When comparing KiTTY vs Terminator, the Slant community recommends KiTTY for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux terminal emulators?” KiTTY is ranked 7th while Terminator is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose KiTTY is:
- Sessions filter - Shortcuts for pre-defined command - The session launcher - Automatic logon script - URL hyperlinks - Running a locally saved script on a remote session - Send to tray - Transparency - Quick start of a duplicate session - SSH Handler: Internet Explorer integration - pscp.exe and WinSCP integration - New command-line options
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Includes additional features over PuTTy
- Sessions filter
- Shortcuts for pre-defined command
- The session launcher
- Automatic logon script
- URL hyperlinks
- Running a locally saved script on a remote session
- Send to tray
- Quick start of a duplicate session
- SSH Handler: Internet Explorer integration
- pscp.exe and WinSCP integration
- New command-line options
Pro Source Code Available
Source code is available so you could modify or review changes.
Pro Startup sessions
Support start-up sessions which allow you to specify the window/tab layout, working directories, and programs to run on startup.
Pro Can store login credentials
Ability to store passwords/passphrases locally.
Pro True Color support
Supports True Color, so software like Vim can display a really nice pallet.
Pro Background image
Ability to overlay the terminal background with an image.
Pro Auto login script
Automatic processing of commands after conncetion was made.
Uses Unicode for the best character compatibility.
Pro Multiple terminal panes to suit user's needs
It is possible to split the terminal window into several areas and you can re-size them as needed. Multiple windows and tabs are also supported.
Pro Highly customizable
You can change the size, color, and give different shapes to the terminal. You can also save multiple layouts and profiles via the GUI preferences editor.
Pro Extendable functionality through plugins
Terminator functionality can be extended via plugins. Examples of this include:
- Custom commands
- URL handlers (on top of common ones) for apt, launchpad, maven
- Logging output to file
Pro Can type on multiple grouped terminals simultaneously
You can type at the same time on any number of arbitrarily grouped terminals. (Or all at once, or only the focussed, all switchable with a shortcut or menu item).
Terminator has tabs, drag and drop re-ordering of terminals, and lots of keyboard shortcuts to help the user. It also has an extensive preferences window, or if you have to, a plain text config file.
Pro Can act as a drop-down terminal
If you want to use Terminator as a drop-down terminal, you can do so by editing the config file and set whichever key you want to use as a trigger.
Pro Zoom and Maximize a single terminal for aiding focus
You can zoom (font size increases) or maximize (font size does not increase) a single terminal to fill the whole window with a shortcut. All the other terminals remain open, they are just hidden from sight, and everything is restored by repeating the shortcut.
Pro Configurable scrollback buffer
The scrollback lines can be set to a preferred value, or set to infinite scrollback.
Pro Save and launch layouts of terminals
Terminator allows the user to save, configure, and launch arrangements of windows, tabs, and terminals.
Pro Configurable shortcuts
Many actions in Terminator can be triggered with configurable shortcuts.
Pro Both true and fake transparency
If you have a compositor, you can use true transparency. You can also have a fake transparency where an image can be used as a fake desktop. Both of these can be tinted with the background color too.
Pro Desktop notifications on silence and/or activity
There is a standard notification pop-up that appears if a terminal is silent for a configurable period, or if it has new activity.
Pro Familiar to GNOME-Terminal users
When not constrained by it's own general principles and unique features, Terminator tries to follow the GNOME-Terminal way of doing things.
Pro Comes with an extensive manual
Every single aspect of Terminator is exhaustively documented, and can be quickly opened with the common shortcut F1 (which is configurable, of course).
Pro Content reflow when a terminal is resized
If you have long lines of text inside a terminal and then you change the size of the terminal, the text will also automatically update according to the new size.
Pro Tries to reduce resource usage through DBus
Unless this option is disabled (it's enabled by default), Terminator will only run the first instance as a process. And when it's run again, the DBus server will simply open a new window using the old process. This helps a lot with reducing resource usage.
Pro Can save logs
Terminator has a really helpful functionality that lets the user start/stop a logger in order to save the text written in the shell into a file. In order to do this, the user needs to turn on the logging plugin in the plugin settings, and then a "start logger" menu item will appear in a right click menu when using the terminal. The user is also able to pick the path they would like the logs saved to when turning the plugin on.
Pro Can be driven by a script through DBus
Some activities can be scripted using a tool called remotinator which uses the DBus interface to command the application to perform a limited set of tasks.
Pro Tilix Config is easy and flexible
Con No centralized configuration
Each session holds its own configuration of all features. This means that if one wants to change a configuration common to all sessions (say, the terminal font), it has to be changed in each stored session separately.
A better solution would be to have a default configuration and store only the changed elements for each session (both configurations would be merged, with e priority on the specific one).
Con No tabbed sessions.
No built in support for tabbed sessions. Requires an add on.
Due to its many features, Terminator can be a bit heavyweight and with lots of dependencies. This makes it unsuitable for old machines or computers with low resources.
Con Starting up can be slow
Terminator can be pretty slow (as far as terminals go) when first starting up.
Con Poor text search
Text search in Terminator does not highlight matching patterns when found. It just shows the row containing one of the matching patterns at the top of the terminal. This way text search is still usable, but not the best.
Con Buggy and crashy
Crashes and closes many times a day when using split (and unsplit) shortcuts. The developers don't accept a bug report if isn't critical or not easy to reproduce.
Con Bug - unable enter text after a while.
A while after having a terminal window open, entering text is impossible. The terminal just sits there, not frozen, but with an empty command line.
Con Multiple line copy and paste does not work correctly.
If an output line wraps onto two lines copying and pasting it will insert a line break character between the two lines even though the was no line break in the original output. Thus it is impossible to copy/paste lines longer than the terminal width.
Con Ugly looking
The interface and the preferences window look outdated.
Con Cannot disable zooming
The ctrl + mouse scroll key binding can't be disabled.
Con Unable to specify startup window dimensions
Some users like their terminal windows to be a particular number of characters wide and tall. The default is 80x24 but some prefer something larger. Manually resizing every new instance gets old fast.