Started Using oh-my-zsh

Setting up oh-my-zsh and problems with default Terminal app

Ritesh Shrivastav
· 4 mins read

I have started using oh-my-zsh finally. I was using it sometime back on iTerm2 but after an issue on iTerm2, I had stopped using this. But since this issue was fixed, I wanted to give it a try.

There are UX problems with default terminal app we get with MacOS. To count few of them these are-

  • No autocomplete when you hit tab
  • Poor syntax highlighting and design
  • Problems when using tmux

Of course to fix some of these problem you can create .inputrc file by adding following content to it1-

"\e[1~": beginning-of-line
"\e[4~": end-of-line
"\e[5~": history-search-backward
"\e[6~": history-search-forward
"\e[3~": delete-char
"\e[2~": quoted-insert
"\e[5C": forward-word
"\e[5D": backward-word
"\e\e[C": forward-word
"\e\e[D": backward-word

set completion-ignore-case On
set expand-tilde on
set convert-meta off
set input-meta on
set output-meta on
set show-all-if-ambiguous on
set visible-stats on
set -o vi

But to improve the terminal it can enable all these by default. Anyway, even though you enable all these the autocomplete is not as smart as it is in zsh. To see all the features you can see on their features page2.

In this post we’ll discuss, how to setup oh-my-zsh on MacOS and once setup is finished the terminal will look something like below.

Oh-my-zsh window

Additionally if you use Visual Studio Code, the terminal inside it will appear like something below.

Visual Studio Code window

Now let’s dive into how to do this setup!

Setting up iTerm2

The first step is to install iTerm2. Download the archive and extract the app and move it to Applications directory. Once iTerm2 is install do following-

  • Change iTerm 2 color scheme to “Solarized Dark” from Preferences -> Profiles -> Colors -> Color Preset

Setting up Oh-my-zsh

You can use curl to install oh-my-zsh. To do so, simply run:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

And in file ~/.zshrc, find ZSH_THEME and update value to "agnoster", after this the line will look like following:

# Set name of the theme to load --- if set to "random", it will
# load a random theme each time oh-my-zsh is loaded, in which case,
# to know which specific one was loaded, run: echo $RANDOM_THEME
# See

Fixing font issue

When you do all these, and when you restart iTerm2 you will notice some issue in the prompt that the icons are not properly being shown. To fix this you need to download Menlo-for-Powerline. I use Menlo for Powerline.ttf, you can download font and when you open it, this will show a button to install the font. After installing the font follow these steps-

  • Open iTerm2 and go to Preferences -> Profiles -> Text -> Change Font
  • Select Menlo for Powerline from the Family dropdown
  • Restart iTerm2

Visual Studio Code setup

To use zsh in your Visual Studio Code, you can follow these steps.

  • Open settings.json by pressing Cmd+Shift+p and search for Open Setting (JSON)
  • Update setting to look like following
      "window.zoomLevel": 1,
      "terminal.integrated.rendererType": "dom",
      "editor.tabSize": 2,
      "editor.renderWhitespace": "boundary",
      "": "/bin/zsh",
      "terminal.integrated.fontFamily": "Menlo for Powerline"
  • Restart Visual Studio Code

That is all for this post. If you have any settings recommendations that I should try out let me know! Thank you for reading. Happy coding!

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Ritesh Shrivastav