Adam Wade Harris

My iTerm 2 Setup

I started using iTerm 2 recently, mostly because of the ability to use the mouse inside tmux and vim so that my coworkers can still scroll through my code on my computer. Other than that, I probably would have stuck with Terminal. But, with that being said, here are my settings in iTerm.

iTerm 2

General Tab

I uncheck the checkbox that says “Use Lion-style Fullscreen windows” so that I can see the desktop behind, and I can also have windows on top of iTerm when it’s in fullscreen. I almost always have it in fullscreen since I program in vim.


Open preferences and to to the Profiles tab. Create new profile and name it

Colors tab

For the colors, I use a theme called Solarized. It’s a really nice looking theme available for a lot of platforms in a dark and light version. I use it for iTerm and vim.

  • Load Presets
  • Import Solarized Dark
  • Then select your profile on the left, click Load Presets and select Solarized Dark
  • Turn up Minimum contrast a little bit or you can’t see some text (like line numbers in grunt jshint)

Text tab

  • Check Blinking cursor
  • Uncheck Draw bold text in bright colors
  • Download a patched font
  • I use Anonymous for Powerline
  • Select patched font for regular and non-ASCII (14pt)
  • Check Flash visual bell

If you decide to use powerline (mentioned below), for non-ASCII, turn the vertical character spacing up a little bit until the > and < symbols on powerline don’t overlap the top.

Window Tab

Turn up the transparency just a little

Terminal tab

Set terminal type to xterm-256color

Keys tab

Under Hotkey, check “Show/hide iTerm2 with a system-wide hotkey”. I set mine to option-Space.

Install zsh and oh-my-zsh

Zsh and oh-my-zsh are awesome. If you don’t know what they are you should check them out.

Remap keyboard

System Preferences -> Keyboard -> "Modifier Keys…”

For the internal keyboard:

  • Change Caps Lock to Control
  • Change Control to Caps Lock

For an external PC keyboard:

  • Change Caps Lock to Control
  • Change Control to Caps Lock
  • Change Option to Command
  • Change Command to Option

Setup Control to send Escape unless it’s used in combination

  • Download Karabiner
  • Find the Change Key > Change Control_L Key (Left Control)
  • Check the Control_L to Control_L (+ When you type Control_L only, send Escape) setting
  • Enable it on login at System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items

Other stuff

I also use tmux and vim, and I have all of my configurations for them up on github. Feel free to check it out, it’s all pretty well commented.

Posted December 8, 2014

author Adam HarrisWritten by Adam Harris who lives and works in Silicon Slopes. You should follow him on Twitter