Power Up Your OS X Terminal With iTerm

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

By Lowell Heddings on September 11th, 2007

As a long-time keyboard ninja, I was very saddened to see that the built-in terminal in OS X is extremely limited in available options, especially the lack of tabs. Supposedly the upcoming Leopard release will include them, but I can’t wait that long…

A quick google search came up with iTerm, a superior application that’s earned a permanent place in my toolbox.

image The image “https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/gg/keyboardninja.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

If you look very closely, you can see the transparency, which is completely configurable (I set mine to 10%). All of the colors are customizable as well.. I prefer the green on black, but you can use it in the default configuration if you want.

Right-clicking on the terminal will give you quick access to your saved “bookmarks”.


Or you can hit cmd+B to open up a panel on the side showing the bookmarks, but I haven’t yet figured out how to launch them via the keyboard. You can launch a new tab with the cmd+T shortcut, but it’ll use your default session.


If you take a look in the preferences, there’s a bunch of options to change the look & feel of tabs… you’ll need to restart iTerm to actually see all the changes, even though it looks like it changes them right away.


And a very interesting feature… full screen mode! I was really surprised to see this one in there.


There’s a lot more features, so you’ll just have to take a look.

Download iTerm from SourceForge

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/11/07
More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!