Visor – Systemwide Terminal Access via Hotkey

Jan 16, 2007 - 5 Comments

For those of us who have ever played Quake, this is an easy one to explain. Remember hitting the tilde (~) key would bring down the Quake terminal? Well that is what Visor does for Mac OS X. You assign a hotkey, and when Visor is triggered, a nice Terminal slides out of the top of the screen for immediate use.

Is this cool or what?

Visor requires SIMBL, Mac OS X 10.4, and Quartz support.

Installation instructions [via Developer’s home]:

1) Install SIMBL. More information about SIMBL can be found here.

2) Place Visor.bundle in ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins

3) (Re)launch – You should now see the Visor menu item.

4) Configure your keyboard trigger by selecting the visor menu item → preferences and editing your keyboard hotkey. Optionally choose a quartz file to be placed in the background of your Visor terminal session.

5) You can now trigger Visor with your hotkey from any application to get an instant terminal session.

To exit Visor, you can either re-trigger with your key-combo, use the logout key-combo (control+d) to close the Visor window and close the current shell or optionally you can click off of the Visor window. When re-triggering Visor you will be greeted with a new login shell (if you closed your session), or your old shell if you simply disabled Visor.

Developer home


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Posted by: OSXDaily in Command Line, Fun, Mac OS


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. […] TotalTerminal is much easier these days than it’s early incarnation as Visor, and once installed the default hotkey for summoning the drop-down terminal is Control+~ […]

  2. someone says:

    wait…. It’s not working… SIMBL didn’t install itself into thelibrary, and when I tried putting it in there, it didin’t work… Can someone help?

  3. Delinard says:

    Looks like Mac OS X Hints found your post and did one too!

  4. zahadum says:

    this seems pretty risky for such a crucial facility such as terminal!

    APE & SIMBL are widely regarded as being potentially unstable haxies — bad enough that they might corrupt a system resource; but FATAL if they interfer with a ‘get out of jail’ card like Terminal!

    i would want to see some convincing evidence that the benefit of this hotkey cant be replicated with any other keyboard assignment procedure that does NOT inclove hacking the system (hell, isnt this kb-level invocation precisely the job app of launchers like quicksilver or butler?!)

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