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vala-terminal 1.1.1-r0.2



Command Line Terminal. It is written in (vala) programming-language. Vala produces c-code, which is then compiled binary form, so vala do not add any runtime requirements/dependeries.

This is official successor of openmoko-terminal2 (


  • Narrow toolbar
  • Tabs
  • Scrollbar
  • Toolbar can be oriented horizontaly or vertically
  • Zooming (Fontsize changing)
  • Paste selected text (not really clipboard)
  • handles -e parameter, like xterm and konsole in KDE (e.g. you can use it to start console applications with desktop-files: vala-terminal -e nano /etc/hosts)


landscaped vala-terminal with toolbar vertically

Buttons in toolbar are loaded from Systems stock, so they can look different than in screenshots (please add, if your distro shows it differently)


Buttons left to rigth:

  • New - Open new tab
  • Del - Close current tab
  • + - Zoom in (raise font size)
  • - - Zoom out (lower font size)
  • Paste - Paste selected text (can be from another tab, not in another application)
  • <- - Go previous tab
  • -> - Go next tab
  • [1/2] - Current tab / Total number of tabs
  • Circle-arrow - Flips the toolbar to vertical (and vertical to horizontal)

Commandline parameters

  • --help  : manual
  • -v  : starts toolbar vertically
  • -h  : starts toolbar horizontally
  • -fs size  : starts with given fontsize
  • -fc r g b  : color of font (values between 0...65535)
  • -bc r g b  : color of background (values between 0...65535)
  • -f fontname  : Used font
  • -e cmd  : executes cmd (like xterm and konsole in KDE)


-e is very handy with desktop-files. You can start console applications from icons:

vala-terminal -e nano /etc/hosts


vala-terminal -v -fs 3 -f Ariel -fc 0 65535 0 -bc 65535 0 0 -e nano

Starts toolbar vertically (-v), fontsize 3 (-fs 3), using font Ariel (-f Ariel). Text is maximal green and background is maximal red. Executes automatically command 'nano'.


vala-terminal with toolbar vertically


opkg install


It can be builded with this bitbake-recipe, but you must have valac version 0.5.6 (released 18.January 2009) or newer installed ON YOUR HOST MACHINE. (e.g. Ubuntu has version 0.5.7, so this might be useless snippet)

It is just: (Who will make step-by-step walktrought how to install this in toolchain?)

tar -xvf vala-0.5.6.tar.bz2
cd vala-0.5.6
make install


DESCRIPTION = "The Openmoko Command Line Terminal"
SECTION = "openmoko/applications"
PKG_TAGS_${PN} = "group::applications"
PV = "1.1.1"
PR = "r0.4" 

#how to use git in bb?
#SRC_URI = "git://;proto=http" 

do_patch() {
git clone git:// 

#so we first run (it will generate Makefile)
mv vala-terminal vala-terminal-${PV}
cd vala-terminal-${PV}
./ \
  --build=i486-linux-gnu \
#Now we have Makefile and we can patch it to use host-systems valac (it generates c-code)
sed 's/$(VALAC) -c/\/usr\/local\/bin\/valac -C/g' Makefile > Makefile_new
mv Makefile_new Makefile

do_compile() {
arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi-strip .libs/vala-terminal

do_install() {
       install -d ${D}${bindir}
       install -d ${D}${datadir}/pixmaps
       install -d ${D}${datadir}/applications

       install ${WORKDIR}/vala-terminal-${PV}/.libs/vala-terminal ${D}${bindir}/
       install ${WORKDIR}/vala-terminal-${PV}/data/vala-terminal.png ${D}/${datadir}/pixmaps
       install ${WORKDIR}/vala-terminal-${PV}/data/vala-terminal.desktop ${D}${datadir}/applications


vala-terminal on Debian with white background

If you have problems with the font on OM2008.12 (characters such as m, M, w, W, and @ overlap the character next to them), you probably missed ttf-liberation-mono -font.

Any good font in repositories?

How to use git in bitbake (rigth way)?

How to install valac to the toolchain?

Debians fontsize (5) is lots of smaller than OMs fontsize (5) (this can be handled with -fs size parameter)

Vala-terminal4.png vala-terminal


Package: vala-terminal
Tested on: Om 2008.12, Debian

Float Font Size

The current verion of vala-terminal has integer font sizes. On a 284 dpi Freerunner I find that the best font size is somewhere between 3 and 4 (about 3.6 or 3.7 seems best). I wrote a patch for vala-terminal which makes the font size a floating point value and sets the default to 3.7.

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