DTerm – A Terminal at Your Fingertips for Mac OS X

Sometimes it would be great if one could just enter a command in the terminal which is related to the directory of the file you are working on: send it to a server via scp, build a tar.gz archive, compile it or open another file. These are all operations which have also a graphical “nice” way of executing it, but leaving your hands on the keyboard can be so much faster.

The tool, which provides a system-wide access to the terminal is DTerm. It has been around for some time, as it has been released in 2008, but it was mentioned recently in the very nice mobileMac podcast (german) I like a lot. The application is free.

So what is it all about? With DTerm you define a hotkey (standard is Command-Shift-Return), which will overlay a window with a text field which accepts terminal commands. They will be executed in the same directory as your frontmost application. DTerm is useful if you for example would like to open another document in the same folder: just press DTerm’s hotkey, enter open then the beginning of the file and press the tabulator key to show a completion list of all the files in the directory. Choose the file and press enter and it is opened with its associated application. Another useful shortcut is open . which opens the current directory in the Finder. If you are familiar with a terminal on a *NIX based system now is the time to use all of your terminal hacks everywhere in your workflow without touching the Terminal application.



DTerm homepage


Chemist, Programmer, Mac and iPhone enthusiast. Likes coding in Python, Objective-C and other languages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.