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The Terminal

By | 22 Comments

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!





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  1. Harry says:

    That’s awesome! Did you write it yourself? Or are you using a 3rd party js terminal library? Does it emulate xterm on the client-side, or on the server-side?

  2. Zachari says:

    That’s one of the reason I immediately subscribed. Great addition.

  3. Kenneth says:

    I heart

  4. Pierre says:

    Sounds awesome!
    I just created an ssh workspace to try this, but it unfortunatly does not work.
    The terminal tab closes immediately (with nice animation, btw)

  5. Garciat says:

    Amazing job! C9 keeps getting better and better.

  6. Liz says:

    Hey- can I install the Heroku Toolbelt using the terminal? (I’m a premium member, and it claims I have “full shell” access, but I can’t use sudo)

  7. Petri Sirkkala says:

    Is it just me, or doesn’t the terminal accept copy & paste? I try to paste commands into terminal with Mac OSX 10.8.2, Safari 6.0.2, but I can not. Is there some special keybord shortcut for paste?

  8. Ben says:

    The terminal is a fantastic addition, though most linux users will eventually notice some hiccups here and there, this is a fantastic implementation, coding such a thing for a web browser is anything but easy, that’s why most of the time people uses java vt-100 emulators for webapps, c9 terminal is a beauty compared to those !

  9. Josh Foskett says:

    Will you ever implement MySQL into the service? It’s bit hard to build a website that isn’t database driven, and I’d rather not use an external host – I’d like it all in one.

  10. nnguyen says:

    Totally awsome!
    Any plan to upgrade the gcc toolset to the latest version?

  11. Diego Nobre says:

    I just can say: Muito obrigado! Gracias! Thank you!

  12. amoblin says:

    Can this terminal to be a stand alone component?

  13. FloorD says:

    Hi there! Liking Cloud9, just one question: is it possible to not only share workspace but also the terminal, when working on a project (maybe in a workshoppy environment) so that I could see the commands (and error messages!) of my colleague?

  14. Hybris95 says:

    Couldn’t use Cloud9 alone without that terminal.

  15. Nati says:

    The Terminal is an open source project?

  16. Lysander says:

    After pulling cloud9 from github, and building, I see no terminal and no sharing is available.
    Is terminal and sharing not open source ?

  17. TJ says:

    My (mt) server is connected via SSH. When I open the Terminal I get a tab that says “Terminal” with nothing in the tab but blank, black space. What’s the deal here? How is this remedied?


  18. SHINERA says:

    Hi I cannot connect to the terminal. How do you connect?

  19. Caleb says:

    I am unable to access the terminal with the OSS version cloned from github. How do I enable it?