Install The KDE Konsole terminal emulator on macOS

My work machine is a 2019 MBP. The machine is nice and UI,, ok, I still like Gnome a lot better. But I miss a good and fast terminal emulator. To be specific, I want the following features

  • Fast text rendering. Must be able to run VIM at 60fps even when scrolling with 256 colors.
  • Tab and split support
  • Modern, clean UI

For the longest of time, I've tried and used several options. Non of them are as good as Konsole. I've tried iTerm2, Alacritty, Hyper and others. Alacritty is really fast, but does not support tabbing. Hyper is clean but very slow. iTerm's UI us ok. But still can't run VIM smoothly.

There's no prebuilt binaries of Konsole for macOS. Otherwise I'd just installed it. But like, there's no reason Konsole can't run on macOS. It's built on the KDE Frameworks, which is cross platform and there's an old archive on mac ports. So I decided to try to build it myself.

After going through a few Reddit posts and docs. The solution I stumble upon building KDE software using the Craft package manager.

It's really easy to use! Mostly just following the setup instructions.

> curl -o && python3 --prefix ~/CraftRoot
> source ~/CraftRoot/craft/
> craft konsole

Now konsole is located at ~/CraftRoot/Applications/KDE/ You can copy it to /Applications or run ./Contents/MacOS/konsole to start it. Ta da. Done!

A few icons are missing. But I can live with that. Features are working as expected, And the nice smooth VIM experience is priceless.

Screen shot of Konsole running on macOS
Image: Screen shot of Konsole running on macOS
Author's profile. Photo taken in VRChat by my friend Tast+
Martin Chang
Systems software, HPC, GPGPU and AI. I mostly write stupid C++ code. Sometimes does AI research. Chronic VRChat addict

I run TLGS, a major search engine on Gemini. Used by Buran by default.

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