How to install guake (dropdown terminal) on Xubuntu 14.04

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Guake dropdown terminal

Guake is a dropdown terminal for gtk based desktop environments like gnome, xfce etc. Its a useful tool that brings up a terminal at the press of a key.

Guake is written in Python. It supports hotkeys, tabs, transparent backgrounds and other stuffs.
This post shows how to install and configure guake.

Install Guake

The first step is to install guake. Its available in the repositories, so install it right away.

$ sudo apt-get install guake

Fix error - "Guake can not init!"

After installation, try launching Guake from the Application Menu. It should be in the System category. On Xubuntu, Guake might fail to launch with the following error message

Guake can not init!

Gconf Error.
Have you installed guake.schemas properly?

The above error occurs, because the guake.schemas file is not found in the correct location. To fix this error, simply run the following commands

$ sudo mkdir /etc/gconf/schemas
$ cd /etc/gconf/schemas/
$ sudo ln -s /usr/share/gconf/schemas/guake.schemas

Now try launching Guake again and it should work.

Configure Guake to startup at logon

On Xubuntu guake is not configured to startup at logon automatically. This has to be done manually, but is not difficult.

Go to All Settings > Session and Startup. Go to "Application Autostart" tab and click Add. Fill in the following details

Name - Guake
Description - Guake dropdown terminal
Command - /usr/bin/guake

Click OK and close it. Next time when you boot, Guake terminal should load right after logging in to the desktop.

You can also run the following command to configure guake to autostart at logon.

$ cp /usr/share/applications/guake.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/






Last Updated On : 27th April 2014

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About Silver Moon

Php developer, blogger and Linux enthusiast. He can be reached at m00n.silv3r@gmail.com. Or find him on

  • Toby Cass

    I had the same problem in Zorin 9 so not xubuntu specific. It worked well for me.

  • http://gregchabala.com/ Greg Chabala

    Why does it take so much hand configuration to get this tool working? Is it packaged badly?

    • Jeňa Kočí

      apparently this problem is xubuntu specific

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