The Terminal

By Matt Pardee21 November 2012

The Terminal is one of those applications everyday programmers can’t live without. It is the programmer’s best friend, the trusty companion that provides rapid-fire access to powerful commands, editors, system profiling, and everything else we love about UNIX.

It’s really a shame you can’t put a terminal in a browser. Alas, browsers aren’t meant for that kind of thing.

Thus the following is definitely an illusion:

It’s not an illusion. That is a full-blooded terminal inside Cloud9, and it is available to every developer working on To invoke it, simply tap Alt-T.

What’s really interesting about the terminal is what you don’t see. Below the surface the terminal is connected directly to the underlying infrastructure. This even means, for instance, if you are using our Remote SSH feature, it will connect to your own server where you can run commands. It is the same if you use a default workspace configuration on to connect to OpenShift.

One of the Cloud9 developers, Tim Caswell (aka creationix) uses the Terminal in “zen mode” (press Alt-Z) connected to his linode servers. In this way, the terminal is nearly indistinguishable from a regular terminal, with one massive difference: it’s running on the web. You can access it from anywhere, without any duplicate configurations, and even share the workspace with a friend so they can connect to it.

Yes that’s vi running inside a terminal, inside of a Cloud9 workspace, all on the web.

We provided the terminal to every developer because we know how incredibly powerful it is to have that level of access to the underlying infrastructure. Try out the terminal today and let us know what you think!

Matt Pardee

Read more posts by Matt Pardee.