Vintage Terminal

Fully Featured:
- Fast and Accurate Emulation
- Dynamic Scrollback Buffer
- 256 Colors
- Unicode*
- 12 Retro Fonts

Great Mac Integration:
- Drag and Drop Files
- Customizable Keyboard
- Mouse Copy/Paste
- Command-Click to Open URLs
- Save/Recall Favorite Commands

Special Effects:
- Choose from a large collection of themes spanning every era.
- Tweak to your heart's content with a dozen real-time sliders.
- Effects include screen curvature, burn-in, scan-lines, and transparency.
- Glowing halos simulate the human eye's reaction to intense brightness.
- Slow down the bitrate like an old modem.

Dirty Details:
- The quirks of old electronics are charming to the modern eye.
- Watch the strange dance of horizontal desyncs and splitting colors.
- Turn up the static, jitter, and flicker to add an analog warmth.
- Pixels burn-in and slowly fade away when turned off.
- Slow-motion retrace lines show the picture being refreshed.

- Cathode's many lifelike touches constantly surprise and delight.
- Ray tubes burst open in new windows and bounce as they're moved.
- Dynamic perspective, lighting, and shadows raise the bar for app visuals.
- Customizable sound effects highlight your interactions.
- Use an image or webcam photo as glass reflection.

Full-Screen Experience:
- Immerse yourself and disregard thirty years of user interface progress.
- Impress curious onlookers at work, school, or the cafe.
- Zoom in on virtual pixels for blocky resolutions.
- Works great with multiple monitor setups.
- Hide the clutter of modern computing.

But Wait, There's More!:
- Cathode isn't just a terminal, it's also a great text editor.
- Use familiar dialogs, menus, key combos, and gestures.
- Open any image file to generate ASCII art.
- View your webcam feed as real-time ASCII art.
- Save screenshots.

- iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro: 2007 or newer
- MacBook, MacBook Air, Mac mini: mid-2008 or newer
- Unsupported graphics cards: Intel GMA 950 and X3100, ATI Radeon X1600

What’s New

Version 2.4.1

- Faster bit-rates.
- Networking security improvements for macOS Sierra.
- Fixed a bug related to uninstalled fonts.

Ratings and Reviews

bstpierre ,

Needs UTF-8

I really enjoy using Cathode for day-to-day work as well as playing Nethack. However, the limited font set and lack of support for system fonts means that many tools (anything with characters outside ASCII), displays incorrectly, or in a broken manner.

I'd /love/ it if I could have more control of the fonts, and that would move my review up to a 5⭐️ (see what I did there...?)

Hiro5id ,

Very smooth and makes me happy using it

I love the colours and the little details that makes me feel really good using it. I found some small glitches where the app crashes some times when I have too many instances open. But overall it works really good.

Future303 ,

Nice toy but ultimately useless

Ok so I needed to find a good Terminal emulator for the Mac that was similar to PuTTY on the PC. Cathode is visually stunning, I’ll give it that. However, its inability to capture a log of the screen output, and inability to connect to SSH make this a very expensive eye candy with no real functionality to a Network Admin. Please add the capability to log screen output to a file, and SSH support would be a nice bonus.

Also because of the graphics quality, your machine will work a lot harder to render the software, keep this in mind if using it for system administration tasks.


Secret Geometry, Inc.
5.3 MB

OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor



Age Rating


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.