Ubuntu: Command-line to switch between profiles in gnome-terminal


I created a new profile for gnome-terminal and I can switch between "Implicit" profile and the new created profile as you can see in the below image:

Switch between profiles in gnome-terminal

Now I wonder how can I switch between profiles using a command-line/script or maybe using a shortcut for this.

Note: Solutions like:

gnome-terminal --tab-with-profile=Implicit && exit   

are excluded because I prefer not to close and open another terminal or get another terminal window in this process of changing the profile.


To switch to the "implicit" profile:

xdotool key Alt+t p Return  

To switch to the second profile:

xdotool key Alt+t p Down Return  

xdotool Install xdotool is not installed by default in Ubuntu, so it must to be installed first.

Of course, for these commands can be added custom keyboard shortcuts.


There is no shortcut that allows you to change the profile within the terminal (without navigating the menus as you said in comments), without the use of the GUI. Quoting the manual (stable, development 3.9):

You can change the profile in your current Terminal tab or window by selecting a profile from Terminal â–¸ Change Profile.

(You can propose this as suggestion in the bug tracker)


Depending on your purpose, you may find this script to be useful: https://github.com/xyrix/gnome-terminal-profile-switcher

It does a sort of monkey patch and generates a new profile for each terminal, then sets some environment variables to expose a program for switching the theme of the profile for your current terminal.

Hopefully the example safe_ssh script will make things clear :-). I've been using it for just over a year now and it's helped me not destroy the company's live database ^_^


I was looking to do the same and finally got a script working, I put it up on my GitHub.

Like I explain in the README.md, it doesn't actually switch, but loads a profiles configuration into the Default profile. To do this, the configuration of each profile is saved to file on the first run of the script. The script makes it seem like you're switching between profiles, which is good enough for me. Hope it helps anyone...


If you have a list of servers that you access often, I believe the easiest solution would be to simply invoke a second window just for that box's session.

First, make a separate gnome-terminal profile for each remote location that you use often. Then, in each profile, specify that the terminal should execute the SSH login command for that box, instead of a plain shell.

ssh alice@athena  

Finally, write a short script to kick off a new remote window given a profile ID.

#!/bin/bash  if [[ $# -ne 1 ]] ; then    echo "Give me a server/profile name!"    exit 1  fi  gnome-terminal --window-with-profile=$1  exit 0  

Using this strategy you can "infinitely" vary the look of each box's terminal window, and kick them off from a single "control" terminal. For example, if we call this script "rlv", then we can spawn a remote window by simply invoking the script with a profile name.

>> rlv athena  

If you ever fat-finger a host name, or neglect to set up a profile for that host, then you'll just get another default-profile window on the local box. There's a way to code the script to avoid this, by putting the login into the script itself, rather than in the gnome-terminal :

#!/bin/bash  if [[ $# -ne 1 ]] ; then    echo "Give me a server/profile name!"    exit 1  fi  gnome-terminal --window-with-profile=$1 -e "ssh $1"  exit 0  

...but then you lose the flexibility of defining your login username for that box. That additional feature of the script I leave as an exercise to the reader.


I've just noticed that my original solution has been already rejected in the question. While there seems no simple way to change the profile, you can change background / foreground color by using setterm command.

So, this setterm -term linux -background black -foreground green would give you black background with green text. The only problem is that ls has colorized output, so you might wanna turn ls coloring off. Otherwise it resets to previous color scheme

Original post: There is a sort-of way around. From man gnome-terminal :


             Open a new window containing a  tab  with  the               given profile.  More than one of these options               can be provided.  

Here's example from my machine. I have three profiles: B&G(black on green), ForPrinting(black font, white background), and Default. So what I do is in current window type gnome-terminal --window-with-profile=ForPrinting . Then I can either kill old window from command line or switch and close it graphically.

B&G profile doesn't work. Probably because & is not a valid character, so keep that in mind when naming profiles.


The very ugly solution I've ended up using is

unset x y  eval $(xwininfo -id $(xdotool getactivewindow) |         sed -n -e 's/^ \+Absolute upper-left X: \+\([0-9]\+\).*/x=\1/p' \                -e 's/^ \+Absolute upper-left Y: \+\([0-9]\+\).*/y=\1/p')  xdotool mousemove $(($x + 50)) $(($y + 50))  xdotool click 3; xdotool key --repeat 3 Up; xdotool key Right; xdotool key --delay 50 Down; xdotool key --delay 50 Return  

(This selects the second profile, but you could change that to say the htir profile by changing the second "key Down" command to xdotool key --delay 50 --repeat 2 Down.

What's this doing:

  1. find the the top left coordinates of the current window (eg. the gnome terminal in use).
  2. move the mouse to be over that terminal
  3. right click and navigate the context menu to select the second profile.

You'll need xdotool installed sudo apt install xdotool.

Kind of extraordinary that the terminal itself doesn't doesn't allow configuration via the terminal!

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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