I know Pantheon Terminal (just called Terminal) is the default terminal. But if I wanted to use an alternative as the default (e.g., gnome-terminal when called from other apps or from a keyboard shortcut), how can I set it?

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec gnome-terminal
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec-arg ''

If you want to set a terminal other than gnome-terminal as the default, replace that text in the command.

If you would like to do this in a GUI, run dconf-editor and drill down the menus (org > gnome > desktop > applications > terminal). exec sets the command to execute as the default and the exec-arg adds any flags to run on the command. (Note that the description says that this method is deprecated, which it has said for some time, but it works with Loki. Otherwise there is an order in which GNOME prefers different terminals.)

To restore the defaults (pantheon-terminal -e):

gsettings reset org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec
gsettings reset org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec-arg

Edit (Gnome 3.36.2):

The path to the same settings on newer versions of Gnome is org.gnome.desktop.applications.terminal instead, however:

DEPRECATED: This key is deprecated and ignored. The default terminal is handled in GIO.

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