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The Best Terminal Emulator For Mac OS X

The Best Terminal Emulator For Mac OS X

The Mac OS X has built a great terminal editor but from various alternatives, one that has outclassed all similar programs is the iTerm2 which is considered as the best terminal emulator for Mac operating systems because of its time saving features which are enormous and offers a higher degree of customization. This is a freeware which offers several functions which are as follows:

  • Offers a command line interface (CLI) which is fully functional for Mac operating systems.
  • Makes intensive search for text during any session.
  • Auto complete features.
  • Provides the option of a drop-down visor terminal which is a window in command along with a hot key activation.
  • The selection and copying of text can be done without a mouse.
  • Pasting of history records.
  • Double sessions of terminal can be run by offering a split-pane view.
  • Map any selected key to any function of the application.
  • An option of Instant Replay offers the facility to go back in time in order to review all the previous activities which have been undertaken in the terminal session.
  • The feature of full screen mode is also enabled.
  • Growl support.
  • The style of the appearance can be configured very easily.
  • For separate terminal sessions, separate profiles can be created.
  • The mouse has several uses which includes highlighting of the text, exact positioning of the cursor and several other functions.
  • Can be used in several different languages.
  • All the opened tabs appear out in separate windows under the application of Mission Control/Expose.
  • Can be operated in various different languages.

Where it excels

iTerm2 is the advanced version of the great but long gone iTerm. Although both the applications are different but the code on which they operate are the same for both as the only difference is that the latter application is a little more advanced. When you will start using the iTerm2, you will probably notice that most of the functioning of the application is similar to that of its predecessor Terminal app which comes with the Mac operating systems but, there are a variety of applications which makes it a better option from the previous version. Among many mind grabbing features, one of the most highlighting features is the Instant Replay which allows the user to view all the previous history of the terminal session and you can see what action has been performed. Another excellent feature is the AutoComplete feature. Not only it helps in figuring out what commands the user has typed in but, it also detects what directory the user is in currently and will also fill in the name of respective files if the application traces you are performing such an action. In addition to the large offering features of the application, iTerm2 also has the benefit of even the small services it provides to Mac operating systems. The ability of selecting the text and copying it by making full use of the keyboard and eliminating the use of a mouse, calling up of a drop-down terminal window of visor coupled with a hotkey, mapping up of specific keys to different functions and several other small actions are made a part of the iTerm2 application which makes it a complete bunch of useful applications.

Where it falls short

The application has been formulated in a manner under which not much can be complained about it. The only area where the iTerm2 falls short is the handling of its visual settings. Many Mac users prefer the way a Mac operating system handles out it visual settings as they are considered to be very easy to save as well as to configure. But, this area is quite a minor shortfall. On an overall basis, iTerm2 is a great application to use.


The first and the most immediate rival of iTerm2  is the in-built terminal of Mac OS X. At a larger scale, the terminal offers quick operations, various options of visual customization along with themes in it, grouping of windows, a tabbed interface and several others. Mac OS X Terminal is a very strong competitor and is near to be the best.

One feature which is absent in the Mac OS X Terminal is the Visor which is a drop-down terminal and is made accessible through a hotkey. Simply press the hotkey and the terminal will be displayed below the menu bar all set to receive commands. This s feature is very helpful for command-line users and heavy users.

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