The Best Terminal Emulator for Mac OS X

Olga Weis

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.

Terminal emulator app

We have listed some of
Terminal emulator app below.


  • 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.
  • Then there is Terminator that offers ‘drag-and-drop’ paths and search function. This Terminal application 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.
  • 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. Using it can be fun, as long as you are ready to pay for it – the software is not free.
  • We hesitated whether to include MacTerm in the list or not – this terminal software only has beta-version available at the moment. We did after some deliberation – the app promises to become one of the better Terminal emulator. It allows search across all windows, and access to past searches for fetching keywords.

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

Commander One

Requirements: OS X 10.10+ , 13.1Mb free space
Version 1.7.1.2297 () Release notes