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Windows Terminal vs iTerm2: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Windows Terminal and iTerm2

Windows Terminal and iTerm2 are popular terminal emulators used by developers for command-line interaction. While they serve the same purpose, they have some key differences that set them apart.

1. User Interface and Customizability: - Windows Terminal: Offers a sleek and modern UI with options to customize colors, fonts, and layouts. It supports multiple tabs and panes, making it convenient for multitasking. - iTerm2: Has a more simplistic UI, but provides extensive customization options, including themes, hotkeys, and status bar configuration. It supports split panes and unlimited scrolling.

2. Platform Compatibility: - Windows Terminal: Designed specifically for Windows systems, providing native support for PowerShell, Command Prompt, and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). - iTerm2: Developed for macOS, offering excellent integration with macOS features and applications. It supports macOS shells like Bash and Zsh and provides additional features like OS-level shortcuts and Touch Bar support.

3. Advanced Features and Integration: - Windows Terminal: Supports GPU-accelerated rendering, which enhances performance and visual quality. It also allows integration with Azure Cloud Shell and Windows Command Prompt tools. - iTerm2: Comes with powerful features like split panes, session logging, and instant replay for better workflow management. It integrates well with popular tools like Git and provides extensive automation through AppleScript.

4. Terminal Profiles and Profiles Management: - Windows Terminal: Allows users to create profiles for different shells and environments, making it easy to switch between configurations. It provides a settings UI and a JSON-based configuration file for managing profiles. - iTerm2: Offers similar functionality, allowing users to create multiple profiles with different settings. Profiles can be managed through a settings window and exported/imported as files for easy sharing.

5. Collaboration and Sharing: - Windows Terminal: Offers features like clipboard sharing and remote desktop protocol (RDP) support for collaborating with other users. It also supports the Windows Terminal Preview version, allowing users to test new features before they are released. - iTerm2: Provides native support for mouseless copy and paste, ensuring easy collaboration. Additionally, it allows users to share terminal output as HTML or text files for sharing with others.

6. Integration with Third-Party Tools: - Windows Terminal: Has seamless integration with Visual Studio Code, enabling a quick launch from within the editor. It also supports popular command-line tools and utilities used in the Windows ecosystem. - iTerm2: Offers integration with various macOS tools, including FileMerge, which allows comparison and merging of file changes directly from the terminal. It also supports integration with tmux, a terminal multiplexer.

In summary, Windows Terminal and iTerm2 have their own strengths and unique features. While Windows Terminal excels in Windows platform compatibility and integration with Windows tools, iTerm2 shines with its customization options, macOS integration, and collaboration features. Developers should choose based on their operating system and specific workflow requirements.

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Pros of iTerm2
Pros of Windows Terminal
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    Can be highly customized by using terminal preview
  • 2
  • 1
    Add almost any cli tool using profiles

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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.

What is Windows Terminal?

A new, modern, feature-rich, productive terminal application for command-line users. It includes many of the features most frequently requested by the Windows command-line community.

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What companies use Windows Terminal?
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