Terminal (OS X)
Terminal 2.2 running the top program under Mac OS
|Stable release||2.4 (326)|
|Operating system||OS X|
|License||Bundled with OS X|
A terminal emulator is a purely text-based system, in contrast to the general user experience of OS-X, which is graphical. A terminal emulator provides an environment for Unix shells, which allows the user to interact with the operating system of any Unix-like computer in a text-based manner through the command line interface to the operating system.
Terminal.app is used to access the system of the Mac on which it is running, and, is used to access any other unix-like system. On the Mac, Terminal.app is used by those users who need to access that Mac's operating system at a low level, and, it is used generally by developers, programmers, etc., as a general-purpose terminal emulator, as on any other Unix-like computer.
Users of Terminal.app may modify a setting which tells it to declare its terminal type. It does this by setting the TERM environment variable which is used by applications running within the terminal. The preferences dialog for Terminal.app in OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) provides these choices: ansi, dtterm, nsterm, rxvt, vt52, vt100, vt102, xterm, xterm-16color and xterm-256color. These choices differ from OS X 10.5 (Leopard) by dropping the xterm-color and adding xterm-16color and xterm-256color. Doing this does not change the behavior of Terminal.app in any other way. Despite the names in the menu, Terminal.app's behavior does not match xterm.
Terminal.app features include tabs and customization of fonts and colors.
The defaults command is often used to set hidden settings via the shell and is only found in Nextstep-derived systems like OS X.
- "What Is Mac OS X - All Applications and Utilities - Terminal". Apple Inc.
- "nsterm - AppKit Terminal.app". terminfo.src. Retrieved June 7, 2013.