For a long time I thought that using the shell is for real nerds only. Some years later I am using it frequently, opening my terminal on the mac is one of the first things I do in the morning. So why is it useful to boost your productivity and how can you get started in the best possible way?
In this article I will show how to replace the standard mac shell with a bit more advanced shell called zsh. This offers many options which are useful for beginners and experts and as well the zsh does not look like using a command line on a PC from before the year 2000.
The installation is very easy, just open your standard terminal and type this:
curl -L http://install.ohmyz.sh | sh
When everything is done, close your terminal and open up a new one. This time you should be prompted with a greeting of the zsh. If you have any problems installing, just leave me a comment!
Ok so now you have already a better starting point than before. Let’s change some more things to make your shell really fit your needs.
Change the skin of the zsh
One benefit of zsh is the customization of the ski. You can have a look at the various existing skins on the zsh themes page. I am currently using the ys skin as this provides a bit lighter background and a good looking colour scheme, you can see it in one of my videos on my Youtube Channel. However, you can obviously look for the skin you like. If you found it, go to your terminal and type(or open ~/.zshrc with the editor of your choice):
open -a textEdit ~/.zshrc
This will open your text editor with the config file of the zsh. Now look for the line with
ZSH_THEME="yourSkin" and replace the text in the quotes with the name of the skin you would like to have and save the file. If you now open a new tab or window, you should see your new style in action!
Add plugins to your zsh
Zsh comes with some handy plugins, you can get an overview of all plugins on the plugins overview page on the Github project. For the beginning I recommend you start with 2 basic plugins, just osx and git and for some fun the nyan plugin. To set plugins, open the ~/.zshrc again and find the line with
plugins=() and set this to:
plugins=(git osx nyan)
Safe the file and open a new window and type
nyan and you should see the nyan cat in your terminal. Awesome, right? 😉
Now how is zsh better than the default shell? Well, just try to type a command or try to navigate to a directory. Start typing and press tab whenever you are not sure how the exact command/path was and zsh will offer you options for either completing you command or showing every file/dir you are currently in. Moreover the custom styles and plugins make it to the tool you don’t want to miss.
If you are still not feeling good with your terminal, just try to use it more than usual. You will get used to it more and more. If you want to see more like this or have any questions, leave me a comment and come back to see more posts on increasing your productivity in the next time!
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