2.3.0 – Nov 7 2014


  • New app icon.
  • Updated retina artwork.
  • Easier to see mouse cursor.


  • Prompt text properly clears when resizing window.
  • Fixed Yosemite glitches.

2.2.0 – Aug 25 2014


  • Alternate buffers for preserving state between shells and fullscreen programs.
  • Fixed a line wrapping bug in tmux and other programs.
  • Cursor hiding sequences now work.

User Interface

  • Copied text preserves lines and ignores wrapping.
  • Pasting large amounts of text no longer causes cutoffs.
  • Increase/decrease font scale menu and shortcut.
  • A few new sounds (thanks to Bastian Masanek)

2.1.3 – May 29 2014


  • Fixed a bug that was causing selection to be offset.

2.1.2 – Apr 21 2014


  • Live text reflowing.
  • Background color erase.


  • Simplified text/window sizing.
  • Closing windows warns about ending processes.


  • Non-PNG reflection pictures now save properly.
  • TMPDIR is properly inherited.

2.0.3 – Jan 22 2014

Bug Fixes

  • Bold colors work better.
  • Dark grey text is no longer invisible in some cases.
  • TMPDIR and DISPLAY are set properly.
  • Reflection works better with multiple monitors


  • Made blues brighter.
  • Added yank and kill shortcuts to the editor. (^K and ^Y)
  • Better services integration for text and URLs.

2.0.2 – Oct 16 2012

Save Screenshots

  • Use the File menu or Command-Shift-P
  • Saves PNGs with transparency.
  • Works with retina displays.

Bug Fixes

  • A crash related to closing windows has been fixed.
  • Typing in a disconnected terminal now works properly.
  • Improved stability with the following graphics cards:
    • Intel HD 3000
    • ATI Radeon HD series

2.0.1 – Sep 10 2012


  • New icon.
  • New spring effect when scrolling or moving windows.


  • Better support for opening text files from the Finder or Dock.
  • Fixed some crashes related to closing windows and multiple monitors.
  • Older MacBookPros no longer display an empty picture.
  • Setting a custom reflection photo works once again.

1.9.8 – Aug 28 2012

Retina Display Support

  • Enable it in the Preferences
  • Leave it off for higher framerates
  • Works with mixed monitor setups

New Mouse Options

  • Copy on select
  • Paste with the right or middle mouse button
  • Enable these features in the Terminal section of the preferences

Visual Improvements

  • Glow effect looks much more realistic
  • Noise and retrace effects don’t go outside the picture area
  • Transparency works in Low rendering mode
  • Minimal rendering mode text is sharp
  • Fixed a bug that was causing a slight flash when switching windows

1.9.0 – Aug 11 2012


  • Autosaving can be disabled for text documents.
  • Smoother window resizing and font zooming.
  • Better resampling for Picture and Camera documents.
  • Reflection image can be selected using an Open dialog.

Bug Fixes

  • Text no longer disappears in background windows on certain ATI graphics cards.
  • Initial window sizing and placement is smarter.
  • Scrolling never occurs when clicking in the toolbar.

1.8.0 – Aug 2 2012


  • Thousands of new characters: Punctuation, Symbols, Greek, Hebrew, Math, more Latin and Cyrillic, etc.
  • Supported ranges are U+0000..U+0600, U+2000..U+2200, and U+25xx.
  • Classic fonts fall back to Monaco, for now.


  • Window sizing is more consistent when resuming the app, making new documents, and changing themes.
  • Font zooming is smoother, sharper, and more powerful.
  • Classic and modern fonts are sized more consistently.


  • Immersive mouse cursor is now optional, and is off by default.
  • The window title shows the grid size.
  • Selection looks better over multiple foreground/background colors.
  • Toolbar with font controls.

1.7.0 – July 17 2012

Font Scaling

  • Text size can be controlled by scaling pixels, rather than just point size.
  • A new “Lock Grid Size” option makes sizing less clunky.


  • New “Vertical Scan-lines” effect can make nice looking square pixels.
  • Ambient light on the frame looks better on many graphics cards.
  • Glow and jitter look better at large font scales.


  • Added more keyboard shortcuts for paragraph navigation in text documents.
  • Effect sliders are disabled when not available at the current rendering quality.

Bug Fixes

  • Very long text buffers aren’t cut off when pasted.
  • Favorites always respect their themes on launch.
  • Very long lines in text documents are wrapped properly.

1.6.0 – June 29 2012


  • Many layout glitches have been solved -particularily in emacs
  • Fixed a bug that was causing text to overwrite rather than insert
  • Dark grey text is now visible


  • Choose between Minimal, Low, Medium, and High rendering modes
  • Moving effect sliders down to 0 improves performance
  • Selection is visible for black text on a white background


  • Supports Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
  • ARC and modern Objective-C used under the hood
  • No more crashes when deleting shortcuts

1.5.0 – June 17 2012


  • Documents and windows are restored between app launches
  • Text documents use auto-saving on Mac OS 10.7
  • New menus for controlling fonts, colors, and themes


  • Common commands can be stored as Favorites
  • Favorites can be launched with keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard and Mouse

  • Middle click copies selected text, or pastes the clipboard
  • PageUp/PageDown/Home/End keys can send custom control codes


  • A new “Camera” mode for converting live video feeds to ASCII art (see the Favorites menu)


  • New “minimal” rendering mode (“low” and “medium” coming soon)
  • Smoother fluid mode resizing


  • Terminal no longer resizes when starting “screen”
  • Fixed a bug that was inverting text incorrectly
  • No more mouse cursor drawing conflicts
  • DISPLAY envar is now properly set

1.2.0 – February 22 2012


  • Open URLs by command double-clicking
  • Scrollbars can be hidden when not using the mouse/trackpad
  • Key repeat is back
  • Drag and drop reflection image in preferences
  • Scrolling now works smoothly in background windows


  • 256 colors
  • Blinking text
  • Underlined text
  • ASCII line drawing characters
  • Set TERM (xterm/xterm-color/xterm-256color) from the preferences
  • Better emulation, especially in Midnight Commander


  • New Overbright slider that is separate from Glow
  • Other monitor properties have been renamed (Interlace -> Scan-Lines, Contrast -> Backlight, Line -> Retrace)


  • Fixed a crash that could happen when closing windows or moving windows between multiple monitors
  • Fixed a bug that could truncate long strings when copied
  • Select-by-word properly understands Cyrillic characters

1.1.1 – January 29 2012


  • Huge improvements in emulation accuracy
  • Cathode passes all the layout tests in vttest
  • Lots of bugs fixed
  • Prompt never appears on the wrong line


  • Option to use a custom fullscreen mode that’s nicer than Lion’s
  • Framerate slider
  • Positional window perspective can be disabled
  • Nicer mouse cursor

1.0.0 – October 31 2011


  • Cyrillic glyphs are now available
  • Classic fonts have been updated

Performance Improvements

  • New multi-threaded renderer gives smoother framerates
  • CPU and battery utilization have been reduced
  • Window resizing feels like butter
  • Fullscreen and background windows are less taxing on the system


  • Fixed some minor rendering glitches
  • Fixed a bug that had broken function keys
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing individual sounds from being disabled
  • Added a setting to disable all sounds

0.9.9 – October 8 2011

Text Editor

  • You can now view and edit plain text files without an underlying terminal
  • Use “Open” or “New Editor” in the file menu
  • Supports standard Mac OS keyboard shortcuts for text navigation
  • Uses standard Mac OS open/save panels and change tracking

Sound Effects

  • New section of the Preferences for customizing sounds
  • Categories:
    • Startup chimes
    • Ambient fan, hard drive, and CPU sounds
    • Scroll feedback
    • Character entry clicks
    • Error beeps
    • Modem noise

Custom Screen Reflection

  • Use your webcam to take a static reflection photo of your environment
  • This is the most requested feature of all time


  • Pasted text is no longer escaped with slashes
  • Use the option key and left/right arrows to move by word at the shell prompt
  • Fixed a bug that was causing copied text to be cropped
  • Fixed a crash caused by unexpected unicode characters
  • Removed some asserts that were accidentally left enabled in release builds

0.9.8 – August 7 2011


  • Lion-style fullscreen experience
  • Shift + page up/down now work like in Terminal.app
  • Locale environment variables can be disabled
  • Open any image file to generate ascii art

Bug Fixes

  • Keyboard combos for international characters have been restored
  • Cursor disappearing bug has been fixed
  • Issuing an exit command in a fullscreen window now works
  • Terminal emulation continues to improve

0.9.7 – June 18 2011


  • Shown as needed, just like iOS and Mac OS X Lion
  • Nice looks that don’t interfere with the mood

Live Resizing

  • New setting for linking column and row count to window size

Integrated Graphics Cards

  • Support for many on-board graphics cards from Intel
  • Tested and working on the 2011 13″ MacBook Pro, among others

Command Files

  • Launch “.command” files from the finder
  • Can contain shell scripts or simple commands
  • Relaunch from the “Open Recent” menu

Terminal Options

  • New “Terminal” section in Preferences (some options have moved)
  • Close on exit
  • Delete sends Ctrl-H
  • Scroll on input
  • Dynamically change the scrollback buffer size


  • Fixed a crash that was occurring on Asian language systems
  • More accurate terminal emulation

0.9.6 – March 18 2011


  • Works with PageUp/PageDown/Home/End
  • Works with mouse gestures
  • Looks great

Better International Text Support

  • All characters from the ISO-8859-1 (Latin1 / Western Europe) standard are now supported
  • You can use standard Mac OS X key combos for entering characters. (eg. add an acute accent by typing option+’e’ before a character)
  • Classic bitmap fonts have been updated to support ISO-8859-1
  • UTF-8 is used internally for all data flow
  • The LANG environment variable is now set based on the language settings in System Preferences


  • SSH no longer asks for passwords repeatedly. Cathode properly sets the SSH_AUTH_SOCK environment variable
  • Bell sound can be disabled in the General Preferences

New Command-Line Defaults

  • “ScrollBackRowCount” (Default is 10000)
  • “Color1″, “Color2″ … “Color15″ (For overriding the standard colors. Uses hex RGB strings. Eg. red would be “FF0000″)
  • “BackgroundWindowsRenderAtFullQuality” (The default is NO. Intended only for media centers/kiosks/servers. This feature can significantly slow down drawing in other apps.)

0.9.5 – February 17 2011

New Features

  • Mouse cursor
  • Mouse selection (by character, word, or line)
  • Copy/Paste
  • Drag and drop files
  • Buffer clearing with command-K
  • Use option/alt as meta key
  • Forward delete key
  • Three new classic fonts (thanks to Damien Guard)
  • More bit-rates to choose from


  • Now fully 64-bit, fully Cocoa, using the modern runtime, and compiled with LLVM

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed some terminal alignment glitches (often seen in “screen”)
  • Fixed a crash that was occurring in “vttest”
  • Fixed a bug that was causing jumbled text on nVidia 7300/7600 GT and 4500 FX graphics cards
  • Users are now properly warned about unsupported graphics hardware (Intel GMA 950/X3100, ATI Radeon 1600/1900)

0.9.4 – January 18 2011

First public release.