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A Quake style console for your Gnome desktop

Author: Nick Bembridge | Files under linux

Ever wanted a terminal similar to the consoles that you would see in computer games such as Quake and Unreal Tournament? You know the type where you press the tilde (~) key and a console will slide down from the top of the screen and when pressed for a second time it slides back up?

If you answered yes then you are in luck, because this effect is fairly easy to achieve and only requires minimal tweaking once you have installed the appropriate packages. If you have apturl installed just click the following link (install Tilda) or go and download the latest release of Tilda from here. (Tilda is also available in the Ubuntu repositories)

How to compile from source

1. Type ‘./configure’ to configure the package for your system.

2. Type `make’ to compile the package.

3. Type `sudo make install’ to install the programs and any data files and


Now that we have tilda installed all we need now is to to make tilda load when we log in. To do this go to System > Preferences > Sessions, you should now be faced with the “Startup Programs” tab, click Add and fill in the details as follows.

Next we need to launch Tilda and configure a few of the preferences these are entirely optional but in my opinion add to the authenticity and more closely mimic the consoles found in Quake and other games.

  1. In the “General” tab untick “Show Notebook Border” this will get rid of the ugly border.

  2. In the “General” tab tick “Start Tilda hidden” and “Always on top”.

  3. In the “Appearance” tab adjust the width to 100%

  4. In the “Appearance” tab tick “Enable Transparency” and adjust it to about 55%

  5. In the “Keybindings” tab click “Grab Keybinding” and press the Tilde (~) key.

And that is about it, don’t forget to play around with the settings until you are happy with them as the ones above are just my own personal preference. Hopefully now when you press the tilde key you should have a terminal appear just like I have in the screenshot below. (Click for fullsize image)

For those of you that use KDE and would like to acheive a similiar effect you could try installing Yakuake.

4 responses. Wanna say something?

  1. mudd
    May 24, 2008 at 20:10:57

    Last step is: sudo make install

    Instead of just “make install” and also there a lot of dependency issues, it would be cool if you could write down the exact packages Tilda needs would be helpful. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Nick Bembridge
    May 24, 2008 at 23:20:13


    Cheers for the correction, I’ll edit the post, when i get a bit of extra time I will see about adding the dependencies to the tutorial :)

    Thanks a lot for visiting.

  3. Anonymous
    Jul 22, 2008 at 20:20:09

    Tilda is a resource hog, I’d rather modify gnome-terminal.

  4. JLundgren
    Oct 8, 2009 at 09:22:31

    Could you perhaps post a link to a tutorial where you can configure a gnome terminal to do the same? Thanks!

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