List of Terminal App Alternatives You Wanted to Know

Terminal is a default macOS application that allows users to gain root-level access to their systems. The app lets users change things as they see fit in the command line. Other things you can achieve with Terminal are launching any app, modifying settings, viewing hidden files and folders, and more. 

Unfortunately, most Mac users don’t use this application because they don’t know how to use it. Furthermore, some users wonder how to get Terminal on Mac since it doesn’t look like any other application. 

As mentioned earlier, Terminal is a default Mac app, and you can launch it via Spotlight search, Finder, or Launchpad. 

While Terminal is a robust app you can use to change and control specific things on your Mac, here are some Mac Terminal alternatives for users who wish to explore what’s out there. 


Upterm is a terminal emulator giving users a coding window similar to the one with the standard Mac Terminal app. 

The app offers an integrated development environment, and it is open-source so that you can download and use the app for free. Visit the website and follow the prompts to install the app on your device. 

Coders prefer Upterm because of its multi-functional use. Moreover, you can share terminal sessions via a public Internet connection. 


Tabby is a customizable cross-platform terminal application for serial, local shells, Telnet, and SSH connections. It is widely known as the Terminal for the modern age and is free to use. 

Some features of this app are customizable hotkeys, smart tabs, 24-bit color, persistent port forwards, SSH and the kitchen sink, split tabs, etc. Moreover, the app consumes less system resources than other apps. Also, it supports macros and scripts to personalize or automate tasks. 


Cathode is a customizable terminal app designed for achieving complex command-line tasks. The app sells for $4.99 and has a mobile version for iOS users that connects to any SSH server or Mac. 

Unlike the Mac Terminal app, Cathode offers a variety of sound effects, vintage-looking themes, and animations. You can use this app if you wish to spice up the Terminal application while accessing the system functions in console mode. 

The cathode applies changes instantly without slowing down the device’s performance. 


Do you enjoy personalizing things? If so, Hyper is the Terminal application for you. The app is largely designed and built with HTML, CSS, and Java

To take advantage of the app’s customizability, you can install different plugins and themes from the command line within the application. 

Use this application to create a unique command terminal within the system, and you can also add some personal tweaks. The app is open-source and free to use.  


Terminator is another open source terminal application designed to arrange terminals in grids. The app’s behavior is based on the GNOME Terminal with additional features for CLI users. The app is free and comes with a wide range of keyboard shortcuts. 


iTerm2 is a wonderful alternative to the Mac Terminal app, and its objective is to create a modern take on your Mac’s terminal function. 

The app is equipped with cool features like hotkey windows to allow quick access to the app, split panes to run multiple sessions simultaneously, autocomplete function for novice coders, etc. 

Moreover, the app comes with customizable features that allow users to configure it to their liking easily. 

You can download the app for free, which works with macOS 10.12 or later. 


Zoc is a terminal emulator with an excellent list of features like over two hundred scripting language commands, tabbed sessions with thumbnails, client automation with macro scripting, etc. 


Another Terminal alternative for checking out is Alacritty. It is one of the easiest apps to use, making it an ideal option for everyone, irrespective of their coding experience and expertise. The app’s simple design and user-friendliness are a huge draw, along with its focus on performance and power. 

Alacritty is also considered the fastest terminal application. Hence, if you want speed, you know which app to pick. 

The app is open source and free to use, as are most of the Terminal alternatives on this list. 


MacTerm doesn’t stray too far from the default Mac Terminal application. But it comes with excellent upgrades to offer users a customized experience within the command line.

Notable features include standard graphics protocol, the ability to support 24-bit color, iTerm2 color schemes and images, floating command lines, and more. 

What’s more? The app is free and open source. 


kitty is a feature-packed, speedy, GPU-based cross-platform terminal emulator focused on features and performance. It offers GPU support and is written in Python and C programming languages. 

The tool offers native support for startup sessions, function extension via Kittens, tiling multiple windows side by side, Open Type ligatures, numerous copies or paste buffers, focus tracking, bracketed paste, and more. 

Thanks to its powerful system, kitty allows users to control it seamlessly from the shell prompt and over SSH. The possibilities are limitless because users can open new windows, change fonts and colors, change the window layouts, set their titles, receive a text from one window and send it to another, etc. 


Byobu is a text-based and open source terminal multiplexer and window manager. Initially, it was designed to offer elegant enhancements to the practical and plain GNU Screen. 

The tool includes configuration utilities, enhanced profiles, toggle-able system status notifications, convenient keyboard shortcuts, etc. When users connect to remote servers, Byobu is intended to strengthen terminal sessions. 

This intuitive and modern program allows users to connect via SSH, maintain several terminal windows, and disconnect/reconnect/share access while keeping the session active. 

It is easy to get the hang of Byobu, and the program is free to use. 


TreeTerm combines a Terminal and a file manager into one application. The terminal tab and the file tree are always in sync to make it easier for the users. Therefore, when you select a directory in the file manager, the same is the working directory of the terminal pane. Therefore, there’s no need to ‘cd’ to the working directory if you are using this application. 

Furthermore, you can use this app to send cd-commands to the native Terminal app of Mac, and there’s no need to navigate it manually. Plus, the file-tree part of the app can be set only to display the directories you have frequently or recently visited. Hence, there’s no chance you’ll get distracted. 

TreeTerm is not a free application, and you must make a one-time payment to use the application. But there’s a 30-day free trial to help you decide whether this app meets your specific requirements. 


All the Terminal alternatives on this list will offer you robust control over your Mac system. However, it would be best to research before diving in. Ensure the features the applications provide align with your specific requirements and can become a part of your workflow. 

Feel free to add your suggestions or names to this list. Also, your experience if you have worked with any of the Mac Terminal alternatives mentioned above. 

Author Bio:

A software engineer passionate about traveling, football and keeping up with tech trends. I often spend by time playing and exploring new gadgets, apps, technologies and exploring how the tech boundaries can be pushed to make life easier. I am a coding enthusiast and have good command over Java, SQL and other programming languages. 

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