What I'm doing

I'm using iTerm2 Build 3.0.15 and writing a script that opens a new window and prints "hello world" to the screen. Really, I'm interested in being to run any command but using echo "hello world" as a starting point.

What I've tried

I read up on the iTerm2 documentation for scripting. I wanted to learn more so I dragged the iTerm2 icon on the Script Editor icon to view the dictionary available to me and found the following command:

enter image description here

From reading the dictionary and documentation I wrote the following script:

tell application "iTerm"
  create window with default profile command "echo hello world"
end tell

When I run my script from the terminal a new window opened and "hello world" was on the screen; however, I got the following broken pipe error: enter image description here

When I select Ok the window closed and I'm left with the following message:

$ osascript iterm.applescript
window id 6415

The Questions

  • What do these broken pipe and window id 6415 errors mean?
  • How do I write a script that opens an iTerm2 window and runs a command?
  • delay 1 write text "clear" is nice if you want a clean start May 8, 2018 at 14:10

3 Answers 3


Try this:

tell application "iTerm2"
    set newWindow to (create window with default profile)
    tell current session of newWindow
        write text "echo it works!"
    end tell
end tell

The write command, when not using without newline, executes the write text command because of the default added newline after the "text to send". Thus the window stays open after the command completes, ready for additional use.

From the iTerm AppleScript Dictionary:

writev : Send text as though it was typed.

      write specifier : The session to send to
            [contents of file file] : Filename to send the contents of
            [text text] : Text to send
            [newline boolean] : If newline should be added to end of text (default: yes)

  • This used to work when running it with osascript -e, but recently started giving me error -2741: Syntax error, "," expected, but classname found. (Translated error-message from German, English wording might be slightly different). Jul 26, 2022 at 8:50

Replace command "echo hello world" with

command "bash -c \"echo hello world && read\""

The use of read makes bash wait for the user to end the line (i.e. by pressing enter) before exiting. Pressing enter within 3 seconds will still yield the warning, as this is an iTerm feature which you can disable by checking the box on the alert, and control more precisely in Preferences → Advanced → Warn about short-lived sessions.

  • @user Sure, edited
    – grg
    Jun 15, 2017 at 21:06
  • 3
    Is it possible to not have the terminal close? The goal is to be able to say "Open iTerm run this command and don't quit"
    – mbigras
    Jun 15, 2017 at 21:23
on alfred_script(q)
    tell application "iTerm2"
        set newWindow to (create window with default profile)
        tell current session of newWindow
            write text q
        end tell
    end tell
end alfred_script
  • 3
    We are looking for answers which are more than just a code snippet. What does this script do, how can it be used, how does it differ from the similar-looking one in one of the other answers, and who is Alfred? Please edit your answer to add details.
    – nohillside
    May 8, 2021 at 8:19

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