Pimp your Mac - Trendy Terminal

>> Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Working with command lines is always a bit marmite people either love it or hate it. myself i'm a bit of a deviant and actually love using the command line.

Given my love of the one line wonder I was pleasantly surprised the first time I used OS X to find that it comes with a nice little utility called Terminal and I just want to say it now I LOVE TERMINAL! it's the app that lets me at the heart of my mac and for anyone who does serious development or wishes they had more control over their mac than the basic configuration options exposed in the System Preferences.

The one thing I never liked about the terminal is the way it looks 'out of the box' so to speak but luckily this is easily remedied with a few tweaks to it's preferences so today I'm going to show you how to pimp up your terminal and get it looking as sexy as the rest of the mac interface.

Boring old terminal bleurgh

So lets start by opening up the terminal app (it's in /Applications/Utilities/ or you can hit +space to open spotlight and type terminal it should be the first result).

Open terminal's preferences (Terminal -> Preferences or hit +,) and in the text tab change the text colours for Text and Bold Text by clicking on the coloured squares. You can choose whatever colour you like but I like to go with a lightish grey for my main text with a slightly lighter shade for bold (to make it stand out).

next we want to get rid of that bright white background so we select the window tab in the preferences window and change the background setting to black but this is where the mac adds a cool touch we're going to set the opacity setting on the colour chooser to 70%. and we're done so close the preferences window.

this gives us a nice semi transparent terminal window where text is clearly visible but allows you to see whats going on behind.

this comes in extremely handy if you are copying from another application into the terminal and window space is limited (as on my 12" macbook).

Also if like me you like to multitask whilst coding you can play some tv in your favourite media player and simply overlay the terminal window to allow you to work and play at the same time.

that's about it this is obviously just my preferred setup but hopefully this has given you some ideas of your own for pimping your terminal.


Lola 24 October 2008 at 13:00  

You can also add a line to your .pofile so that your listing are colorized. Here's what I have:

export LSCOLORS=ExFxCxDxBxegedabagacad

Lola 24 October 2008 at 13:02  

Oops . . . that should be .profile. Also, .bash_profile, whichever you use to set your bash preferences.

Ciqala 24 October 2008 at 13:31  

Hey Lola,

Cool tip, have just enabled it on my terminal. thanks