net/.

    The sourceforge project page is http://sourceforge.net/projects/mpterm/