I'm not sure if anyone ever noticed, but in snow leopard in Terminal on top corner of your scrolling there is an icon also can be used through apple key + D

How do i use both windows independent from each other? Otherwise what I see I get a mirror

  • @kenorb curl: (6) Could not resolve host: tmux.darwinports.com; Name or service not known
    – alexus
    Sep 29, 2015 at 19:45

5 Answers 5


You're misinterpreting the feature. It's not meant for two separate terminals. It's intended to allow a user to see two different view points in the same terminal. For instance, if you have 3000 files in a directory, and you perform an ls command, that output is going to be very long.

If you use the split pane, you can scroll through that long output without having to flip back and forth, possibly losing your place along the way.

If you want two terminals, use tabs, or separate windows.

  • 2
    Or use the screen or tmux commands, which can display multiple terminal sessions with horizontal and vertical splits.
    – Chris Page
    Sep 1, 2011 at 12:26

I think what you are looking for is the 'screen' command. Take a look at its man page. It basically allows you to have several virtual "screens" within one terminal window (without tabs or multiple windows).

Quick start: execute command 'screen' in your terminal, press return, then press CTRL+A CTRL+C to open a new screen, then press CTRL+A CTRL+A to switch between the 2 screens you just created.

Take a look at this podcast for a nice explanation (the stuff about 'screen' is at 3:10 in the video): http://movies.apple.com/datapub/us/podcasts/leopardserverquicktours/quicktours-31-terminal_tips.m4v

  • This is the best guide to using screen EVER. Anything else is just too complex to even try it out. Dec 19, 2010 at 19:36

The split pane function does exactly what it does in a text editor: splits your current terminal window in half and lets you scroll each half separately.

It's extremely useful when you want to look at the output of an earlier command while continuing to interact with the command line. Much easier than scrolling up and down between two sections!

  • right, although i can't control each half of the terminal separately, for me it works like a mirror, whatever i do in one part it does same thing in another... how can I actually control each of them separately?
    – alexus
    Oct 9, 2009 at 14:17
  • It's only useful when one pane is scrolled up. What else do you want to control separately?
    – s4y
    Oct 9, 2009 at 18:27

I think the split terminal acts more like split command interface. So once you run a editor command in one of the pane, the views are now isolated. You cannot independently control each pane. If you are in command line mode the mirror works to split the command line interface.


It is either intentional or probably a bug - there have been a bug report filed on this.

Anyway, the Split Pane function is pretty much useless at this stage for Terminal addicts - it is just a mirror function, and if it is intentional, no one knows what need this particular function fulfills.

Pray it gets fixed in 10.6.2. :)

Meanwhile, if you want to work with two Terminals independently, you can use either a new Terminal tab, or a new Terminal windows altogether.

  • i hope apple make it both of them to act as in depended from each other
    – alexus
    Oct 9, 2009 at 14:18
  • 2
    It is clearly for when you want to see something you have done earlier, and enter new commands at the same time. Apr 22, 2010 at 0:17
  • Please file an enhancement request at bugreport.apple.com if you want to let Apple know that "tiled" terminals is an important feature to you.
    – Chris Page
    Sep 1, 2011 at 12:28

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