How to Open the Terminal on Ubuntu

In this guide, we will be showing the easiest methods to open the terminal on Ubuntu.

Open Terminal on Ubuntu

The terminal on Ubuntu-based systems is an incredibly powerful tool that significantly increases the amount you can do on your system.

Many of our Ubuntu guides use the command line. In many cases, it is faster to use than the GUI alternatives.

Opening the terminal interface on your device is a reasonably straightforward process.

There are several different methods that you can use to open the interface. Each of these methods is simple and have their own benefits.

While we tested these methods on Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04, they should work for almost every release.

If you don’t want to use the terminal on your device directly, you should look into setting up and using SSH on Ubuntu.

Opening the Terminal using the Keyboard Shortcut

The quickest way to open the terminal on Ubuntu is to utilize a special keyboard shortcut.

This shortcut is our usual recommended way of getting to the terminal.

Press CTRL + ALT + T to open the terminal window on your device.

Open terminal on Ubuntu Using Keyboard Shortcut

If the keyboard shortcut doesn’t work for some reason, you can try out some of the additional methods that we have shown below.

Using the Run Windows to Open the Terminal on Ubuntu

The desktop version of Ubuntu comes with a special window that allows you to enter a command without opening the terminal.

Using this window, is it possible to run a command that will launch the command line software.

1. To bring up the command window, we can use a quick keyboard shortcut.

Using your keyboard, press the following key combination: ALT + F2.

2. You should now have the “Enter a Command” window opened on your device.

Within the text box, you need to type in “gnome-terminal“, then press the ENTER key.

Opened Command Window

You should now have the terminal opened on your device, and you can start typing in commands.

Using the Right-Click Menu to Open the Terminal

It is also possible to use the right-click menu on the desktop or in the file manager to open the terminal window on your Ubuntu device.

This process is reasonably straightforward as upon right-clicking, you will see the “Open in Terminal” or “Open Terminal” option.

Open the terminal by clicking the option that appears in the right-click menu.

Open terminal using the Right-click Menu

An advantage of opening the terminal using this method is that it will automatically change you to that directory.

For example, if I used this context menu in the “~/Desktop” folder, the terminal will be automatically opened in that directory.

Load the Terminal using the Activities Screen on Ubuntu

As the terminal is an application on your Ubuntu device, it is also possible to open it using the activities screen.

1. On your Ubuntu desktop, you need to open the activities screen.

You can open this by clicking the icon at the bottom-left, or the “Activities” text on the top-left.

Open Activities Screen

2. Now, use the provided search bar to search for “terminal” (1.).

Upon searching this text, you will end up seeing the terminal application.

Once the terminal app appears, click it to open the app on your device (2.).

Search for Terminal on Ubuntu


By this point, you should now have a good idea of how to open the terminal on your Ubuntu device.

We have shown you several methods that are all straightforward to use. Each of these methods has its own benefit.

If you have run into problems with getting the terminal to open on your Ubuntu computer, please leave a comment below.

Now that you know how to open the terminal be sure to check out some of our other Ubuntu guides.

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