i3-sensible-terminal is invoked in the i3 default config to start a terminal. This wrapper script is necessary since there is no distribution-independent terminal launcher (but for example Debian has x-terminal-emulator). Distribution packagers are responsible for shipping this script in a way which is appropriate for the distribution.
It tries to start one of the following (in that order):
- $TERMINAL (this is a non-standard variable)
- x-terminal-emulator (only present on Debian and derivatives)
Please don’t complain about the order: If the user has any preference, they will have $TERMINAL set or modified their i3 configuration file.
Michael Stapelberg and contributors