When comparing TotalTerminal 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 TotalTerminal is ranked 27th. 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.
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Pro Allows quick access to the terminal system-wide
TotalTerminal is a plugin for Terminal.app. It provides persistent Visor Window which slides down when you press a hot-key.
Pro Quake style window show/hide
You maybe know or don't know Quake from Id Software. But this game had the best idea to hide/show a terminal window. Simply using full width but 26 rows. On show the widow slid down from top of screen. On hide it mode up to top edge of the screen until it disappeared. 2nd next best was the semi translucent background. You could still see through the terminal window while it was shown.
The same style is now available in TotalTerminal and iTerm2 (OSX Terminal replacement - no Terminal plugin).
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 Supports mouse actions
Has support for mouse actions like clicking, dragging, selecting, etc.
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 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 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 Split panes
Easy to split panes to either horizontal or vertical sections. Makes it easy to observe multiple console windows.
Pro Completely free and open source
iTerm2 is completely free and open source. It's released under the GPLv2 license.
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 No longer under active development
Con Doesn't work on El Capitan with SIP on
Apple introduced a new security feature in OSX El Capitan, called System Integrity Protection, that, among other things, does not allow augmenting Terminal. While it's possible to turn SIP off (instructions on how to turn off SIP and get TotalTerminal working on El Capitan can be found here) it is not recommended.
Con Doesn't support Snow Leopard 10.6.8
Some people still use SL.