Jazz Up Your “ZSH” Terminal In Seven Steps — A Visual Guide

10 min readMar 13, 2018

In this blog I’ll cover installing ITerm2, ZSH shell, “oh my ZSH”, Themes, ITerm2 color schemes, “oh my ZSH” plugins and enable “ligature” support to help create a beautiful and powerful Terminal.

If you want to just make your regular Bash Terminal powerful, take a look at my previous blog: “Jazz Up Your Bash Terminal”. But ZSH explained in this blog is more powerful stuff.


We’ll be covering a lot of things. This may be confusing, so here is the summary of what we will be doing.

  1. Install ITerm2 — This is a better alternative to the default Terminal
  2. Install latest ZSH shell — This is more powerful than the regular bash shell. We will switch ITerm2 to use ZSH shell.
  3. Install “Oh My ZSH “— This is a CLI tool to easily configure ZSH and add themes and plugins to ZSH
  4. Add two types of Themes using “Oh My ZSH” — some themes need extra steps so we will cover both
  5. Install different ITerm2 Schemes — These are just color schemes for the UI
  6. Add two different Plugins using “Oh My ZSH” to improve productivity
  7. Enable “ligature” support so when you write an arrow =>, it appears like a real arrow

Step 1— Install ITerm2

A lot of programmers like ITerm2 instead of the default Terminal. It is similar to the Terminal, but has lots of features of its own. It of course can run ZSH, Bash, and other shells inside it.

The following video shows some of the new features of Item 2 (v3).

For this blog we’ll use ITerm2. When I mention “Terminal”, I mean ITerm2. Although the steps are the same for both Terminal or ITerm2.

Step 2— Change Shell…


Trying to make Web development simple. Former Developer Advocate @Salesforce, VMware (node.js); Engineer @ Yahoo, Zimbra. Twitter: @rajaraodv