August 3, 2016

I’ve been trying to find a good equivalent for the popular iTerm2 app which can be used in place of the default OS X terminal emulator. Konsole is a great option, but it’s split window functionality is pretty bad. While it does allow one to have two different terminal tabs open in the same window, it by default creates a clone view into the current terminal tab, without an easy way to eliminate this duplicate “pointer” (that is a reference to C/C++ pointers, yes). There was a bug filed for getting that behavior fixed back in 2009, and even a fork implementation of Konsole in progress, but as of 2016, that project has all but been abandoned. Locally compiling and running this forked version of Konsole on a non-KDE environment didn’t result in very much (it ran, but it had only very basic terminal emulator functionality, and no way to split windows, which was the entire point).

While reading the thread about that bug on Konsole’s split window behavior, I came across a worthy alternative: Terminator, which was originally known as Gnome Terminal but has now been genericized to be non-GNOME-specific. And it actually works!

Terminator app screenshot with split window

You can build it from the source code on launchpad or install via your distro’s package repositories. For Arch:

sudo pacman -S terminator