Customizing Shell in your Terminal

I use  the terminal to do quite a bit on both my Mac laptop and Linux desktop.  Sometimes its easier to hammer out a shell command than it is find the right context menu or menu item to click to do something.

On Linux, I use Guake Terminal and Gnome Terminal the most, although I’ve played around with Terminator. On my Macbook Pro, I use iTerm 2.  Each of these has their own features and customizations, but those are for another post.

The things below should work in any of the terminal programs above.

  • Oh-My-Zsh is a framework for managing a zsh shell configuration. It supports themes, plugins, auto-updating, etc.
    • Often the default shell is Bash.  But Zsh (z-shell) supports some really cool features like auto completion of command and files, typing error correction and more.  To be fair, bash has its own framework called bash-it that you can check out if interested.
    • Comparisons of Bash and Zsh: [1], [2], [3]
  • Powerlevel9k is a theme for zsh.  It supports a crazy amount of customization of the prompt and other things. And all of the customizations aren’t just aesthetic, there are a number of ways you can customize the prompt based on what language your coding in, git repo status, etc.
  • Color LS allows you to make the output of the ls command more palatable and useful.  It can add icons next to each file based on the file type, print a small report on the contents of the director after it prints the contents themselves, and other. Definitely check it out.
    • Some screen shots and other info: [1], [2]

In a future post, I’ll add my own config files for these things.

Anyhow, have some fun customizing your terminal and shell!

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