iterm2 is an actively developed fork of the neglected iterm - a popular replacement for the built-in OSX Terminal.app. It addresses some of Terminal.app and the original iterm’s shortcomings and introduces some new features which are pretty attractive. Download it here: sites.google.com/site/iterm2home
Firstly it has a fullscreen mode activated with
⌘-<enter> (Cmd-Enter). This is
great for distraction free coding - running a screen (or tmux) session in a
fullscreen terminal works well.
⌘-<tab> to another application and iterm2
continues to run in fullscreen in the background, giving the effect of a
permanent shell as a wallpaper.
⌘-D split the current window in half -
vertically or horizontally. You now have two shells side by side (or
above each other) and these can be recursively subdivided if you wish. The
dividers can be dragged to resize the split panes so you aren’t limited to
50-50 splits. To move between them you can use the mouse, or
⌥⌘-<arrow keys> (alt/option + cmd + arrow keys). Enable “Dim
inactive split panes” to visually highlight which is the currently active pane.
Global shortcut to toggle appearance
You can assign a key combination to toggle the visibility of iterm2. I use
<ctrl>-⌘-s. This is, I guess, equivalent to using the OSX hide command
⌘-h) followed by
⌘-<tab>ing back (or clicking the dock icon).
However having a terminal appear instantly with a global shortcut is super
useful and something I’ve come to rely on, especially coming from a Linux
Focus follows mouse
If you spawn multiple iterm2 windows (standard shortcut
⌘-n) then the “Focus
follows mouse” option helps to alleviate some of the pain associated with OSX’s
window management (there is a long discussion of why having system wide
focus-follows-mouse is not possible over
here). Focus-follows-mouse also works with split panes.
Like Terminal.app, iterm2 has tab support -
⌘-t to open a new tab,
to close a tab, and the super-handy shortcut
⌘-1,2,3,... to switch to
respective tabs. This is exactly the same behaviour as modern tabbed
browsers and so shouldn’t pose much of a learning curve.
With split panes both vertically and horizontally, and the “Dim inactive panes” option enabled. “Tango Dark” colorscheme.