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Modern terminal.

Terminal emulators
Our review

What we like

The prompt is a native text field so you can click around and use shortcuts to move the cursor, highlight words, etc. Lots of small UI improvements e.g. the command pins to the top as you scroll. Each output is a “block” which can be shared and navigated. Get AI assistance for commands. Shell runs through SSH so you don’t lose all the benefits on remote servers.

What we don't like

Limited theme options. macOS only.

Reviewed: 2023-10-05

Terminal tools

with Michelle Lim & Zach Lloyd

S02 E102022-03-10


Zach: When you run a terminal today on your modern Mac, you're actually running a terminal emulator like you said, and that's a piece of software that is copying the behavior of that hardware. And so the terminal emulator, when you run or Warp or iTerm, it's an actual sort of native GUI app that runs on your Mac. It's pretending to be this piece of hardware. And it's pretending to do that at a pretty deep level.

Developer Interview

With Zach Lloyd, Founder


What is Warp? Why did you build it?

Warp is a reinvention of the terminal.

I was really interested in building something that could potentially impact all developers. The terminal is one of the two tools where if you walk by a developer's desk, you're likely to see it open alongside a code editor. For some developers, the terminal still is their code editor. It's a ubiquitous tool, but from a product perspective there are a number of issues with it.

Firstly, it is a tool that's hard to learn and hard to configure. It’s hard to get really good at it. On the flip side, if you do manage to get really good at it, you unlock a lot of productivity. I've worked with engineers throughout my career who were good at it, and who have been able to do things that I just couldn't do as an average user.

One of our product ideas was can you make that power accessible to all developers?

The second idea on the product side really stemmed from my time being as a Principal engineer on Google Docs. I used to be the tech lead for that project and helped build a lot of Google Sheets in particular. That experience made me realize how if you take an app that has traditionally been desktop, single-user, non-collaborative software, and make it cloud-native and collaborative, that always unlocks significant productivity gains.

The idea was to do something like that for the terminal, which is one of the last apps I can think of that's both very widely used, but remains non-collaborative and not oriented towards teams.

Warp needs to be a very fast app, so we built it in Rust. It's GPU accelerated. Today, it's Mac only and is in public beta, so anyone can go download it and start using it.

We plan on supporting more platforms by taking that same Rust codebase and using it for Linux, Windows, and also for the web where we would do WebAssembly and WebGL rendering of Warp.

Engineering Profile

The terminal for the 21st century.

Warp is a blazingly fast, Rust-based terminal reimagined from the ground up to work like a modern app.

What are some recent examples of interesting development challenges?

We have a ton of great deep-dives written by our engineers that explore a number of interesting technical challenges that our team works through while building Warp. Check them out on Warp’s Engineering Blog!

Specific examples:

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