iTerm2 – the new alternative to Terminal for Mac OS

Almost all command line users on Mac should be familiar with iTerm – which is a free replacement to the standard terminal application. However this tool now has a big brother in the pipeline called iTerm2.

iTerm2 is a fork of the original iTerm project and for most part, they are the same, but iTerm2 has a considerable number of improvements over it’s predecessor.

Here are a few of them:


iTerm had terrible performance when resizing a window, sometimes taking several minutes. This has been fixed. iTerm was noticeably slower than This has been fixed. What more is there to say?


Every reproducible bug in iTerm has been fixed. This included some crashes and redraw bugs, and plenty besides.


iTerm2 offers innovative features, many of them not found in any other terminal emulator, plus basic features that iTerm lacked:

  • Profiles and Bookmarks Nightmare Simplified
  • Autocomplete
  • Instant Replay
  • Mouseless copy-paste
  • Visor-style hotkey support
  • Paste history
  • High-quality Search
  • Best input method editor support on Mac OS
  • Smart cursor color
  • Flashing visual bell
  • Separate actions for left and right option keys


You can download the alpha here, but the stability varies from release to release. Many of the major features are yet to be fully implemented, and until they are the project will not gain BETA status. That said, I now use Alpha 14 myself (released November 2010) and there are many others as well using it.

In my opinion if you are using iTerm then I would highly recommending switching to iTerm2 today for yourself as it is well worth a try at the very least.


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