I have found way to open new tab in iTerm:

    osascript -e 'tell application "iTerm" to activate' -e 'tell application "System Events" to tell process "iTerm" to keystroke "t" using command down'

And I want to execute some commands in new tab. Let it be simple command pwd. How to do it?

If I run ...

newtabi && pwd

The new tab is opened as expected, but pwd command is executed not in new tab but in old one, where I typed newtabi && pwd

I use zsh. My os is OS X 10.8.5


Use tell session -1 of current terminal to write text "pwd":

activate application "iTerm"
tell application "System Events" to keystroke "t" using command down
tell application "iTerm" to tell session -1 of current terminal to write text "pwd"
  • 1
    if opened more than one iTerms, it opens new tab in correct iTerm instance, but writes pwd in last tab of first instance of iTerm – Maxim Yefremov Nov 27 '13 at 15:16
  • 2
    @efr You're right. I edited the answer to change terminal 1 to current terminal. Now it should run the command in the current window instead of the window that was opened first. – Lri Nov 27 '13 at 15:40
  • 2
    This did not work on mac 10.11.6 with iTerm2. In script editor, "Unexpected end of line but found identifier" and "terminal" is highlighted – Mike Blandford Sep 5 '17 at 15:50
  • 1
    This no longer works on macOS 10.14: execution error: System Events got an error: osascript is not allowed to send keystrokes. (1002) – KernelSanders Feb 3 '19 at 22:48
  • @KernelSanders You need to allow iterm to access System event by checking iTerm in MacOS Settings -> Security -> Accessibility – ReaperSoon Aug 12 '20 at 8:01
osascript \
-e 'tell application "iTerm" to activate' \
-e 'tell application "System Events" to tell process "iTerm" to keystroke "t" using command down' \
-e 'tell application "System Events" to tell process "iTerm" to keystroke "ls"' \
-e 'tell application "System Events" to tell process "iTerm" to key code 52'
  • I'm getting 148:156: syntax error: Expected end of line but found identifier. (-2741) on this. – temporary_user_name Apr 12 '19 at 15:32

As of at least macos Mojave, iTerm 3.2.8, if you run:

$ open -a iTerm .

It will add it as a tab to the current window.

  • 2
    can you then execute commands in the new terminal with this? – sf8193 Sep 11 '20 at 23:29
  • worked for me for iTerm with zsh – Lukasz Ochmanski Nov 24 '20 at 11:24

I couldn't get the accepted answer to work. I also wanted to pass multiple commands. This is what I came up with.

  osascript \
    -e 'tell application "iTerm2" to tell current window to set newWindow to (create tab with default profile)'\
    -e "tell application \"iTerm2\" to tell current session of newWindow to write text \"${@}\""

Example usage

newtabi pwd
newtabi 'cd ~/ && pwd'
newtabi 'echo \"Hello New Tab\"'

For more complex actions, I would recommend breaking up the commands.


alias project="cd ${code_folder}/my-project/foo && yarn run start"

Then, newtabi project

  • Can you please tell me how I can pass my current pwd to make the command look like: `newtabi '$PWD/foo && yarn run start'? – Raj Oct 18 '19 at 19:39
  • 1
    @Raj, good question. I personally break up the commands into more consumable aliases and/or functions. I added another example. Hope it helps! – Marc Barbeau Oct 31 '19 at 16:18
  • 1
    @Raj newtabi "$(pwd)/foo && yarn run start" – darronz May 27 '20 at 9:40

ttab is a macOS and Linux CLI for opening a new terminal tab/window, optionally with a command to execute and/or display settings

From its samples:

# Open a new tab, execute a command, wait for a keypress, and exit.
ttab 'ls "$HOME/Library/Application Support"; echo Press a key to exit.; read -rsn 1; exit'
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