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I've recently cleanly installed the latest OS X 10.11 El Capitan beta and spent quite some time getting all my software installed and properly configured again.

Being a long time ZSH user, pretty much just using the default Oh My Zsh, and given that I spend a lot of my time in the terminal, I've decided to spend some time playing around with the themes and plugins and see what I could accomplish.

After a couple hours researching, I think I come up with something that's both aesthetically pleasing and also extremely useful.
Here's a brief tutorial on how to get something looking similar to this:

Screenshot of my terminal

iTerm 2

Firstly, download and install iTerm 2. It's a free replacement for the default Terminal.app that comes with your OS X installation. The installation is pretty straightforward.

(Oh My) Zsh

I've been using zsh for a number of years and I fell in love with it.

To install Oh My Zsh (kind of a zsh framework), just run this in your terminal:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh)"

Visit their GitHub page for more information.

Solarized Color Scheme

To get the color scheme I'm using, Solarized, you can run the following command:

curl -o ~/Desktop/solarized.itermcolors https://raw.githubusercontent.com/altercation/solarized/master/iterm2-colors-solarized/Solarized%20Dark.itermcolors

This will download the latest Solarized Dark color scheme to your Desktop. You can then open up iTerm's preferences pane ⌘,, go into Profiles, select the Colors tab and click Load Presets... > Import... and choose the solarized.itermcolors file on your Desktop folder.
After successfully importing it, you can pick it in the same dropdown.

If you're into a semi-transparent terminal as I am, you can go ahead and select the Window tab within the Profiles window and play around with the settings. Here's how mine is set: https://i.imgur.com/dS8JBXV.png

Meslo Font

I'm using the Powerline Meslo font, which is a really nice font and comes with a variety of symbols that are used in the ZSH prompt.

To install the Powerline fonts, run the following command:

git clone https://github.com/powerline/fonts.git && cd fonts && ./install.sh

You can now go into your iTerm preferences pane ⌘,, click Profiles again, go into the Text tab and change both the Regular and the Non-ASCII font to Meslo LG L Regular for Powerline.
Feel free to play around with other Powerline fonts.

Agnoster Oh My Zsh Theme

To top it all off, just edit your ~/.zshrc file using your favourite text editor and change the ZSH_THEME to agnoster.

You should now have your terminal looking similar to the screenshot in the beginning of this blog post and you can start leveraging the powers of ZSH. Take a look at some of the handy aliases Oh My Zsh has to offer over at the Cheatsheet page, they're really useful.

Have fun with your new terminal!

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Rui Gomes

Web Developer, Internet Marketing enthusiast and Student@FEUP. That pretty much sums it up.


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Rui Gomes

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