Your Linux Data Center Experts

One of the really nice things about the Open source world is that there are so many choices. If there is a very simple or obvious way to do something there might be only one or two applications available, but for more complicated applications, there are almost always many more options to choose from.

Recently when reviewing the venerable xterm package for the upcoming merge of Fedora Core and Fedora Extras, I was struck by the richness of options in terminal applications. In Fedora, and just a 'yum install' away we have:

  • xterm - xterm terminal emulator for the X Window System
  • aterm - Aterm (Afterstep XVT) - a VT102 emulator for the X window system
  • eterm - Enlightened terminal emulator
  • rxvt - Rxvt (ouR XVT) - a VT102 emulator for the X window system
  • rxvt - A unicode version of rxvt
  • gnome-terminal - GNOME Terminal
  • konsole - KDE Terminal
  • Terminal- X Terminal Emulator
  • tilda - quake like drop down terminal for GNOME
  • yakuake - A Quake-like terminal application

Some people would say that all those choices are confusing, and all the various authors should cooperate and just work on one true terminal application. I disagree. Some terminals are obviously tied to a desktop environment, so users there would just use the application that fits better with their setup. In most cases novice users (or ones that would want a terminal application) would just get a default based on other choices they made, and more advanced users could pick and choose which one they would like to run.

Since I am a Xfce user, I use “Terminal”, and think it works great. If I had a desire for some feature available in one of the other terminal programs, I could simply install and use it.

The same thing goes for Desktop environments. Gnome is the Fedora default, but for those that would like to try KDE or Xfce, they are out there and available. For some users, their approaches work better with what they want. Choices are good.

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