Having used Apple’s own Terminal.app for all my terminal emulator needs since I switched to OS X on my primary workstation, I decided to take iTerm for a spin this weekend – it was a pleasant surprise.
Compared to Terminal.app, iTerm seems to suck up a few more system resources, but this is – imho – easily made up for with the added features. Especially tab support is much better in iTerm than in Terminal.app. Being able to set the title of tabs from the running shell (using the XTerm “icon name” escape sequence) along with the tab activity indicators rocks. Copy-on-selection and Cmd-click to launch URLs are also nice additions, that – once you get used to them – are very hard to work without.
There is, however, one missing feature of both Terminal.app and iTerm: The ability to click an icon in the Dock and have a new terminal emulator window open in the currently selected space. I’ve written a small AppleScript to do just that for iTerm:
tell application "System Events" set iTermCount to (count (every process whose name is "iTerm")) end tell if (iTermCount is not 0) then tell application "iTerm" set newterm to (make new terminal) tell newterm launch session "Default" activate end tell end tell else tell application "iTerm" activate end tell end if
Save the script to a .scpt file, open it with Script Editor, save as an Application and place a shortcut in your Dock.