Make templates spawn terminal when started?

The title is mostly a question; partly a suggestion.

My reasoning is that when started via Qubes Manager, templates are typically started to access terminals to manage packages. This is obviously not the case for those who use qvm-run, but for those of us who aren’t power users, it’d be nice to know whether there’s a way to make it so that terminals appear when templates are started.

I think an option in global settings would be great, but that’s just my non-technical point of view. Any thoughts on this?

I see where you’re coming from. I’ve had to manually run “gnome-terminal” in Run command in qube many times…

A better workflow (I think) would be to open de template from the applications menu directly, where you can just start the terminal and that’s it.

But I think to appeal to a more general audience, the package management in Qubes will eventually have to be made via an application with a graphical interface and not the terminal. So it is likely that use-case in face of a larger non-technical audience won’t be common.

I think the global settings should be kept to a minimum.

However, since opening a terminal after starting a template VM is so common, it could make sense on the Qube Manager to add an option run terminal in the context menu when in the user right-clicks a particular Qube.

And as always, if you want to do a formal enhancement request you can do so on github for the developers to take a look.

@fiftyfourthparallel: I think we shouldn’t merge the usages, Qube Manager manages the Qubes. The Qubes XCFE menu manages the applications of the Qubes.

Each tool get its usage, its more simple.

And personnaly, I don’t start a terminal each time I start a template-VM.

That triggered me, because after entering ‘xterm’ into the prompt, the VM starts but the terminal doesn’t appear. This happens >90% of the time, so I usually start the VM and then Run command in qube.

This is a good suggestion for now. For some reason I avoid using the applications menu (probably because it’s so cluttered compared to the Qube Manager I have constantly open).

I like this long-term compromise and would vote for it over having a terminal pop up on template start.

I don’t yet have a Github account, so I’ll do this once I get through a bunch of more pressing issues (like unreliable firewalls, qubes-dom0-update-guard script, etc.)

I’m not sure that I suggested merging the usages in that way–all I wanted to do was have terminals pop up whenever I start a template, but the run terminal option suggested by deeplow is better since it doesn’t force a terminal onto people like you who don’t regularly start terminals.

BTW I’m really liking the text-entry UI here with the preview and easy quoting. Maybe I’ve spent too much time on forums with crude text input.

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If you find it too cluttered, you can replace it with the “Whisker menu”. It’s cleaner and has a search bar. Just remember to replace the default icon with the cute “Q”.

Glad you like it :slight_smile: The guys at discourse really nailed the user experience in a lot of stuff. The word “forum” is so loaded with clunky software that this shouldn’t even be considered a forum.


I finally found out how to set up the Whisker menu (via settings --> panel) after struggling for a bit. This is what I’m looking for, since I can map xfce4-popup-whiskermenu to the Win keys. Then I can hit that, type the VM name plus program and press enter. Workflow massively improved, especially when combined with halt-vm-by-window mapped onto other keys

This is perfect! Thanks a bunch deeplow.

P.S. I didn’t use the “Q” icon but instead added the accessibility icon to serve as a constant reminder to myself: I’m still handicapped (handi-capable?) when it comes to using Qubes.


Exactly! That’s what I do. Btw, in case you’re interested, I summed up this and some other configs here: Desktop Customization (xfce)

That’s interesting! Can you elaborate a bit more on that workflow? Maybe on the XFCE customizations thread? (if you want, of course!)

Hahaha. This made my day :stuck_out_tongue: But you seem to be on a nice path to be both handy and capable :slight_smile:

I think that should be the default icon for any user just starting out on Qubes. Haha.

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why not just use ‘run terminal’ from the Q icon in the system tray

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