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I am normally a Linux user and my default terminal is urxvt, but because of school (office documents and so) I bought a new laptop - a Macintosh. I think the system itself works nicely, though the bundled terminal is horrible.

I first tried iTerm2, but it doesnt seem to emulate xterm correctly - gnu screen and irssi in combination makes stuff go wrong like character encoding. I guess its because iTerm2 is not able to imitate xterm perfectly. So i went on to find another, sane, terminal that is actually bundled as an cocoa app, so i can get it working with fullscreen, accessibility from spotlight and so on. I was out of luck. Havent been able to find any xterm or urxvt cocoa app package at all.

I have installed urxvt via homebrew package manager, but its cocoa X11 app layer doesnt make fullscreen available, it seems. The window also seems to "weigh" more than e.g. iTerm2 when i moving around and so on. And also, its not available via spotlight because it gets installed to /usr/local/bin (symlinking to /Applications doesnt work) so i either have to open it via another terminal every time, or leave it in the dock. No thank you.

What are my options for getting a sane terminal on Mac OS X?

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closed as not constructive by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Simon Sheehan, 8088, HackToHell, Diogo Dec 17 '12 at 13:14

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I've always found the built-in terminal suitable for what I needed to do... What's your beef with it? PageUp and PageDown can be fixed, as can the option key... – Jeremy Sturdivant Jan 27 '11 at 13:23
It doesnt support 256 colors :) -- from my experience and googling, anyways. – chrisbuchholz Jan 27 '11 at 13:27
So... you want a 256 color terminal on OS X? Why didn't you just say so? – Daniel Beck Jan 27 '11 at 18:38
Because e.g. iterm2 supports 256 colors, but its just bad functioning. I want an overall sane terminal - 256 colors but still great functionality. Something like urxvt but wrapped in cocoa :) – chrisbuchholz Jan 27 '11 at 19:08
Then just say so: "Is there a 256 color terminal for Mac OS X that doesn't have encoding issues like iterm2 and isn't X11 based like urxvt?". You can edit your question if you want to change something about it. This could increase the chances of good answers, since users don't have to read as much. Another suggestion -- get rid of judgmental terms such as "sane" in your question - lots of people use Terminal without issue. By the way, if you're replying to comments, use @, e.g. @Daniel or @DanielBeck. Only then the other user gets a notification. Good luck with your question! – Daniel Beck Jan 27 '11 at 19:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm actively working on fixing any remaining rendering issues in iTerm2. Many of them are font-related: fonts on OSX do not always do the "right thing" with regard to character width. The "Menlo" font is well behaved in this instance; try that. If it still fails, please send me details and I'll try to fix it. If there are xterm emulation bugs, those would be very high priority bugs and would get immediate attention. Please generate a session log and file a bug with that if you're able.

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In 2011 why are you using a text-based IRC client? If irssi doesn't behave, just use xchat. doesn't have all of iterm2's bells/whistles but it's hardly "horrible". It does tabs, has profiles for colors/etc., and can be set for unlimited scrollback. That's 99.9% of everything I need a terminal emulator to do. The other .1%? I'm here because I can't figure out how to change iterm2's character encoding. lets me choose a "DOS" encoding that renders line drawing characters, used by the console interface to Infortrend disk arrays.

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All the above issues I had have already been fixed a long time ago. Today I use iTerm2 full time with tmux to get a sort of tiling wm for my unix stuff. I still use irssi the whole day through and I love it. I also use vim for almost all of my programming, and other terminal based programs. – chrisbuchholz Dec 18 '12 at 7:52

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