Get a Vintage Linux Terminal with Cool Retro Terminal

Getting nostalgic about the old CRT monitors of the 80s? You can relive it in Linux with the Cool Retro Term application.
Warp Terminal

Nostalgic about the past? Get a slice of the past by installing the retro terminal app cool-retro-term, which, as the name suggests, is both cool and retro at the same time.

Cool Retro Term Application
Cool Retro Term Application

Do you remember the time when there were CRT monitors everywhere and the terminal screen used to flicker? You don’t need to be old to have witnessed it. If you watch movies set in the early ’90s, you’ll see plenty of CRT monitors with green/B&W command prompts. It has a geeky aura which makes it cooler.

Cool Retro Term showing Mapscii, the ASCII Map
Cool Retro Term showing Mapscii, the ASCII map

If you are tired of terminal appearance and you need something cool and β€˜new’, cool-retro-term will give you a vintage terminal appearance to relive the past. You can also change its color, and animation kind, and add some effect to it.

Cool Retro Term in Green Theme
Cool Retro Term in Green Theme

Since it is a quite popular tool, it is available on the official repositories of almost all Linux distributions. In Ubuntu, you can install it by running the following command a terminal:

sudo apt install cool-retro-term

Similarly, if you are running Arch Linux, use:

sudo pacman -S cool-retro-term

Or, in Fedora:

sudo dnf install cool-retro-term
Cool Retro term Old Theme Profile
Cool Retro term Old Theme Profile

To remove the package installed from repositories, you can use the respective removal command:

sudo apt remove cool-retro-term
sudo pacman -Rs cool-retro-term
sudo dnf remove cool-retro-term

Respectively for Ubuntu, Arch Linux, and Fedora.

Install Cool Retro Term in Older Ubuntu-based Linux distributions

There are PPAs available for easily installing cool-retro-term for Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vantuz/cool-retro-term
sudo apt update
sudo apt install cool-retro-term

To remove, run:

sudo apt remove cool-retro-term
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:vantuz/cool-retro-term
sudo apt update

For installing this application from the source code, you need to install Git and a number of dependencies first. Some of the known dependencies in Ubuntu-based distributions are:

sudo apt install \
	git \
	build-essential \
	qmlscene \
	qt5-qmake \
	qt5-default \
	qtdeclarative5-dev \
	qml-module-qtquick-controls2 \
	qml-module-qtgraphicaleffects \
	qml-module-qtquick-dialogs \
	qml-module-qtquick-localstorage \
	qml-module-qtquick-window2 \
	qml-module-qt-labs-settings \
	qml-module-qt-labs-folderlistmodel \

Extra packages needed for at least Ubuntu 20.04

sudo apt install \
	qtquickcontrols2-5-dev \
	qml-module-qt-labs-platform \
	qml-module-qtquick-controls \
	qml-module-qtquick-layouts \
In Ubuntu 22.04, there is no qt5-default package. So, in the above install command, replace qt5-default with qtbase5-dev.

Now, run the following command to install it:

git clone --recursive
cd cool-retro-term
qmake && make

Once the program is compiled, you can run it with this command:


If you like to have this app in the program menu for quick access so that you won’t have to run it manually each time with the commands, you can use the command below:

sudo cp cool-retro-term.desktop /usr/share/applications

To remove the Cool Retro Term, if you did not copy the desktop file to /usr/share/applications, just remove the cool-retro-term folder from the location, where you performed the commands. Else, delete the desktop file from /usr/share/applications also.

Now run:

sudo apt autoremove

Or remove all the unnecessary dependency packages.

Install Cool Retro Term in Linux as Snap

The snap package is not the latest one. It is older than the package available in repositories.

If your Linux distribution has Snap support enabled, you can use this command to install cool-retro-term:

sudo snap install cool-retro-term --classic

Ubuntu users can find it in the Software Center as well.

To remove it, use:

sudo snap remove cool-retro-term

Tweaking Cool Retro Term

Cool-retro-term offers several ways to tweak the appearance. You can access the settings by right-clicking on the interface if there is no menu panel by default.

Access tweaks options from right-click menu
Access tweaks options from right-click menu

From here, you can go to the Settings option for further granular tweaks.

Cool Retro Term Settings

In my opinion, it’s one of the best terminal emulators for Linux. It gets all the points for bringing back memories. Enjoy the vintage terminal in Linux :)

Want more retro stuff in Linux?

If you like retro stuff like this, there are plenty more such thing to take you back into the 80s and 90s.

For example, playing retro games with DOSBox.

Install DOSBox in Ubuntu to Play Retro Games
The DOSbox emulator lets you use the disk operating systems of the 80s. You can also use it to play retro games on Linux.

Got a spare system? Turn it into a retro gaming console with specially crafted Linux distros.

Linux Distros That Turn Your PC into Retro Gaming Console
Steam Deck is making news for all the right reasons. It is a fantastic piece of tech, powered by a variant of Arch Linux (SteamOS 3.0) developed by Valve. While you can install any other operating system in it, it is best to have it as it is for

Or just read about others re-exploring the software from the bygone era.

Trying Common Desktop Environment on a Modern Linux Distro
Bill shares his re-experience with Common Desktop Environment (CDE), the de-facto standard windowing environment on UNIX systems in the 90s.
About the author
Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek Prakash

Created It's FOSS 11 years ago to share my Linux adventures. Have a Master's degree in Engineering and years of IT industry experience. Huge fan of Agatha Christie detective mysteries πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

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