When comparing iTerm2 vs Terminal.app, the Slant community recommends iTerm2 for most people. In the question“What are the best terminal emulators for Mac?” iTerm2 is ranked 1st while Terminal.app is ranked 2nd. 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 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 Fine tuning for fonts
It's possible to choose a font and adjust vertical and horizontal spacing.
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 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 Supports mouse actions
Has support for mouse actions like clicking, dragging, selecting, etc.
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 Active maintainers
Issues resolved fast by quality contributors.
Pro Works well with powerline fonts
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 Can be configured as a drop-down terminal
Can be configured to work as a drop down terminal like Quake.
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 Split panes
Easy to split panes to either horizontal or vertical sections. Makes it easy to observe multiple console windows.
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+D to split plane vertically
Very handy to use multi-tab.
Pro Works perfect with Oh My Zsh
It's a perfect base to add Oh My Zsh on top of it and enjoy a lot of themes and a really pleasant look and feel.
Pro Cmd+Shift+I to Input all
Wanna SSH your server from multiple tabs, here you go.
Pro Default terminal on Mac
Since it is already installed by default, you don't need to worry about finding and installing another terminal.
Pro Great compatibility
Works with everything.
Pro Excellent xterm emulation support
Pro Easily open man pages
By right clicking on a highlighted string you can easily search through the man pages for that string and the man page will open in a nice pop up window.
Terminal has nice colors and font options.
Pro Light on System Resources
Terminal.app lighter uses less system resources than iTerm having the same number of windows, tabs and processes going on.
Con Not quite as fast as Alacritty or Kitty
Comparing these 3 terminals on the same machine/config, iTerm stands out as the slowest of the bunch. The difference may not be noticeable to all users.
Con Doesn't support Snow Leopard 10.6.8
Some people still use Snow Leopard or other 32-bit systems.
Con Doesn't support RTL
Con Updates are released rarely
Terminal usually gets an update when any new MacOS version is released, which is every couple of years.
Con Tab names are volatile
The tab names never stick -- it's imperative that this should work.
Con Background images are stretched rather than clipped
Con Occasionally freezes
This application occasionally freezes.
Con No highlighting when searching
Doesn't highlight all search result instances.
Con Home and End keys require shift being pressed
Con Occasionally crashes
Working remotely with a full buffer may cause complete terminal app crash.