Is there any way or free terminal application that would allow me to have custom tab names for each terminal session?

Let's say I am connected to few different servers from my terminal and I want to quickly get the prompt of the ONE I need to work with right now.


This is one of the settings you can save in a Terminal.app configuration file. Set the title via the menu item Shell -> Edit Title then save the terminal configuration file via the Shell -> Export Settings... menu item. When you re-open that configuration file, the settings will be as you saved them. [Saving the terminal configuration file, as noted in the comments, does not save the window title]

Save the current terminal settings using the Shell -> Export Settings... menu item, then open the the resulting .terminal file in a text editor. This is a standard Apple Property List file. Somewhere between the <dict> tags, add these lines:

<string>ssh -2 ssh.host.goes.here</string>
<string>Title String Goes Here</string>

Save the file from the text editor, then double click to open it in Terminal.app.

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  • Another hint. If you create the window with the Shell -> New Remote Command... menu item, the configuration file will also save the fact that you are connecting to a remote system. – Peter Murray Jul 7 '10 at 1:57
  • that's great what about editing tab names? I struggle bit how to quickly and easily one particular window of Terminal if I have 3 terminals open so I thought that tabs could help me – Radek Jul 7 '10 at 2:37
  • The Shell -> Edit Title menu item will change the names of tabs, too. The window title will take the name of the active tab. The one thing I can't figure out is how to save a terminal configuration file with more than one remote connection. Hopefully that won't be a requirement for you. – Peter Murray Jul 7 '10 at 2:52
  • @Peter Murray: I can set the title but when I save the config file the title is not there.So when I double click that .terminal file the title is not set :-( – Radek Jul 7 '10 at 2:53
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    You're right -- I edited the answer with instructions on how to add the appropriate values to the terminal PLIST file. Sorry for sending you down the wrong path to start with. – Peter Murray Jul 7 '10 at 13:19

Use the ANSI escape sequences to set the color-xterm window title: http://howtos.linuxbroker.com/howtoreader.php?file=Xterm-Title.html

More details in a recent thread on the Canberra Linux Users Group mailing list.

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  • very good answer! Any idea if I can have named tabs in xterm? – Radek Jul 9 '10 at 2:10

so it all can be done using Window Group in Terminal application.

One can open few tabs and set title (and other settings) for each tab and then Save Windows as Group.

If I choose to run my group on start up of Terminal I still get one extra window ?! So I exported the group and double click that to get one window with three named tabs.

Thank you @Peter Murray

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I can set Terminal window and Terminal tab titles using the xtermcontrol package (installed via fink), like so:

alias tt='xtermcontrol --title'

and then

tt foo # in one tab
tt bar # in another tab
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