At its simplest, Hyperterm is a drop in replacement for other shells, like iterm2 or the default terminal app that comes packaged with most OS’s. Since Hyperterm is built on top of node (via Electron) it is by default cross platform so works on Mac and Linux and Windows soon. Obviously this is a win because you can port your configuration to different platforms and don’t need to reconfigure anything, and can also store your configuration in source control so that if your machine ever dies or you get a new one, you have a nice place to pick things up again, which is pretty slick.
To get started, head over to the official Hyperterm website and download the latest release.
Once that is done and you go through the installation process you are ready to get started. Just fire up Hyperterm and you are good to go.
The stock Hyperterm is definitely usable. The real power though, comes from the flexibility and design of the plugin system and configuration files which makes customization really easy to get going with and really powerful.
Hyperterm uses its own configuration file to extend the basic functionality. The docs are a great resource for learning more about customization and configuration.
The process of changing themes or adding additional functionality is pretty straight forward. All the plugins that Hyperterm uses are just npm modules, so can be installed and managed via npm. So for example, to change the default theme, you would open up your ~/.hyperterm.js file.
Look for the “plugins” section.
Add the desired plugin.
plugins: [ 'hyperterm-atom-dark', 'hyperline' ],
And then reload hyperterm to pick up the new configuration by pressing (
Cmd+Shift+R) or by clicking View -> Reload. You should notice the new theme right away. A nice status line should show up at the bottom of the terminal because of the ‘hyperline’ package, and there was practically no time spent enabling the functionality, which is a big win in my opinion.
For more ideas, definitely go check out the awesome-hyperterm project. This repo is a great place to find out more about hyperterm and other cool projects that are related. The official docs are also a great resource for getting started as well as finding some ideas.
Finally, you can also run,
npm search hyperterm
Additionally, you can tweak the configuration by hand to customize things like font sizes, colors, cursor, etc. without having to install or use any plugins. The process to customize these values is similar to installing plugins, just pop open the ~/.hypertem.js file, make any adjustments, then reload the terminal and you should be good to go.
The Hyperterm project is still very new but it is already capable of being the default terminal. As the project grows in popularity, there will be more and more options for customization and the terminal itself will continue to improve. It is exciting to see something new in the terminal emulator space because there are so few options. It will be cool to see what new developments are in the works for the project.
It is definitely hard to adjust to something new but it is also good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes as well. There are lots of things to poke around at and plugins to try out with Hyperterm.
I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun when I was fiddling around with terminal settings. So at the very least, if you don’t switch full time to Hyperterm, give it a try and see if it is a good fit.