Make the terminal (iTerm) on your mac better.

I have been a long time Linux user, I have just switched to mac. When switching new technology or anything on that matter, Looking for similar experiences in new things is quite common.

In my case, the dropdown terminal is one of the things as a developer switching to macOs I missed the most. Something likeguake does not work with mac.

But Iterm2 can be configured to setup as dropdown terminal, and here is how.

Install iTerm2

You probably have already gone through this step, because let’s face it the default terminal is not good. But incase you haven’t installing iterm2 is quite easy, you just need to visit their site and click download button, unzip and run.

Configure iterm2 as dropdown terminal

Configuring iTerm2 as dropdown terminal is really easy as you just need to assign a hotkey to open iTerm.

Following are the steps you need to follow:

Go to iterm preference

Open iTerm then on the top left you will see iterm2 written just beside apple logo, click there and go to preference.

Create a dedicated hotkey window

Go to the keys tab.

On the bottom of this window you will see a botton that says create a dedicated hotkey window. Click on that and you will see a new window where you can configure hotkey(shortcut) for dropdown terminal.

Assign hotkey

(On a newly opened window)
Click on input box on the side of HotKey and then click the combination you want to assign to open iTerm. My combination is CRTL+Space.

That’s it, now you can open drop down terminal with shortcut you assigned in last step. In my case it is CRTL+Space.

Apply changes and restart iTerm. iterm should now dropdown whenever you press the hotkey combination. Enjoy

Setup iterm2 dropdown to be full scren(optional)

You can do this by opening the iTerm preferences -> Profiles -> HotkeyWindow( the new profile that you created on the previous step)

On the Right side there should be a series of tabs which you can configure

Select the window tab. Under this tab there should be a dropdown menu titled Style: Change it to full screen.

Restart iTerm. It should now dropdown in full screen.

Enable the ‘Hide iTerm2 from the Dock(optional)

Preference -> Appearance -> General

Exclude from the dock and command tab app switcher => tick this check box

Setup iterm2 to start when your mac starts(optional)

Goto System Preferences > User and groups > Login Items.

Add iTerm to the list of applications using the + button.

Restart iTerm

After restarting you should be able to use iTerm as a dropdown terminal. And the best part is it is always one button, rather two buttons away. 😁

I hope this was useful for you.