When my terminal gives lots of output (for example when I am compiling something), by default the scrolling automatically sticks to 'bottom' of my terminal window.

But when I scroll within my output, and then scroll back to the bottom using my trackpad, this sticking effect is sometimes gone and sometimes it persists.

When I use the slider on the right hand side, the sticking effect persists, just like I would expect it to be.

Is this expected behaviour or a bug? Should the terminal stick to the bottom when I scrolled all the way down?

I created this terminal oneliner to try it out for yourself (downloads the linux kernel at 10k and outputs it to the terminal):

curl --limit-rate 10k https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.x/testing/linux-3.15-rc5.tar.xz

Terminal output without sticking

2 Answers 2


The issue here is that the scroll is still going when the text continues to be output. The trackpad is still in a "scroll mode" in which Terminal doesn't check the position and waits until it's done.

This was originally so it would wait until your fingers are off the trackpad/you stop scrolling. With inertia scrolling, this scroll mode doesn't end until the velocity reaches 0. So, the terminal waits until it is 0, by which time the output has increased and it won't stick to the bottom. (This isn't as noticeable in Terminal due to the lack of rubber banding.)

So I guess it would technically be expected behavior but it is still undesired behavior :P

  • ...and you deserve your avatar! Commented May 20, 2014 at 6:39
  • ...the new one as well ;) Commented May 25, 2014 at 18:46

Not related to the trackpad, but you can use your keyboard to scroll to the bottom of the document and be sure it sticks to it!

Press fn + RightArrow

  • aka: pagedown, thnx! Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 22:09
  • this should absolutely be awarded the answer. thanks for this, has been bugging me for a while
    – MikeSchem
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 21:10
  • 1
    cmd + down arrow in everything else except terminal it seems...
    – Catfish
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 21:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .