When comparing MacPorts vs iTerm2, the Slant community recommends iTerm2 for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” iTerm2 is ranked 1st while MacPorts is ranked 53rd. The most important reason people chose iTerm2 is:
iTerm has autocomplete features built in. It remembers your past commands and when you are writing something on the terminal, simply pressing `Control-;` it will show you a drop down menu of suggestions from which to choose.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Provides a consistent experience across OS X versions
MacPorts eschews Apple-supplied libraries and links sources against its own making sure that the experience is the same regardless of what OS X version is used.
Pro Generally very up to date
MacPorts generally gets new software soon after it's available. This way users will not have to worry if their software is up to date.
Pro Nice variants system
MacPorts has a variants system that allows customizing builds with author provided options.
Written in Tcl & C, it's generally significantly faster than the competition. Tcl is also quite readable and comparable to Ruby, so it's also friendly to newcomers.
Pro Has many more packages than its competitors
As of this writing, 20K packages. 3 to 5x more than other current package managers.
Pro MacPorts is a native application: C + TCL
No need to install Ruby, or any other programming language.
Pro Requires SUDO to install apps
No need to worry if some rogue app will change your binaries or configuration.
Pro Most of the available packages work
For example, trying to install Finch using Pkgsrc doesn't work, while installing it using MacPorts works perfectly. Finch isn't even on Homebrew's radar.
Pro Autocomplete is built-in
iTerm has autocomplete features built in. It remembers your past commands and when you are writing something on the terminal, simply pressing
Control-; it will show you a drop down menu of suggestions from which to choose.
Pro Extremely customizable
Other than being able to customize the various shortcuts, iTerm2 also lets you customize the colorscheme, font, transparency, etc.
Pro Complete out of the box
Unlike most terminal emulators, iTerm2 comes with a pretty complete set of features. It has built-in search, autocompletion, tabbed navigation, Growl support and even a built-in clipboard manager for various API keys and such.
Pro Fine tuning for fonts
It's possible to choose a font and adjust vertical and horizontal spacing.
Pro Can immediately open files inside a text editor
You can Ctrl+Click on a file path to open said file in a text editor.
Pro Supports mouse actions
Has support for mouse actions like clicking, dragging, selecting, etc.
Pro Split panes
Easy to split panes to either horizontal or vertical sections. Makes it easy to observe multiple console windows.
Pro Active maintainers
Issues resolved fast by quality contributors.
Pro Any key can be mapped to any function
Using the Preferences Menu you can set up hotkeys to map virtually any action you can think of to a single key or a combination of them. This is extremely helpful as it allows you to use shortcuts to edit commands you are typing in the terminal and while most terminal emulators have shortcuts for this sort of thing, few of them let you define your own.
Pro Completely free and open source
iTerm2 is completely free and open source. It's released under the GPLv2 license.
Pro Works well with powerline fonts
Pro Can be configured as a drop-down terminal
Can be configured to work as a drop down terminal like Quake.
Pro Works well with tmux
The great mouse and clipboard support that are built-in go really well with tmux.
Pro Supported by many applications as a terminal app selection
If an application has terminal integration, there is high probability it allows iTerm2 to be selected.
Pro Cmd+D to split plane vertically
Very handy to use multi-tab.
Pro You only need to type in commands once
iTerm2 can store up to 4M of history of commands you already used. This, coupled with the built-in search features makes it possible to type a command only once and then search for it through the history for subsequent uses.
Pro Cmd+Shift+I to Input all
Wanna SSH your server from multiple tabs, here you go.
Con Bad at limiting dependencies
MacPorts has a habit of pulling very specific versions of dependencies for each package. It downloads different version of already existing dependencies even in cases where the existing dependency version would have worked seamlessly.
Con Downloads unneeded libraries duplicating functionality already provided by Apple's libraries
As MacPorts eschews Apple-supplied libraries and links sources against its own a large duplication of functionality across MacPorts and Apple libraries can be found.
Con Requires root permissions (sudo) for installation of packages
Con Doesn't support Snow Leopard 10.6.8
Some people still use SL.