Yakuake Review

key review info
application features
  • Smoothly rolls down from the top of your screen
  • (3 more, see all...)

Almost everybody is a GUI person these days. The good old fashion command line interface will never be as popular as it was a few years ago. Anyway, Linux without a terminal is inconceivable and, in a way, incomprehensible. Weather you like it or not, in the Linux world you have to use the terminal from time to time. Now you can do that in style, using a cool KDE terminal emulator called Yakuake.

Yakuake uses all the technology that was perfected in Konsole over the years. Before Yakuake I've been enthusiastically using Konsole because it is perhaps the best terminal emulator out there. Using the CLI allows you to work much more efficiently even in the GUI. I use the terminal because it allows me to do things much faster and transparently than the graphical interface, but the problem for me was the small amount of time it took to open that terminal. Yakuake is great at this. After you start it for the first time, you'll notice there is a tooltip which tells you that F12 will fire Yakuake. If you don't close this terminal from the little x that is located in the bottom right part of the screen, it will be launched automatically the next time you log in KDE. This is perhaps the coolest thing about it, because with just a keystroke you have instant access to the terminal.

When you press F12 you'll see that Yakuake smoothly rolls down from the top of your screen. It is a pretty nice effect and the animation duration can be easily changed within the interval 0 - 500ms. Since setting a greater animation time interferes with the scope of fast and easy access to the terminal I think that the maximum of 500 ms is more than enough.

As I said before, Yakuake inherited the most of the features set from Konsole, as well as the illusion of transparency. The settings are identical and they all can be accessed in the same way you do it in Konsole. You have to right-click in the Yakuake window and hover with the mouse over the settings button. You even have a button that allows you to use the settings stored in Konsole. This is very cool because it allows migrating from Konsole very easy.

Yakuake has only a few new features, but the redesign is very cool and really increases the day to day usability. You can see several discrete buttons that allow different actions. In the bottom right there are three of them. The first one is for keeping the terminal on top all the time and the second one is for accessing properties specific to Yakuake. The last one is for closing it.

The properties specific to Yakuake are terminal width and height, horizontal location and animation duration. Other options are to show the tab bar, retract when focus is lost and to force refreshing the background. Since everything is about shortcuts in a software like Yakuake, you should know that the shortcuts can be easily configured. Currently, only the most important shortcuts available in Knosole are also implemented in Yakuake, but, hopefully, the new developer that took over the project will implement more.

Something that you might miss in Yakuake is the possibility to create a new tab by double clicking the tab bar. Here you have a plus button in the right part of the screen for creating a new tab and a minus button for removing the selected tab. Shortcuts are the practical thing here, but some bugs are still present regarding the tab features. I have no doubt the bugs will be fixed because the project is very popular and people will certainly want to contribute.

The Good

First of all, the smooth sliding of Yakuake is pretty cool. Secondly, the fact that it's based on Konsole makes it quite powerful.

The Bad

Bugs are still present and more features should be implemented. Skins are supposed to be supported by Yakuake but I wasn't able to find any online or a menu that suggested the skins support.

The Truth

The truth is that Yakuake is cool and actually more practical than the conventional terminal emulators that were available for the GUI. This terminal emulator has a lot of potential and I'm looking forward to see what new features will be implemented when KDE 4 will be available.

Check out the screenshots below:

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user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5

final rating 5
Editor's review
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