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Alacritty vs iTerm2: What are the differences?


Alacritty and iTerm2 are both popular terminal emulators with their own unique features and functionalities. In this comparison, we will outline the key differences between Alacritty and iTerm2.

  1. Performance: Alacritty is known for its exceptional performance and low resource usage. It is designed to be lightweight and fast, utilizing GPU rendering to achieve smooth scrolling and responsiveness. On the other hand, while iTerm2 offers a rich set of features, it can sometimes be slower and consume more system resources.

  2. Cross-platform Compatibility: Alacritty is primarily focused on supporting modern versions of macOS, Linux, and BSD operating systems. It is designed to be minimalistic and does not offer official support for Windows. In contrast, iTerm2 offers cross-platform compatibility and can be used on macOS as well as Windows operating systems.

  3. Customization Options: iTerm2 provides a wide range of customization options, allowing users to personalize their terminal experience. It offers extensive color schemes, font settings, and various UI elements customization. Alacritty, while not as feature-rich in terms of customization options, provides a clean and minimalistic interface suitable for users who prefer a simple and efficient terminal setup.

  4. Scripting and Automation: iTerm2 offers robust scripting capabilities, enabling users to automate tasks and create complex workflows using AppleScript, Python, and other scripting languages. Alacritty, on the other hand, is focused on simplicity and does not currently offer built-in scripting support.

  5. Features and Extensions: iTerm2 provides a wide range of features and extensions, including split panes, system-wide hotkeys, trigger-based configurations, and integration with macOS services. It also supports various plugins and third-party tools. Alacritty, however, is designed to be a minimalistic terminal emulator and does not include many advanced features or extension capabilities.

  6. Community and Development: iTerm2 has been in development for a longer duration and has a larger and more active community. It benefits from regular updates, bug fixes, and feature additions. Alacritty, although relatively newer, is an open-source project supported by an active community, contributing to its continuous improvement and development.

In summary, Alacritty offers exceptional performance, cross-platform compatibility, and a minimalistic design, while iTerm2 provides extensive customization options, scripting capabilities, and a wider range of features. The choice between the two depends on personal preferences and specific requirements for a terminal emulator.

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What is Alacritty?

It is the fastest terminal emulator in existence. Using the GPU for rendering enables optimizations that simply aren't possible without it. It currently supports macOS, Linux, BSD, and Windows.

What is iTerm2?

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.

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