Mac vs. Linux for Python Development

Cameron Simpson cs at
Sun Mar 2 01:55:51 CET 2014

On 01Mar2014 15:07, Ned Deily <nad at> wrote:
> In article <4e741358-ce12-40ac-97b8-3bbbf2d6ddca at>,
>  "Mark H. Harris" <harrismh777 at> wrote:
> > [...]
> > If you want to use terminals on OSX you'll want to install  Quartz  and run 
> > the terminal on the emulated X environment.  It works better for python IMHO. 
> >  The built-in terminal for OSX need serious configuring (which is possible) 
> > because its color is bad, and its tiny by default, with a crummy font. All of 
> > that can be changed, but it just works better to use XQuartz.
> That certainly is a matter of preference.  There are plenty of drawbacks 
> to using X11-based apps on OS X.  I wouldn't advise new users to OS X to 
> go that route unless they were really set on using X11 entirely and, in 
> that case, why use OS X at all?  If you don't like Apple's built-in 
>, another option is to use iTerm 2, an open source native 
> alternative that has many more features.  
> It's also available through MacPorts.

I also recommend iTerm2. It is really good, far better than OSX's
Terminal app.

I run it full screen and split it into panes, typically 3 or 4
vertical and then as many horizontal as required (ssh to multiple
hosts); I edit in a full height pane usually.

To reiterate from a post to mutt-users:

I like iTerm2 for the following reasons:

  - focus follows mouse

  - selecting text can be set to set the cut buffer immediately, no %C
    needed. Like X11.

  - horizontal and vertical pane tiling
    I've bound shift-%V to open a new vertical pane (splits the current
    pane vertically) and shift-%T to open a new horizontal pane (splits
    the current pane horizontally).
    This is outstandingly useful for working in multiple shells.
    I do a lot of remote admin and opening shells on a bunch of machines
    nicely arranged for coordinated work is very pleasing.

And of course I've spent some time tuning fonts and colours, and made
things slightly transparent with a slight brightening for the currently
focussed pane. iTerm2 has lots of features, but the ones above are the
real winners for me.

Here's a screenshot of this message:

Cameron Simpson <cs at>

TeX: When you pronounce it correctly to your computer, the terminal may
     become slightly moist.     - D. E. Knuth.

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