Around 18 months ago, I decided I’d had enough of Windows and started to look for a change of scenery. After trying several Linux Distributions, I decided to go with Ubuntu

I noticed that the text in the terminal was not particularly readable, but the more I used it the more I got used to it. At the time, I did not realise how customisable the look and feel was. I was unaware of the myriad of terminal emulators, alternative shells and plugins that were available.

I recently started a new job where the senior developer recommended I install the following tools:

Z Shell (ZSH)

ZSH is an alternative login shell which can be installed on your Unix like computer. ZSH has great features like autocomplete and even lets you know which git branch you’re on

Install ZSH with:

sudo apt install zsh

You can find out your current login shell with

echo $SHELL

Check to see whether the ZSH variable has been set correctly

which zsh

You now need to change your default shell for you and it’s a good idea to do it for root too

chsh $(which zsh)
sudo chsh $(which zsh) root


Oh My Zsh is a framework for managing your ZSH configuration.

Install it with:

wget -O - | zsh

Copy the template rc file and source it

cp ~/.oh-my-zsh/templates/zshrc.zsh-template ~/.zshrc
source ~/.zshrc

Pure Prompt

Make your shell even more beautiful with Pure Prompt

Pure prompt can be installed with Node:

npm install --global pure-prompt

Make sure your ZSH themes are turned off, by setting ZSH_THEME=”” in your ~/.zshrc file

Then enable Pure Prompt by adding it to your ~/.zshrc file

echo "autoload -U promptinit; promptinit\
prompt pure" >> ~/.zshrc

Close and reopen your shell, or source your ~/.zshrc file and you’re good to go!

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