Being a developer can be quite overwhelming these days, getting familiar with a codebase, the frameworks and libraries it uses remain not the whole story in our dev lives. There is a real demand for additional skills to get your job done, such as using Git, package managers and build tooling.
Some of these tools are to be used with the terminal, which may be new or a bit frightening to you but don’t worry as we’ve all been here before.
But why do I need the terminal?
For specific tasks, you can get away without using the terminal. For instance there are numerous of GUI tools for working with Git. However, getting familiar with tools like Git from the terminal can give you more power and flexibility. But in the end, a GUI is a graphical shell in front of a command-line tool, it often limited by screen estate or minimalistic design, a GUI may feature only a subset of the underlying command-line interface. Using a terminal can also help you to get out of trouble in case a GUI is stuck or messed up.
If you don’t like to use or don’t want to use the default terminal app here is the list of the eight alternatives terminal emulation applications for either on Mac or Windows.
Alacritty is a terminal emulator with a strong focus on simplicity and performance. With such a strong focus on performance, included features are carefully considered and you can always expect Alacritty to be blazingly fast. By making sane choices for defaults, Alacritty requires no additional setup.
However, it does allow configuration of many aspects of the terminal. Alacritty currently supports macOS, Linux, BSD, and Windows.
Terminus is a open source, web technology based Terminal for modern age. It’s heavily inspired from Hyper, unlike the traditional terminals, Terminus ships with some cool features by default. It is fully customisable with multiple themes and colour schemes for the terminal. You can spawn or hide Terminus using a global hotkey. It keeps the current directory in all newly opened tabs.
You can also extend the functionality of Terminus by installing plugins. Terminus currently supports Windows, Linux and MacOS.
iTerm2 is a replacement for Terminal and the successor to iTerm. It works on Macs with macOS 10.12 or newer. iTerm2 brings the terminal into the modern age with features you never knew you always wanted.
Cmder is a software package created out of pure frustration over the absence of nice console emulators on Windows. It is based on amazing software, and spiced up with the Monokai color scheme and a custom prompt layout, looking sexy from the start.
The Windows Terminal is a new, modern, fast, efficient, powerful, and productive terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL. It’s main features include multiple tabs, Unicode and UTF-8 character support, a GPU accelerated text rendering engine, and custom themes, styles, and configurations.
kitty is a terminal emulator nad ssh client for Mac and Linux, the terminal emulator is written in C and Python that is designed for speed and economy of input. By off-loading rendering to the GPU using OpenGL responsiveness is maximised and the feature-set is completely accessible by keyboard shortcuts with most also available via mouse click.
Extraterm is more than just a terminal emulator. It provides a toolbox for working with your terminal and command line applications. This emulator support Linux and macOS, and on Windows WSL, CMD, PowerShell and Cygwin