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I am using Alfred and hence I don't have any use for the Cmd+Space keyboard shortcut. I want to invoke terminal using that shortcut. Just like in Ubuntu, when you press Ctrl+Alt+T, is there a way to start terminal like that in OS X Mavericks?

P.S. I don't want to use Alfred to start the terminal. I just want to press Cmd+Space and I want the terminal to appear just like it would in Ubuntu.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Keyboard Maestro

You can do this with Keyboard Maestro, using a macro such as this:


You can set up a custom hotkey to launch an app using a workflow:

Go to the workflows tab, create a new workflow and add a hotkey and a 'launch apps' with Terminal selected as the app to launch.


You can use KeyRemap4MacBook with a private.xml such as this:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <name>Activate Terminal with ⌘Space</name>
      KeyCode::SPACE, VK_COMMAND | ModifierFlag::NONE,

Automator Service

You can create a service in Automator:

Open Terminal

…then in System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts → Services you can assign a keyboard command to run it.

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Can't it be done natively like in Windows and Linux? I am asking because KeyBoard Maestro and alfred are not free. – Morpheus Feb 8 '14 at 11:13
@Morpheus Added a method using KeyRemap4MacBook which is free – grgarside Feb 8 '14 at 11:20
should keyremapformacbook be open all the time for this to run? – Morpheus Feb 8 '14 at 11:26
@Morpheus The app doesn't need to be open — it adds a daemon. – grgarside Feb 8 '14 at 11:27
@Morpheus Added Automator method – grgarside Feb 8 '14 at 11:30

5 months late, but I think this bit is useful.

As far as an automator solution goes this is probably a little better. Instead of running finder just use an applescript. ie add action "Utilities Run AppleScript". Run this script:

on run {input, parameters}

    tell application "Terminal"
        do script " "
    end tell

    return input
end run

This will not only open terminal, when run multiple times it will open multiple windows. Then just add a hotkey for it in services (under keyboard), as explained in George Garside's answer.

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error when saving: Expected end of line but found "script" – Brian Vanderbusch Apr 5 '15 at 21:42

If you want to use iTerm (iTerm2), do the same as @tlane's answer, except use this for the AppleScript:

on run {input, parameters}
    if application "iTerm" is running then
        tell application "iTerm"
            create window with default profile
        end tell
        tell application "iTerm"
        end tell
    end if

    return input
end run
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