So you’ve gotten to know the command-line. You’ve felt like a true hacker and thrown away the mouse long ago. Or maybe not. One thing that always bothered me while using the command-line on my MacBook, was the lack of information given on datatypes. It was just plain text regardless of whether it displayed a directory, an executable or just a simple file. You might be sitting there in front of your Linux computer smirking right now, but most of you are probably thinking “I never knew there was a way to make the command-line better”. Well, there is and thy name is ZSH.
Like bash, zsh is a UNIX shell. Zsh however adds many great features for making your time with the command-line easier. It gets even better. There is an open source framework for zsh named Oh My Zsh which lets you customize your command-line with themes and shortcuts. Say you’re in your Home directory and want to cd to Downloads. It used to be that you had to write three letters before you could tab, because Desktop and Documents share their first letters. Not anymore. Now all you need to do is type cd d and tab your way through. You can even use your directional keys.
As you can see, the directories have now been colored to differentiate them from files. The long address and name has simply been replaced with an arrow, followed by a tilde to let you know you’re in the Home directory. You might also have noticed that I only had to enter ll to get a long list. This is because Oh My Zsh comes with many shortcuts pre-defined. These are only a handful of features that’ll make you even more proficient at using the command-line. Please see our guide on how to install Oh My Zsh to start using it now.
Until next time, keep coding.