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7 Free Terminal Tools and Emulators to Boost Development Productivity

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7 Free Terminal Tools and Emulators to Boost Development Productivity

Alyssa Holland
ยทMay 4, 2022ยท

3 min read

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Table of contents

  • 1) Fig ๐Ÿ
  • 2) Warp ๐ŸŒช
  • 3) Hyper โšก
  • 4) iTerm2 ๐Ÿ’พ
  • 5) Alacritty ๐Ÿ›ฐ
  • 6) kitty ๐Ÿ˜บ
  • 7) Tabby ๐Ÿ—‚
  • El Fin ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿฝ

The terminal has been around for decades and is an essential part of a developer's toolbox. Interestingly, I've noticed that there have been a ton of new tools and emulators popping up into the terminal ecosystem. It has been exciting to see that the terminal is still getting some love even after all these years. This list will contain the top terminal tools and emulators ranging from the battle-tested veterans to the new kids on the block.

1) Fig ๐Ÿ

Fig is the only item on this list that is not an emulator. Instead, it integrates with other popular terminals by adding autocompletion. As you type, Fig will display options, subcommands, and contextually relevant arguments in your existing terminal. However, with the announcement of a plugin store and dotfiles management, it seems like Fig's feature set will continue to grow over time.

Keep your eyes peeled for future updates ๐Ÿ‘€

Demo of Figs visual autocomplete in a terminal.gif Demo of Figs visual autocomplete in a terminal

๐ŸŒ Check out Fig

2) Warp ๐ŸŒช

According to the Warp homepage:

Warp is a blazingly fast, rust-based terminal reimagined from the ground up to work like a modern app.

Some particularly interesting features include, blocks which makes the interactions feel more like a text-editor than a terminal, and command-lookup which makes finding previous and commonly used commands a breeze.

warp-terminal.png Image from Warp's GitHub page

๐ŸŒ Check out Warp

3) Hyper โšก

Hyper is created by the team at Vercel and has been around for a little while now. Hyper is an Electron-based terminal that is built on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It is fully extensible and gives you the ability to install custom themes and plugins straight from the command line.

A collection of hyper themes.png Collection of hyper themes from Hyper's Blog page

๐ŸŒ Check out Hyper

4) iTerm2 ๐Ÿ’พ

iTerm2 is the O.G. of terminal emulators. Like many of the other items on this list, it's open-sourced and provides a ton of features that allow power users to customize to their heart's content.

logo2x.jpg Image from iTerm2

๐ŸŒ Check out iTerm2

5) Alacritty ๐Ÿ›ฐ

According to the Alacritty homepage:

Alacritty is a modern terminal emulator that comes with sensible defaults, but allows for extensive configuration. By integrating with other applications, rather than reimplementing their functionality, it manages to provide a flexible set of features with high performance. The supported platforms currently consist of BSD, Linux, macOS and Windows.

Alacritty Example Image.png Image from Alacritty

๐ŸŒ Check out Alacritty

6) kitty ๐Ÿ˜บ

Kitty is a the fast, feature-rich, GPU based terminal emulator. The code in kitty is designed to be simple, modular, and hackable and is written in a mix of C and Python. Kitty is designed for power keyboard users and provides access to all its controls via the keyboard.

KittyTerminal-emulator.png kitty logo

๐ŸŒ Check out Kitty

7) Tabby ๐Ÿ—‚

According to Tabby's GitHub description:

Tabby (formerly Terminus) is a highly configurable terminal emulator, SSH and serial client for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Features include:

  • Theming and color schemes
  • Fully configurable shortcuts
  • Split panes
  • Proper shell experience on Windows including tab completion

readme.png Image from Tabby's GitHub page

๐ŸŒ Check out Tabby

El Fin ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿฝ

Thanks for reading and I hope you found some new items to add to your terminal toolbox ๐Ÿงฐ

If you enjoy what you read, feel free to like this article or subscribe to my newsletter, where I write about programming and productivity tips.

As always, thank you for reading, and happy coding!

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