Set the default terminal window size in Ubuntu (Linux)

The gnome-terminal uses a termcap file for its basic settings. To change these:
sudo gedit /usr/share/vte/termcap/xterm
Now look for a line about 1/3 of the way down the file that looks like this:
To change the number of columns, change the co# number, in this case 80.
To change the number of rows, change the li# number, in this case 24.
So as an example if you want a terminal window of 132×25:
You must exit all gnome-terminal proceses before the changes take effect.

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4 Responses to “Set the default terminal window size in Ubuntu (Linux)”

  1. John says:

    Thanks a lot,
    better solution then changing the menu entry with a geometry option!


  2. Richard says:

    Awesome solution!

    Thank you very much!!!

  3. Richard says:

    Hi, would be grateful for some advice. I am a linux noob and can’t seem to get this to work.
    I edited the /usr/share/vte/termcap/xterm file and closed the terminal (even used killall gnome-terminal to be sure), but all later terminals are opening at 80×24.
    I’m running Ubuntu 11.10 on a VM

    Any ideas?

  4. admin says:

    Richard, this should work but I do not use this anymore.

    I now use a app called Guake for my terminal sessions. You can install it from the repository using Ubuntu Software Session.


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