Warp: An AI-Enhanced Terminal for Linux and macOS, with a Windows Edition Coming Soon

Warp is a modern AI-powered terminal emulator that essentially allows you to execute commands in plain English. The Linux edition recently joined the macOS version, and a Windows release is slated for later this year. In this post, we will look at Warp’s new Linux edition. However, aside from slightly different keyboard shortcuts, the different editions offer the same features. Like other modern terminals, Warp allows you to customize its appearance, apply themes, work in tabs, and even split one window into multiple panes for multi-tasking. In addition, Warp helps automate command execution with its Workflows, which can be shared with team members through the cloud.

Installing Warp on Linux

A downside of Warp is that you must register, even if you only need the free edition. Registering and logging in enables you to access Warp’s cloud-based features. You can sync customizations and workflows across devices, access Warp AI, and work as a team.

The free tier gives you limited access to cloud-based features for individuals and small teams. Warp uses user accounts for billing and to regulate access to paid features.

You can obtain the relevant package for your distribution from the Warp website. I used Ubuntu 22.04 for this article, hence downloaded the .deb file.

After downloading the package, open a terminal window to begin the installation process.

Install the package using the apt command as a superuser in the way outlined below:

sudo apt install {location_of_downloaded_package}

Installing Warp

Starting Warp on Linux

Once installed, you can search for Warp through the launcher and click the icon to start it up.

Starting Warp

When the terminal opens, you will be greeted with a sign-up form. Select Sign Up or Sign in, as appropriate, to proceed.

Signing up or signing in to Warp

You will be redirected to your default browser, where you can sign in or register with GitHub, Google, or an email account.

Logging in to Warp via a web browser

Upon logging in, you will be redirected to the Warp terminal. To handle the redirect automatically, set the System handler as the default handler for Warp links.

Setting default handler for Warp links

Opening Warp links

Warp terminal

A known issue with Warp on Wayland prevents the user interface from being displayed. Wayland is a modern display technology for Linux.

If you use Wayland for display, export the following environmental variable in your .profile file to enable you to start Warp.

echo "export WARP_ENABLE_WAYLAND=1" >> ~/.profile

Setting the variable in .profile ensures it is set every time you log in to your machine. Once set, log out of the desktop and log back in. You should now be able to launch Warp.

Check the known issues list for workarounds if you have any other problems.

Prompting with Warp AI

One core feature sets Warp apart from other terminals – the seamless integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With Warp AI, you can submit AI prompts through the terminal. These prompts can generate command suggestions, answer questions, and solve complex tasks without consulting external sources like Google or Stack Overflow.

It should be noted that, like any AI tool, there’s the potential for Warp AI to provide misguided suggestions. According to Warp’s privacy policy, none of the commands run locally are sent to the cloud, and prompts are removed after 30 days. This policy is intended to alleviate concerns regarding the exposure of sensitive security details such as passwords and keys.

AI command prompt

Warp AI can be accessed from an empty command prompt by typing the hash key (#). The text that comes after the # ought to be an AI prompt where plain English can be employed to depict your command.

For example, if you begin typing #copy all text files, Warp will bring up a number of command suggestions complete with explanations and placeholders. You can then modify and execute the one that’s most suitable.

Using Warp AI from the command line

AI sidebar

Alternatively, you can use the key binding CTRL+Space (CMD+Space) to open the Warp AI sidebar. On the free tier, you are allowed about 100 queries per day. You can use the Warp AI sidebar for extended conversations, similar to ChatGPT or GitHub Copilot Chat.

Warp AI sidebar

Executing commands

In this section, you will learn about navigating the Warp user interface and examine some of its features.

Command prompt

By default, the command prompt is at the lower part of the window. You may have noticed that the prompt differs from the standard bash shell prompt. The prompt is customizable and can display information such as the name of the remote host or your working directory.

Warp’s default prompt automatically adjusts based on the workspace you are in. For instance, if you’re in a Git directory, the prompt will display the active branch in addition to the current directory.

This terminal distinguishes itself by placing the prompt above the command line. This arrangement presents two advantages. The first is the prevention of long prompts from reducing the command line’s input area. The second advantage is that it keeps both the prompt and your current command visible, even when you scroll back in your terminal.

You’ll notice auto-fill suggestions appear as you type – Warp picks this up from your prior commands. You can accept these suggestions by pressing the right-arrow key (→). Furthermore, you can edit commands and use your mouse, similar to how you would in a graphical text editor.

Warp Terminal’s command prompt


Warp allows you to store Workflows for use across terminals. Workflows are commands with placeholders, as in the example below.

echo “{{text_here}}” >> {{file_name}}.txt

Warp automatically places the cursor on the workflow placeholder, allowing you to modify the command quickly for your current context.

Warp Drive stores the workflows locally and in the cloud so that you can access them anywhere. You can search for them from your terminal prompt and use the Warp Drive sidebar or the Command Palette (see below).

Warp Drive

Blocks and quick actions

Previously run commands are grouped into blocks. Each block contains the command results and the time to execute the command. Blocks help you have a clutter-free window.

Hovering over a block reveals a menu of helpful actions you can take on the block. You can copy the command and output to the clipboard or send the block to Warp AI as context. Click the kebab menu icon to see the complete list of actions.

Command block displaying quick actions

Command search

A common way to access previous commands is to combine the history, and grep commands to list commands containing a specific keyword. Warp simplifies this by suggesting previously used commands as you type. You can open a list of previously used commands with the up-arrow key (↑).

Another way to search for previous commands is with the reverse-search combination CTRL+R. Warp extends CTRL+R (CMD+R on macOS) to search for Workflows and generate commands from Warp AI. In addition, you can use the Command Palette, which helps you quickly locate Workflows, keyboard shortcuts, or other actions within Warp by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL+P (CMD+P).

Command search

Multiple panes

A pane is a separate terminal prompt in the same window. Running multiple panes in one window helps sysadmins multi-task. You can split the window into multiple panes by right-clicking on a pane and selecting the appropriate action.

You can also use the associated key bindings to split panes from the keyboard.

Splitting the terminal into panes

Uninstalling Warp

You can uninstall Warp terminal on Linux with apt as follows:

sudo apt remove warp-terminal

Once you’ve successfully uninstalled the system, you should proceed to delete the subsequent customization directories:





Warp’s core feature, Warp AI, differentiates it from other terminals by offering unique AI-powered capabilities that significantly boost productivity and user experience. The collaboration features allow you to share Workflows with team members via the cloud.

A notable downside of Warp is the mandatory user registration for access to its free tier, a requirement that may deter some users. Additionally, while Warp’s privacy policy, which does not transmit locally run commands to the cloud and deletes prompts after 30 days, aims to protect sensitive information, the potential for security concerns remains a point of caution.

Despite these drawbacks, Warp represents a significant leap in terminal emulation, offering enhanced productivity and ease of use, eagerly anticipated by Windows admins.



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