The Best Terminal
Emulator for Mac OS X

Top choice
Commander One 4.5 Rank based on 89+ users, Reviews(15)
Terminal program is a utility few Mac owners would use regularly, it is usually buried in the depths of the OS X. Typing cryptic instructions in a command line does not seem to be everyone’s cup of tea, although in reality it is not as difficult as it seems to be. If you put in a bit of effort and learn how to do it, this will help you customize a few things on your Mac, execute certain tasks and troubleshoot. We suspect however that by the virtue of you reading this article online, you are already aware of the advantages offered by Terminal app.

The default OS X Terminal does a fairly decent job, and there are not too many alternatives to it, i.e. Terminal emulation software. However, if you are in need for better things, the market does have some options.

We have listed some of
Terminal emulator app below

Commander One
Category: System
Requirements: MacOS 10.10+, 37.04MB free space. Version 2.2(3085). (6th Aug, 2019). 4.5 Rank based on 89+ users, Reviews(15)

Commander One is on the top of our list. This terminal emulation program developed by Eltima Software is essentially a file manager with a built-in Terminal emulator. It features a dual pane interface and has a number of handy features. Thus, for example, you can bring up this Terminal emulation program by pressing a hotkey. You can also type in command line commands to be applied the contents of a folder currently open in the file manager window. All of this plus the speed at which the app works make it best Terminal emulator.


Our next pick is iTerm 2. This Mac Terminal emulator enables creating a drop-down “visor” terminal window on commands. It also has a split-pane view for dual Terminal sessions, maintains Paste history and maps hotkeys to functions. iTerm2 supports Expose and you can always quickly switch between open windows. Another useful feature of iTerm2 (both for beginners and advanced users) is auto-complete. iTerm2 remembers all the commands that you enter and then the next time you enter a command, just press ⌘; to display a drop-down menu with suitable results. In iTerm2 there are only those functions that allow increasing the efficiency and convenience of working with the Terminal.


Then there is Terminator that offers ‘drag-and-drop’ paths and search function. This Terminal app is developed on Linux with Python. It works on many Unix-based systems: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD, NetBSD and others, as well as macOS, running with Fink service. Some users though might find its functionality to be too basic. The application automatically saves in the logs of all commands that you enter in a secure place, so you do not need to worry about any data loss. Besides that, you can drag text and links from other applications to Terminator that can be very convenient if you need to move text between different tabs.


Cathode is a terminal client that will be appreciated by those who have been using computers for a while. This OSX terminal emulates an old machine with matching sound effects. The main advantage of Cathode is a large number of settings for the interface of the application. Another important feature of Cathode is the ability to work with text, in other words, you can use it as a text editor. In brief, Cathode is a Mac Terminal alternative with flexible interface settings and will be useful to those who appreciate not only functionality but also the visual component. Using it can be fun, as long as you are ready to pay for it – the software is not free.


MacTerm is a very straightforward and user-friendly Terminal emulator for Mac OS. Thanks to the search function, you can use the familiar shortcut ⌘F, which instantly displays matches by keyword in all windows (they will be highlighted and you can switch between them conveniently). Another interesting feature of MacTerm is macros support. In the settings window, you can set a macros for any action that will save you time in the future. For each macros you create, you can assign a hotkey, which will make its use even more convenient.


ZOC is a terminal emulator, Telnet client with a nice, user-friendly and intuitive interface that allows you to access the servers using Secure Shell (SSH / SSH2), telnet, ISDN and other means of communication. ZOC supports tabs, stores the history of commands, saves information about perfect connections, supports the ability to automatically connect. In addition, the Terminal supports 256 colors, working with the mouse mode. Also, the app is very easy and flexible to configure, and as any Terminal supports many standard functions, such as buffering dialed commands. Even more, the program also has a number of unique features, including a powerful scripting language and automatic launch of actions based on typed text.


MacWise is one more Mac Terminal emulator that allows a Mac to be connected to a host computer directly either with the help modem or over the Internet. The app has a great number of features, including multiple sessions, scripts of connections, configuration files and many more. Besides that, the app supports the simultaneous opening of 10 windows (each of them can be connected to various host computers or with the same host).

PowerTerm InterConnect

PowerTerm is designed as a fully functional Terminal emulator of different types. The app can boast about the support of such terminal types as IBM Mainframe, IBM AS/400, UNIX, OpenVMS, Tandem, ANSI, Data General, Wyse, Televideo and more. PowerTerm InterConnect is a rather powerful and easy-to-use app that could be a cup of tea for a lot of users. PowerTerm InterConnect offers the hottest features including SSH and SSL security, scripts, fonts that can be scaled and selected, menu bar, function keys that can be customized, multiple concurrent sessions, smart copy and paste function, printing and more.

That’s it for now; we do hope that this list was rather informative for you and it will help you find the best Terminal emulator ever.

Mac-user:~ Admin$ █

Commander One

This dual panel file manager for Mac is fully compatible with MacOS 10.10 and later. Requires 37.04MB free space, latest version 2.2(3085) released 6th Aug, 2019

4.5 rank based on 89+ users, Reviews (15)
Eltima Software / Commander One / The Best Terminal Emulator for Mac OS X