Terminal.app on Mac OS X is a little weird. It has some default settings that don't work right, at least for me. I'm logging in to all sorts of machines from Terminal.app: Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, other Macs. I'm also often using screen and tmux. It's taken a while to get settings that work fairly nicely everywhere.

Here are my settings, grouped by preference pane.


  • Shells open with default login shell (/usr/bin/login).



  • Font: DejaVu Sans Mono 10 pt.


  • Empty title.
  • Active process name, dimensions, command key: checked. The rest are unchecked.
  • Limit number of scrollback rows to 10000.


  • Run command: unchecked.
  • When the shell exits, close if the shell exited cleanly.
  • Prompt before closing: never.


I used info from this Mac OS X Hint to rebind home, end, pageup, and pagedown. By default, shift home and shift end had some incorrect strings. I wanted to correct them so that I could use them in mutt or vim. I also wanted to scroll Terminal's buffer using shift-pageup and shift-pagedown, like every other terminal program.

So, the result is this:

  • home: \033[1~
  • end: \033[4~
  • page down: \033[6~
  • page up: \033[5~
  • shift page up: scroll to previous page in buffer
  • shift page down: scroll to next page in buffer
  • shift home: scroll to start of buffer
  • shift end: scroll to end of buffer

  • Use option as meta key: checked.



  • Declare terminal as: xterm-color.
  • Delete sends Ctrl-H: unchecked.
  • Escape non-ASCII input: unchecked.
  • Paste newlines as carriage returns: checked.
  • Strict VT-100 keypad behavior: unchecked.
  • Scroll to bottom on input: checked.


  • Audible bell: unchecked.
  • Visible bell: checked.


  • Character encoding: Unicode (UTF-8).
  • Set LANG environment variable on startup: checked.

See also