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Project goals

The goal of the project is to create a beautiful and extensible experience for command-line interface users, built on open web standards.

In the beginning, our focus will be primarily around speed, stability and the development of the correct API for extension authors.

In the future, we anticipate the community will come up with innovative additions to enhance what could be the simplest, most powerful and well-tested interface for productivity.


Extensions are available on npm. We encourage everyone to include hyper in the keywords field in package.json.

$ npm search hyper

Then edit ~/.hyper.js and add it to plugins

module.exports = {

  config: { /*... */ },

  plugins: [


Hyper will show a notification when your modules are installed to ~/.hyper_plugins.

You can also take a look at Awesome Hyper for a curated list of plugins and resources.


The config object seen above in ~/.hyper.js admits the following

Property Default Description
"fontSize" 12 The default size in pixels for the terminal
"fontFamily" "Menlo, DejaVu Sans Mono, Lucida Console, monospace" The font family to use with optional fallbacks
"uiFontFamily" "-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, ..." The font family to use for the UI with optional fallbacks
"cursorColor" "#F81CE5" The color of the caret in the terminal
"cursorShape" "BLOCK" The shape of the caret in the terminal. Available options are: 'BEAM', 'UNDERLINE', 'BLOCK'
"cursorBlink" "false" If true, cursor will blink
"foregroundColor" "#fff" The color of the main text of the terminal
"backgroundColor" "#000" The color and opacity of the window and main terminal background
"borderColor" "#333" The color of the main window border and tab bar
"css" "" Custom CSS to include in the main window
"termCSS" "" Custom CSS to include in the terminal window
"padding" "12px 14px" CSS padding values for the space around each term
"colors" { black: "#000000", red: "#ff0000", ... } A list of overrides for the color palette. The names of the keys represent the "ANSI 16", which can all be seen in the default config.
"shell" "" A path to a custom shell to run when Hyper starts a new session
"npmRegistry" npm get registry Override the npm registry URL to use when installing plugins
"windowSize" null The default width/height in pixels of a new window e.g. [540, 380]
"copyOnSelect" false If true, selected text will automatically be copied to the clipboard
"bell" "SOUND" System bell configuration. Available options are: "SOUND", false
"bellSoundURL" "lib-resource:hterm/audio/bell" The URL of the bell sound to use, used only if "bell" is set to "SOUND"
"modifierKeys" { cmdIsMeta: false, altIsMeta: false } Change the behaviour of modifier keys to act as meta key
"showHamburgerMenu" "" Change the visibility of the hamburger menu. Available options are: true, false
"showWindowControls" "" Change the position/visibility of the window controls. Available options are: true, false, "left"

Extensions API

Extensions are universal Node.js modules loaded by both Electron and the renderer process.

The extension system is designed around composition of the APIs we use to build the terminal: React components and Redux actions.

Instead of exposing a custom API method or parameter for every possible customization point, we allow you to intercept and compose every bit of functionality!

The only knowledge that is therefore required to successfully extend Hyper is that of its underlying open source libraries.

Your module has to expose at least one of these methods:.

Method Invoked from Description
onApp Electron

Invoked when the app first loads. If a plugin reloads, it's invoked again with the existing app.


app The electron app.
onWindow Electron

Invoked when each window is created. If a plugin reloads, it's invoked again with the existing windows.


window An electron BrowserWindow.
onUnload Electron

Invoked when a plugin is removed by the user.


app The electron app.
decorateConfig Electron / Renderer

v0.5.0+. Allows you to decorate the user's configuration.
Useful for themeing or custom parameters for your plugin.


config The config object
decorateEnv Electron

v0.7.0+. Allows you to decorate the user's environment by returning a modified environment object.


environment The environment object
decorateMenu Electron

Invoked with the Electron's Menu template. If a plugin reloads, it's called again and the menu is refreshed.


menu The menu template object
onRendererLoad Renderer

Invoked when a plugin is first loaded or subsequently reloaded in each window.


window The window object
onRendererUnload Renderer

Invoked when a plugin is being unloaded.


window The window object
middleware Renderer

A custom Redux middleware that can intercept any action. Subsequently we invoke the thunk middleware, which means your middleware can next thunks.


A custom reducer for the ui, sessions or termgroups state shape.

state The Redux state object
action The action object
getTermGroupProps Renderer

Passes down props from <Terms> to the <TermGroup> component. Must return the composed props object.

uid TermGroup uid
parentProps Props form the parent component.
props The existing properties that will be passed to the component.
getTermProps Renderer

Passes down props from <TermGroup> to the <Term> component. Must return the composed props object.

uid Term uid
parentProps Props form the parent component.
props The existing properties that will be passed to the component.
getTabsProps Renderer

Passes down props from <Tabs> to the <Header> component. Must return the composed props object.

parentProps Props form the parent component.
props The existing properties that will be passed to the component.
getTabProps Renderer

Passes down props from <Tab> to the <Tabs> component. Must return the composed props object.

uid Tab / Term uid
parentProps Props form the parent component.
props The existing properties that will be passed to the component.

A custom mapper for the state properties that container components receive. Note that for children components to get these properties, you have to pass them down using the corresponding methods (like getTermProps).

Must return an extended object of the map passed.

state The Redux global state
map The existing map of properties that will be passed to the component.

A custom mapper for the dispatch properties. Must return an extended object of the map passed.

dispatch The Redux dispatch function
map The existing map of properties that will be passed to the component.
decorateNotification decorateHeader
decorateTab decorateTerms

Invoked with the React Component to decorate. Must return a Higher Order Component.


Hyper The React Component constructor.
env A collection of useful module references for building components. See below

Module loading

The user can hot-load and hot-reload plugins by pressing Command + R (refresh). Please strive to make plugins that don't require a complete restart of the application to work.

In the future we might do this automatically.

When developing, you can add your plugin to ~/.hyper_plugins/local and then specify it under the localPlugins array in ~/.hyper.js. We load new plugins:

The process of reloading involves

Note: on the main process, plugins are registered as soon as possible (we fire onLoad). On the browser, it's up to the user to trigger their load by pressing command+R. We put the user in control of the loading in this way to prevent them from losing critical work by extensions that reset state or don't preserve it correctly.

Decorating components

We give you the ability to provide a higher order component for every piece of the Hyper UI.
Its structure is as follows:

      <Tab /> ...
    <Term /> ...
    <Notification /> ...

All the decorate* methods receive the following references in an object passed as the second parameter:

React The entire React namespace.
notify A helper function that shows a desktop notification. The first parameter is the title and the second is the optional body of the notification.
Notification The Notification component in case you want to re-use it.

All the components accept the following two properties to extend their markup:

customChildren An array of Element or a single Element to insert at the bottom of the component.
customChildrenBefore The same as the above property, but inserted as the first child element(s) of the component.

We encourage you to maintain compatibility with other decorators. Since many can be set, don't assume that yours is the only one. For example, if you're passing children, compose potential existing values:

render () {
  const customChildren = Array.from(this.props.customChildren)
    .concat(<p>My new child</p>);
  return <Tab {...this.props} customChildren={customChildren} />

Actions and Effects

All the Redux actions are available for you to handle through your middleware and reducers. For an example, refer to the Hyperpower reference plugin.

Side effects occur in two fundamental forms:

  • Some actions dispatch other actions based on state.
  • Some actions do async work by communicating over the RPC channel to the main process

In all cases, the side effect is passed as the effect key in the action and later handled by our middleware.

This means that you can override, compose or completely eliminate effects! In other words, this is how you can change the default functionality or behavior of the app.

As an example, consider the action we use to increase the font size when you press Command+=:

export function increaseFontSize () {
  return (dispatch, getState) => {
      type: UI_FONT_SIZE_INCR,
      effect () {
        const state = getState();
        const old = state.ui.fontSizeOverride || state.ui.fontSize;
        const value = old + 1;
          type: UI_FONT_SIZE_SET,

The underlying terminal

Hyper achieves a lot of its speed and functionality thanks to the power of hterm underneath, the terminal emulator of the Chromium project.

To access the terminal object, you can supply a onTerminal property to the <Term> component.

Additional APIs

The Electron app objects are extended with the following properties:

config An Object with the config block from ~/.hyper.js.
plugins An Object with helpers for plugins.
getWindows A Function that returns an Set of all the open windows.
createWindow A Function that will create a new window. Accepts an optional callback that will be passed as the new window's init callback.

Electron BrowserWindow objects are extended with the following parameters:

rpc An EventEmitter that allows for communication with the window process.
sessions A Map of Session objects which hold the communication with each term's pty..

Renderer windows are similarly extended with:

rpc An EventEmitter that allows for communication with the window process.
store The Redux Store object. This allows access to dispatch actions or read the global state with getState.

The rpc object is symmetrical between browser and renderer process. The API is the same as Node.js, with the exception that it only admits a single object as its parameters only:

window.rpc.emit('hi there', {
  some: 'payload',
  any: [

Example theme: Hyperyellow

The following extension simply alters the config to add CSS and yellow colors! Here's the code.

Themes are simply plugins! Only one hook, decorateConfig is needed:

exports.decorateConfig = (config) => {
  return Object.assign({}, config, {
    borderColor: 'yellow',
    cursorColor: 'yellow',
    css: `
      ${config.css || ''}
      .tabs_nav .tabs_list .tab_text {
        color: yellow;
      .tabs_nav .tabs_title {
        color: yellow;

I grabbed the class names by inspecting the term with Devtools, which you can trigger from View -> Toggle Developer Tools. When you do so, notice that some classes are automatically generated and followed by a random nonce (e.g.: term_13hv8io). Ignore those: they change with every new window!

Notice the emphasis on playing nice with other extensions. Specifically, we create a new object, extend only the keys we are interested in, and we compose the CSS to preserve the user's setting and that of other authors':

return Object.assign({}, config, {
  css: `
    ${config.css || ''}
    /* your css here */

Example extension: Hyperpower

The following extension renders particles as the caret moves:

Let's walk through its code.
First, we intercept the Redux action SESSION_ADD_DATA. See the whole list of them here.

exports.middleware = (store) => (next) => (action) => {
  if ('SESSION_ADD_DATA' === action.type) {
    const { data } = action;
    if (/bash: wow: command not found/.test(data)) {
        type: 'WOW_MODE_TOGGLE'
    } else {
  } else {

Notice that we don't re-dispatch the action, which means we never render the output of the command to the terminal. Instead, we dispatch an action of our own, which we grab in the uiReducerand later map:

exports.reduceUI = (state, action) => {
  switch (action.type) {
    case 'WOW_MODE_TOGGLE':
      return state.set('wowMode', !state.wowMode);
  return state;

exports.mapTermsState = (state, map) => {
  return Object.assign(map, {
    wowMode: state.ui.wowMode

We then want to decorate the <Term> component so that we can access the underlying caret.

However, <Term> is not a container that we can map props to. So we use getTermProps to pass the property further down:

exports.getTermProps = (uid, parentProps, props) => {
  return Object.assign(props, {
    wowMode: parentProps.wowMode

The extension then returns a higher order component to wrap <Term>. Notice we pass the onTerminal property to access the underlying hterm object:

render () {
  return React.createElement(Term, Object.assign({}, this.props, {
    onTerminal: this._onTerminal


Authored by Guillermo Rauch - @rauchg.
Brought to you by ZEIT. Hosted on now.

Special thanks to the following people:

  • Jeff Haynies for his work on polish for general terminal behavior.
  • Nuno Campos for his work on zooming and configuration.
  • Leo Lamprecht and Johan Brook for their excellent UI improvements.
  • Harrison Harnisch for our nice default color palette.
  • Fernando Montoya for his feedback and patches.
  • Matias Tucci for his work on the auto updater.
  • Sebastian Markbage for his insight on the higher-order component extensibility API.
  • Joel Besada for his editor particles idea and Zero Cho for his reference implementation.