The Shell – zsh, dotfiles, etc.

I decided to go for zsh again (instead of bash) as a default shell not that long ago. I’ve used it on and off before, it’s really powerful, but takes a lot of configuration to get access to all the nice features it offers. Whenever i reinstalled or changed computers I usually just returned to the de-facto bash shell.

These days configuration/plugin/themes collections like oh-my-zsh and the more recent fork prezto makes it really easy to get a a fully functional and good looking zsh up and running real quick. Git clone oh-my-zsh or prezto, activate the plugins you’re after and you got it 🙂

Zsh syntax highlighting

There are a few external plugins I really like as well – for example zsh-syntax-highlighting seen above. Clone and add to plugin list as describes. It offers similar shell syntax highlighting as the fish shell.

Oh, and the theme used above is from agnoster. Pretty minimal while giving a lot of information – using the powerline fonts (a series of patched fonts – a favorite among many vim users.) They’ve added pretty symbols to indicate things like branches, background jobs, root, etc. Looks a bit messy below, but that’s mostly because i wanted to try to show as many features as possible in the least amount of space.

Powerline

Works really well in iTerm2. The terminal to use if you’re on OS X.

I try to keep my dotfiles on github, that way it’s pretty easy to move between machines and keep them up to date. Nice to have access to all your aliases and settings on the machines you’re using. And whenever you’re on a new mac, to avoid going mental, just apply your collection of sane mac defaults. (“natural” scrolling my ass :p) 🙂

There are some pretty awesome collections of dotfiles on github – some worth checking out: holman’s, mathias’ and even whole projects like: dotfiles.github.com

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