iTerm on OS X

Over the past week and a half I’ve been fine-tuning my Mac experience: getting used to the system in general, in particular the keyboard, and building up my arsenal of applications.

I’m not a Unix wizard, but I do make a lot of use of the command-line so I’m enjoying the underlying BSD-goodness of OS X and multiple terminal sessions are a necessity: one to tunnel select local ports to my home slackware box via ssh, one to perform local operations and one to host a screen session on our development box.

I initially used but running several instances of it proved a bit fiddly: if I avoid cluttering my screen real-estate by minimising my terminals and then try to switch to one it isn’t automatically unminimised. Enter iTerm.

iTerm seems to solve my problem: it allows me to have multiple shells open and accessible via a single, tabbed interface without having to think about the implications of running a screen session within another screen session.

The only real difficulty I’ve had is the behavior of the arrow keys within vim, but after much head-scratching and googling this post came to my rescue: I added export TERM=dtterm into my ~/.profile, executed a quick source ~/.profile to make the changes active and went about my merry way.

A minor niggle is when I create a new tab: it’s background colour doesn’t seem to match up with that I specified in the preferences, but this seems to be fixed by going to View > Show Session Info and turning Transparency on and then off.

All in all, I’m adjusting and next on my agenda might well be looking into Quicksilver and possibly VirtueDesktops. I still haven’t found out how to go to the start or the end of a line in vim without using ^ or $ in normal mode though…