Customizing Mac OS X Shell

August 22, 2012

Shell Screen 1

I’ve been customizing my Mac OS X shell a bit today. The cyan above is for the current directory and the purple shows the current git branch, which is why it appears when I change directory to a git repository.

##FIRST: oh-my-zsh I used oh-my-zsh to start, but I didn’t like any of the included themes.

##NEXT: thoughtbot/dotfiles The thoughtbot guys have put together a nice zsh dotfiles setup. They include a handy little script that symlinks from the dotfiles directory to your .* files themselves, making it easy to link up your dotfiles to a github repository for sharing and copying to additional computers.

##CUSTOMIZING My contribution to all this? I extracted the code the thoughtbot guys used to generate their prompt and made a zsh-theme file out of it:


  # adds the current branch name in green
  git_prompt_info() {
    ref=$(git symbolic-ref HEAD 2> /dev/null)
    if [[ -n $ref ]]; then
      echo "[%{$fg_bold[magenta]%}${ref#refs/heads/}%{$reset_color%}]"

  # expand functions in the prompt
  setopt prompt_subst

  # prompt
  export PROMPT='$(git_prompt_info)[${SSH_CONNECTION+"%{$fg_bold[green]%}%n@%m:"}%{$fg_bold[blue]%}%1~%{$reset_color%}] '

  local return_status="%{$fg[red]%}%(?..✘)%{$reset_color%}"

I added an idea from Steve Losh and from Aaron Malone. By the way, I really like those themes as well. I recommend Aaron’s version just because it’s a little more robust.

What theme am I using in the screenshot? Tomorrow Night Eighties from Chris Kempson’s Tomorrow Night Eighties for iTerm2. I’m also using the Tomorrow Theme to highlight the code above.

##My Files You can check out my dotfiles and customized oh-my-zsh on my github.

Feedback and suggestions welcome.