When comparing PuTTY vs iTerm2, the Slant community recommends iTerm2 for most people. In the question“What is the best terminal emulator? ” iTerm2 is ranked 1st while PuTTY is ranked 5th. 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 De facto standard client for SSH, Telnet and Rlogin
PuTTY is one of the oldest and most popular clients. It has earned the trust of a great number of users over a long period by being reliable, offering useful features and helpful support. It got into the 15 Essential Open Source Tools for Windows Admins list by InfoWorld.
Pro Source code available
Full source available. Compile and modify it yourself.
Pro Can be used on any Windows computer, even without admin rights
Pro Lightweight and portable
Doesn't require much resources (memory and hard-disk). Can even be run on a system by just downloading without install.
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 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 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 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 Active maintainers
Issues resolved fast by quality contributors.
Pro Works well with powerline fonts
Pro Split panes
Easy to split panes to either horizontal or vertical sections. Makes it easy to observe multiple console windows.
Pro Can be configured as a drop-down terminal
Can be configured to work as a drop down terminal like Quake.
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 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 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.
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.
Con Can not save passwords
Anyway, you can use "PuTTYgen" to generate a key pair, then use "Pageant" to do a password-less SSH remote login.
Con Lacks features
It is JUST an SSH client. There are many other options with built in X-servers, Multitabbing, etc.
Con Ugly design, too simple
Con Tedious logging/tracing
Its tedious to set up logging and tracing (e.g. for serial connections).
Con No global settings
If you want to change a setting for all your connections, you'd have to do it individually.
Con No login scripting
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 SL.