I recently installed 'Terminator' on my laptop which is running Ubuntu Gutsy. Terminator is a neat little shell client for Linux and many other platforms, which enables you to split the shell screen horizontally and vertically into multiple shell screens. This is a feature that I've always longed for.
As a software developer I usually have to work with multiple applications and multiple shell instances at the same time. For example, very often I fire off my IDE from one shell instance, run my Maven builds in another shell instance, interact with SVN from another shell instance and browse the local file system from another shell instance. Most traditional shell clients attempt to address this requirement by providing tabs. Tabs are great but keeping track of which application is running in which tab and switching between them accordingly can be a real pain. It becomes an unavoidable annoyance when you open up more than 3 tabs.
In my opinion, Terminator gives you the most optimal solution for this problem by giving the ability to split a single shell screen into multiple shell screens. You can see all the shell instances you have opened up on your screen at one glance and switching between them is lot more easier than having to switch between tabs. Splitting the shell screen is also easy with Terminator. Simply right click on the Terminator shell and select one of the split options available from the context menu that appears. Following is a little screen shot of Terminator that I took when working with four shell instances. It clearly illustrates the power of Terminator.
Installing Terminator on Ubuntu systems is also pretty easy. Simply add the following line to your sources.list file, update the apt cache and type 'sudo apt-get install terminator' to install the application. Piece of cake!!
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnome-terminator/ubuntu gutsy main restricted universe multiverse(Depending on the version of your Ubuntu installation, you might have to edit this line)
If you often happen to work with many shell screens at once you'll definitely love 'Terminator'. So install 'Terminator' today and join the fun!!