The purpose of this post is to be my quick, copy-paste source of the commands that I use to set up my terminal on a new *nix system. However, if someone else finds it useful, that’d be some cherries on top.

This command prompt in the below image is the end goal.

The end goal of this post

Assuming, I’m on a standard pc/server with Ubuntu Linux and I have CLI access with sudo. For other Linux distros or MacOS, some commands might be slightly different.

Step-1: Confirm that Zsh is up-to-date

While on most of the Linux systems Zsh is present by default, on others that’s not the case. So, let’s make sure about it.

$ sudo apt install zsh

Confirm the version. Oh-my-zsh recommends Zsh to be 5.0.8 or higher.

$ zsh --version
zsh 5.8 (x86_64-ubuntu-linux-gnu)

Also, you gotta make sure that git (recommended v2.4.11 or higher) is also installed on the system.

Step-2: Install Oh-my-zsh, the fun “configuration” framework

Install directly from the source.

$ sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

In the last step of this installation, it will ask to set Zsh as THE shell. Go ahead.

Now we have the default prompt from Oh-my-zsh.

After successful installation of Oh-my-zsh

Now, let’s pimp up the prompt. Shall we?

Step-3: Install powerlevel10k, a powerful prompt theme

I love the powerful Zsh theme powerlevel10k. More on why this theme is awesome.

Let’s install it on top of oh-my-zsh.

$ git clone --depth=1 \ \

Now, gotta set ZSH_THEME="powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k" in ~/.zshrc by adding that manually in the file.

Step-4: Make sure the prompt looks like as you want

In this step, I’m gonna bring in my already open-sourced Zsh config file aka .zshrc.

# deleting the current one & get my personal one from GitHub
$ rm .zshrc
$ wget

I kept the powerlevel10k configs as comments so that Zsh doesn’t complain if I use the config file early. Have to set ZSH_THEME="powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k" in the ~/.zshrc as well.

Otherwise, once the powerlevel10k theme will run for the first time by Zsh, a very friendly step-by-step prompt will run you through towards a desirable prompt for you. Also, whenever you want, you can invoke the config-wizard by executing p10k configure on the shell.

Now is the time to enable the changes by restarting Zsh and enjoy the new config and the powerful prompt.

$ exec zsh


Also, I usually install this very useful, but external plugin zsh-syntax-highlighting for oh-my-zsh.

$ git clone ${ZSH_CUSTOM:-~/.oh-my-zsh/custom}/plugins/zsh-syntax-highlighting
Don’t forget to activate the plugin by including it in ~/.zshrc. For that, add zsh-syntax-highlighting inside the list of other plugins.

plugins=( plugin_a plugin_b zsh-syntax-highlighting)