Give your Terminal a Retro Look Using this Neat Application

2 min

Want to give your Terminal a retro look? This guide contains instructions to help you to install Cool Retro Terminal application in all Linux distributions.

Cool Retro Terminal
Cool Retro Terminal

Have you ever wondered how you can mimic the look of those old CRT monitors displayed in your Linux terminal?

Those CRT screens have their own fan base. Like the Apple 2 or the IBM 3278 terminals – they are really cool looking if you compare them to today’s 4K monitor displays. I am not saying 4K is bad, but sometimes legacy displays remind us of those bygone days. Enough of these ramblings. Let’s get started installing the app.

Cool Retro Term

The application is free and open-sourced. And it is called cool-retro-term. It is lightweight and has many customization options with pre-set profiles, such as Apple 2, etc. It also gives you those static noises and scan-lines effects in your terminal. Cool, isn’t it?

It is built in Qt and requires Qt 5.2 and higher. If you are using the latest Linux distributions, you should be good in terms of dependencies.

Green Scanlines Theme
Green Scanlines Theme

How to Download and Install Cool Retro Terminal

Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other Debian-based distributions

The following simple command will install this application in your Ubuntu and other related distributions.

sudo apt install cool-retro-term

Arch Linux

This package is available in Arch User Repository AUR. If you do not have AUR enabled, enable it using this guide and then use the following commands to install it.

pacman -S cool-retro-term

Fedora, RHEL and other related distributions

For Fedora and other related Linux, use the following command to install this app.

sudo dnf install cool-retro-term


A self-contained executable as AppImage is also available, which you can just download and run. No installation is required. Follow the below commands to do that.

chmod a+x Cool-Retro-Term-1.1.1-x86_64.AppImage

Note: Version 1.2.0 onwards there are no AppImage build in the GitHub.


After the installation is finished, you can find the terminal application “Cool Retro Term” in the application menu. So, launch the application and enjoy.

Remember, this is not overriding your default console/terminal application in your Linux distributions. It is a stand-alone console application.

The configuration options are available via the Right Click context menu.

The context menu gives you the following pre-sets. You can then configure each of them for colour, and appearance settings via the settings window. For example, if you want more transparency, contrast or more noise, ambient light or flickering – all of them can be configured from the below settings window via several options.

And easily you can make your own theme.

Pre-loaded Themes in Cool Retro Term
Pre-loaded Themes in Cool Retro Term
Various Effects in Settings
Various Effects in Settings


Cool Retro Terminal is an old tube-style terminal for Linux desktops that allows you to experience it as if you are sitting in front of a retro terminal. You may or may not like it, and one hardly uses it for a daily driver. But still, a nice-looking terminal to experience from time to time to get away from the mundane terminal.

Do you like the retro look? What is your favourite theme? Let me know in the comment section below.


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